Handy wedding checklist

You’ve spent countless hours planning for your dream wedding day, so now it’s time to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. Here is a handy pre-wedding checklist to ensure you have a perfect wedding day experience and get amazing photos! I thought I would put a handy list together after being part of countless weddings both as a photographer, bridesmaid and bride; I feel it would be good to share my knowledge. Whether you are planning a small intimate wedding in the South of London of a large oversees wedding, this essential checklist will be helpful for all the things you may have or haven't thought about.

Getting Ready

Whether you are getting ready at your one-bedroom flat in London or have a spacious hotel room, you can do many things to help get those perfect getting-ready shots.

  • If you're getting your hair and makeup done for your wedding, it's best to avoid being the last one. This is because if the schedule overruns, you may end up feeling rushed, and that's not ideal on your big day. Instead, it's better to be ready earlier and allow time for a few touch-ups.
  • When getting ready, have your bridesmaids put everything in a hidden corner of the room so that there are no random garments, plastic cups, or sandwich boxes in the background of your photos.
  • For group outfit shots, please bring a nice hanger for your dress, suits and any wedding party outfits.
  • Prepare for your photos by finding a spot near a window. However, make sure that one side of the window is clear. Avoid placing objects in front of the window, as window light can provide great lighting for your photos.
  • Eat a snack before putting on your dress to avoid fainting or staining during the ceremony, or if you are hungry then eat food that can brush off and not leave any stains.
  • If you want to take a first look photo with your parents, bridal or grooms party, let me know beforehandso I can be in the right place before they arrive.
  • If you would like to take any group photos before your ceremony, please let us know so we can plan accordingly and ensure that your make-up and hair artists are aware.

Recommended Hair & makeup suppliers

  1. Goshkamuah - https://www.instagram.com/goshkamuah
  2. Bombshellmakeup - https://instagram.com/bombshellmakeupuk/
  3. "I DO" Bridal services - https://www.idobridalservices.co.uk/
  4. Lipstick & Curls - https://www.lipstickandcurls.net/

Here's a useful list to keep for unexpected situations.

We all know the feeling of a sudden panic when something goes wrong, and you wonder: "How am I going to deal with this?" That's why it pays to be prepared; this list has been designed for those times. Containing everything you need for quick fixes, this handy list is a must-have for any situation and ensures you are prepared for anything on your wedding day! N


  • Kindly ask anyone who is walking down the aisle before you to walk slowly and smile while they are walking. Ensure there is enough gap between each person so that I can capture each one perfectly. 
  • Please wait until all they have walked down before you make your entrance. This will help me photograph the perfect shot and give your guests the wow factor. Don't forget to walk slowly.
  • If you have a bouquet, hold it at the waist, and if it's not too awkward, hold it facing out so that everyone can see the beautiful arrangement.
  • While exchanging vows, look towards each other.
  • Hold hands during the ceremony. It looks super awkward during your ceremony photos if you are standing 5 feet apart and not touching somehow.
  • Kiss slowly – don't have a quick peck – hold the kiss for a few seconds.


  • Embrace the confetti! In my collection of photographs, I have captured several shots where couples cower, frown, or look generally displeased while being showered with confetti. Although it can be a weird experience and even painful if it gets into your eyes, try to remain positive by looking up and smiling.
  • Matching colourful confetti to your wedding's colour theme is always impressive.
  • I prefer confetti that is larger as it captures more in the photos.

There are many suppliers of bio-degradable confetti; one supplier I always recommend is yourconfetti.com. They have an incredible array of colours and are lovely to work with, use the discount code "YCHANNAHB" for 15% off.

Group shots

Group shots are a must at a wedding, and with London venues, I find these are best done straight after the ceremony, generally outside the registry office or wherever you choose to have your 

  • Create a list with your photographer about who you want in your group shots. I always send out a questionnaire beforehand to help organise this.
  • Try to keep group shots to a minimum.
  • Assign someone from your wedding party who can help coordinate the guests along with the Photographer, preferably someone who knows family members and has a commanding voice.
  • If you have all your guests standing while you have the group shots, maybe think about having some drinks ready for them.
  • Group shots can also be a chance to get creative with any brides or groomspeople.


  • When planning the room's layout, consider where the photographer can go. Ideally, a bit of space to walk around would be great, but I am a pro at finding some if there isn't any space. I think years of commuting on the London underground have helped with this.
  • When you raise a toast, ensure you don't hide your face with your glass; toast out rather than in front of you.

The First Dance

When it comes to the first dance, couples might feel nervous as not all of us are natural dancers and having so much attention can be intimidating. However, it doesn't have to be! The dance is all about you two. Have a blast, twirl your partner around and give each other a big squeeze! Those moments are always so special. Remember, everyone is there because they love you and just want you to have the best time. Plus, the more significant the twirls, the more interesting the photos are.


  1. Sparkler shots can be great fun, but be sure to check first with your venue, and if they are allowed, please buy long sparklers. This is so we can have shots of everyone holding sparklers and not worry about half burning out before the camera is ready.
  2. It is best to do Sparklers at dusk or in the evening; this way you get more light from the sparklers to help create more epic photos.

Last tips

  1. Don't Worry About Time – If you are working with a professional Photographer or have a wedding planner like Carmela Weddings or Pearl Events, then they will ensure everything is kept to schedule . The main job on your wedding day is to enjoy it as much as possible and bring the vibe. Your happiness and enjoyment will be felt by your guests and will show through in the pictures captured for the day. And remember, if things don't go as planned, then simply have fun and enjoy the moment.

Let's start chatting about you wedding


A little about Hannah Bain, London Wedding Photographer

I'm Hannah, a London-based wedding photographer. I live in South East London with my husband, our son, Isaac, and our small terrier, Edith. I've photographed many weddings across London, including Marylebone Town Hall, Islington Town Hall, Brixton, Shoreditch studios, and other venues.

If you are thinking about having a wedding in Shoreditch and are looking for a wedding photographer, then feel free to send an enquiry or message me on Instagram. I love getting to know new couples and especially love hearing more about your engagement and wedding day plans. I'm a big romantic at heart.