5 Wedding Day Essentials for Photographers

Wedding days are some of my favorite days EVER. I love seeing all my brides’ hard work come together, meeting my couples’ sweet family and friends is so fun, and I really love celebrating a new marriage. But wedding days are also a LOT of hard work and a lot of things happening. I remember feeling a little overwhelmed at my first few weddings and realizing that I could really use this thing or that or another! I’d come to learn right away that some things are ESSENTIALS for me on wedding days and I’m not talking the obvious like your camera gear and extra batteries.

So here is my top 5 list of wedding day ESSENTIALS for Photographers!

1 – Snacks & Water

You might think this is pretty obvious but it’s one of the most forgotten things on your checklist! Usually I have a distance to drive to weddings and then around 8 hours of shooting then driving home. There isn’t a lot of time to sit down to eat and you’ve got to stay fueled while running around getting all those Pinterest worthy wedding photos! I always make sure to grab some easy to eat snacks and throw them into my camera bag before I head out the door for a wedding day! As a mom to a toddler, my go to snacks are usually applesauce pouches, Welch’s fruit snacks and small baggies of Veggie Straws. And as simple as it is, a granola bar will help keep you going! I usually throw several in my bag to share with hungry second photographers and other vendors too J

2 – Comfy Shoes x2

Halfway through a wedding day, the cute pair of flats you decided to wear are killing your feet! And the reception hasn’t even started yet! Something I’ve learned after several very long wedding days is that switching shoes halfway helps relieve the pain in your feet! I often switch shoes before reception and this also depends on the wedding itself! If rain has been in the forecast the days leading up to a wedding and the day of, I always keep my Hunter boots with me! I’ll shoot outdoors in my Hunters and switch to flats or sandals once we head inside. Recently, I’ve gotten a pair of Rothy’s! And if you’re wondering if it’s worth the hype, IT IS. I didn’t even break them in before wearing them to a wedding! I know that is absolutely crazy but my Rothy’s didn’t cause a heel blister, toe rubbing, or stabbing pain all day. It was so comfy! I will say, I normally wear a size 7/7.5 depending on the shoe and I got my Rothy’s in a size 8 so they fit looser than my normal flats would. BUT they stayed on my feet and felt AMAZING! I definitely cannot wait to buy another pair!

3 – Pretty hanger

Your bride has dreamed of this dress her whole entire life. And it’s GORGEOUS, your bride is going to look amazingly stunning in this gown so naturally, we want to capture this dress for her. You take it out of the bag carefully and it’s on a cheap plastic hanger from the bridal store. A beautiful gown deserves something prettier than a generic hanger! I always keep at least one wooden hanger in my wedding kit so I can hang the bride’s dress on something more classic and timeless than the plastic hanger. A great tip is to keep SEVERAL hangers with you for the bridesmaids’ dresses! I’ve had weddings where some bridesmaids have clear hangers, some have black, and some didn’t even have a hanger! So when I was taking photos of all the dresses, there was no uniformity. Your dress portraits will instantly look more timeless when you have a wooden hanger for the dresses! I bought this set from Target!

4 – Spider Holster

At first, I would’ve never considered this for my camera but now I don’t want to do a wedding without it! Back in September, right before my wedding season began, I was in a car accident where I was rear ended on the highway. I ended up with a mild concussion and muscular/skeletal strain from the impact. My camera with its lens can get heavy and my neck would feel the ache at the end of a wedding day normally. Now with neck pain from a car accident, I knew I couldn’t handle the additional weight of my camera hanging from my neck on its regular strap. After looking at my options, this Spider Holster came across my way and I tried it at my next wedding and immediately fell in love with it! All the weight from my camera and lens wasn’t on my neck anymore, it was on my hips. It helped relieve neck pain while my neck was healing from the injury and it overall just felt so much better at the end of a long wedding day! The holster is very secure and is attached to my belt and the bottom of my camera. I also have the memory card organizer so I add in a few cards so I don’t have to run back to my camera bag and grab a new one or risk losing it if it fell out of a pocket. I tuck my cell phone in there, a copy of the timeline, and some other small items I might need. Spider also has a belt for dual camera users, an attachment for long lenses like the 70-200 (which is currently in my shopping cart!) and extras! I LOVE this holster and I don’t ever want to do another wedding without it!

8 – Styling Kit

I love detail photos. It’s hands down my favorite time of the day because it’s basically a time for me to warm up and get the creativity flowing to start the wedding day. I love incorporating personal details in my brides’ photos but sometimes I need a clean background or some accents to help elevate the photo. I started building my styling kit over the past year and it comes with me to every single wedding! I have two styling boards, a linen board and a double sided rollup velvet one! Things I’ve also included in my kit are: ring boxes, silk ribbons, dental wax (to help keep rings standing upright!), dried greenery like eucalyptus, wine corks, command hooks and a few other small knick knacks!

MJ Mendoza Photography | Richmond VA Wedding Photographer

Wedding days are the best, I love the excitement of the whole day and anything that will help make my job more efficient, I’m going to do! These are my 5 wedding day essentials and I know I wouldn’t want to do a wedding without any of them! I hope this helps you figure out what your wedding day must haves are, and if you have a must have I haven’t included, let me know! I always love to hear what other photographers consider as their own must haves!

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