5 Wedding Day Essentials for Brides

It’s almost here, your big day, the day you say I DO to your best friend! You have all the details confirmed not once, not twice but THREE times! Flowers are good to go, the caterer has been briefed on exactly how many mini hors d’oeuvres to set out per guest, and your hubby to be has his instructions.  Surely all the details are sorted? Well, almost. 

It’s time, beautiful bride, to think about you, so pour yourself a glass of wine (I promise, it is 5 o’clock somewhere in the world!) get comfy, put your feet up and let’s go. 

I’ve been to a few weddings (no really!), planned them and shot them and you would be surprised at how many little things get forgotten or overlooked.  So having the experience from photographing several weddings and attending them, let me show you some essentials that every bride needs on their big day.



Let me just say, I LOVE shoes! I love styling your detail photos with your gorgeous shoes. And of course, stunning shoes go with the stunning gown.  But, however beautiful your new Badgley Mischka pumps are, they might not be the comfiest after hours of walking and standing! Don’t forget, it doesn’t all calm down after your ceremony, there are photographs to be taken, mingling and speaking with your loved ones at the reception, (and if you’re anything like me, there are many) and dancing the night away before your grand exit! In fact, you’re likely to be up and about most of the day. Give your aching feet a break and bring a second pair that’s comfy but still cute- just in case you have to show them off! 


A special dress deserves an equally special hanger, don’t you think? It’s all in the details and you have searched high and low for the perfect dress, what about the perfect hanger?  As a photographer, I love capturing the dress before my bride puts it on. You most definitely don’t want a plastic hanger in this shot! So, girl, treat yourself, give your beautiful gown the ultimate accessory.  You can find so many different hangers to match your style, from quirky and personalized, to artsy and vintage.  Great for a special keepsake of your day too! And if you can’t find one, no worries! I always have a wooden hanger just in case!


Whether you’e jamming out to the latest tunes or prefer more of a mellow mood to keep you calm and relaxed, you’re going to want some music while you’re getting ready! A Bluetooth speaker is a great thing to have on hand to dole out your playlist, a fantastic way to overcome those pre-wedding jitters!  Your girls will more than likely be in there getting ready with you and helping you get into your bridal gear. This can be an emotional experience so having some music may keep the mood fun and light!


Believe it or not, this is one of the things most commonly forgotten. You absolutely need this, there’s no way of getting married without it.  Applying for a marriage license is easy, nothing to worry about. A week or so before your wedding you just need to go to a courthouse or city hall and sign the application in the presence of a clerk and pay the fee.  You must have photographic identification, such as a driving license or passport, along with your birth certificate. Depending on which state you and your partner live in, you are given a period after your application to get married.  Here in Virginia, it is 60 days.  After the ceremony, it will be recorded by your officiant that you are married, and you’ll receive your marriage certificate a short while later. Just remember to bring the license to your ceremony!


Your wedding day is going to be awesome, but it’s still going to be a long day.  From the moment you wake up, there will be a lot going on and things will be running according to a strict timeline so certain parts of your wedding day will flash by.  You MUST factor snacks and drinks in to your busy schedule.  You may have a 3-course meal waiting for you at your wedding reception but that is what: 5 - 6 hours away?  There is always the chance you will be too busy or excited to even eat that meal anyway! My advice is to keep some snacks and drinks nearby wherever you are.  A bottle of water, some fruit, a sandwich, it doesn’t have to be a banquet, it just has to be enough to keep you going and hydrated.  ESPECIALLY if it is a hot day. Virginia weather can be a little wild and the heat can be a factor in most months! You don’t want to be collapsing with dehydration at the first look. Sip on your mimosa but also keep your water bottle handy along with a good sized snack!

MJ Mendoza Photography | Richmond VA Wedding Photographer

And lastly, girl, this is your big day, enjoy it! I hope this list helps you remember to have these small but important essentials for your wedding day!

Bride to be, if you liked this, you may love:

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