Unless the marriage is a civil ceremony there will normally be a rehearsal at the church and more often than not this is arranged on the day before the wedding day. I always ask if I can attend the rehearsal as it allows me to get a better idea of where the bridal party will be standing and sitting on the day – where its planned to sign the register – where the readings will take place and more importantly what photographs the minister will allow me to take and where he or she will let me stand to take them.
The rehearsal is also often a good opportunity to meet the parents for the first time which is very useful, especially as shortly you will be invited into their home to photograph the bridal preparations and the giving away of their daughter.
This normally completes my planning for the wedding.
However, I have a pre-wedding routine that I go through on the day before a wedding with regard to my equipment and it goes something like this.
First thing in the morning I start the ‘battery charge’ – no this not some form of military manoeuvre – I have in the region of 20 odd rechargeable batteries that have to be charged. Every available power socket in the upstairs of the house is requisitioned for charging and it normally takes most of the day and part of the night to complete.
I will also go through all of the equipment I intend to take with me on the day which, to be fair, is almost everything bar the kitchen sink. I do tend to work on the principal that it is better to have it available in the car just in case I need it.
Probably the most important job the day before the wedding is the preparation of my cameras and lenses.
I always reformat my memory cards before every major photoshoot and for me there is no more important photoshoot than a wedding. I also check all of my camera settings – it is so easy to leave your camera on a strange setting from the last time you used it.
The same routine applies to my lenses – I first of all make sure that all of my lens switches are set to the correct positions and then I go through the routine of cleaning all of the lenses.
I also like to just have a look through some of my favourite books, magazines, internet sites and some of my own wedding pictures just to refresh my memory regarding some of my favourite poses. I think this is so important – you need to have all of your favourite shots in your head so that when you’re on your way home after the wedding you’re not kicking yourself because you forgot to take one of your favourite shots.