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Juliana Tomlinson


July 19, 2019


5 Things I Do To Prep For Wedding Days

It’s wedding season and to say that I’m excited about my 2019 season is an understatement… But with all the excitement and the rush of adrenaline a wedding day brings to me, it also brings me the responsibility of capturing the most important day in the lives of a couple, and I don’t take this lightly.

In order for me to arrive on a wedding day with peace of mind, ready to provide my couples with the best experience ever, I get my bases covered before their day even starts. I start preparing for weddings from when a couple books me, when I use my client workflow to provide all JTP couples with an amazing experience. But the day before each wedding I have a routine that I’m glad to share with you today.



Here is what I do on the eve of every wedding:

1. Drink plenty of water

This is not a photography related item but it’s soooo important. Drink plenty of water. Half of your weight in ounces of water is ideal. Through the years I’ve noticed how my body reacts the day after a wedding if I make this item a priority on my list. And don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated on the wedding day too, you will definitely see the difference.

2. Client file

To keep myself on track and organized, I create a file for all of my couples. On the cover, I attach my own wedding day checklist to make sure everything gets charged, packed and loaded in the car. Inside, I have a print version of the timeline and a detailed family photo list. Usually I give this to my assistant as soon as we arrive (Minus the checklist, that stays with me. And I also have a copy of both lists on my apple watch)

3. Charge, Clean and Pack

Remember that checklist? The day before, I go over the checklist once and charge all batteries (camera and AAs) and clean all lenses.

I then check my client’s questionnaire and review it to refresh my memory regarding their theme, colors and over all ‘feel’ they want to create for their day. With that in mind, I choose some styling items from my stash and pack a detail shots bag with some ribbons, a tray, ring boxes etc… Anything that I think would compliment their theme I pack in the bag.

Now that I have everything charged and clean, it is time to pack! I go down item by item on my checklist and pack two additional bags, 1 rolling bag and 1 tote bag. In the rolling bag I have the lens I won’t need until the ceremony, flash units, and a few other things. In the tote bag I pack the lens I’ll be using for the detail shots and getting ready pictures. I also make sure I have a bottle of water packed for that 1st portion of the day.

I usually do the packing at the end of the day because I like loading the car as I check items off the list.

4. Pack a cooler

The last thing I pack for weddings is a cooler. Yes, I do bring a cooler with me, but it stays in the car! I bring lots of water bottles, a diet coke for a quick pick me up when needed and sometimes a yogurt, just in case I need something extra to eat!

I also pack a few snacks for the car in addition to the protein bars I carry in my camera bag. This is a habit I started last year when I was shooting weddings while still nursing so I needed to keep myself hydrated and packed with calories. And since I noticed how well my body reacted after last years’ weddings, I’m doing it again!!! And let me tell you, it makes a huge difference in how I feel on the next day!

5. A pair of extra shoes.

Last but not least, I make sure I pack a pair of extra shoes.  I have always liked the idea of changing shoes before the reception starts.  It allows my feet to breathe and changes the pressure points on my feet which consequently helps my back.

Last year I found one more reason to bring that extra pair of shoes…  I was working as an assistant and since I was not shooting I thought “well, I don’t need that extra pair”. Friends, luckily it was a local wedding… Right before the ceremony started my boots broke. My riding boot completely detached from its sole. I was soooo embarrassed! I called my husband who had to come and save the day by bringing me that extra pair of shoes. So never again!!! I now make sure I always have something extra, just in case!

I hope this helps you, friends! And to help you even further, I’m making my checklist available for you!!! You can grab the free download –> here <–

You may also enjoy reading what’s in my camera bag and how I use my gear on wedding days.

Have a wonderful wedding season!!!



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