Expert Advice for the Morning of Your Wedding

Written by Anna Winkworth
The wedding morning is a special time for any bride; so we thought we’d bestow a few of our best tips about making the most of it.

The team of experts offering you advice hosted a photoshoot earlier this year with one of our very own team members as the beautiful model, Jess. Carla Whittingham, now a married women herself, was behind the camera offering comfort and settling the nerves for Jess who was camera facing!

Thicket Priory is an exclusive use venue in the heart of the North Yorkshire Countryside, and the perfect location for a weekend wedding, or a two-day midweek wedding; so that you can enjoy an extended celebration with your friends and family. We aim to ensure that the morning of your wedding you feel relaxed and that you have fun!

We have a few things in place to give you an enjoyable, stress-free morning, with the first being the bridal suite itself, known as the Buckingham Suite. It is a spacious, bright and an amazing backdrop for those getting ready photographs. We have two master suites, so we are fully ready for bride & groom, bride & bride and groom & groom!

The master suites have larger windows to allow in natural light, the windows open to allow some fresh air in for those moments you may be feeling a little warm. We have plenty of mirrors and hanging space as often there are lots of bodies sharing the suite to get ready. Make sure you get one of the bridal party to prepare you a ‘morning’ playlist so you can hook up to our Bluetooth speaker and listen to some of your favourite music, this creates a wonderful atmosphere for everyone.

As a bride you are hidden away for the big reveal, therefore you will need to be fed and watered; which is all taken care of and brought to you on our antique French waiters trolly!

The final touch is knowing that you have your very own coordinator, who most likely has become a friend and confident during the planning stages, on hand for anything you may need. From safety pins and steaming dresses, to printing out your vows and even giving you a few gems of wisdom to stay calm and collected. The power stance! Hands on your waist, relax your shoulders and take nice deep breaths! Works like a charm for those emotional moments.

Zoe, Treasured Brides:

The wedding morning is such an important part of your day and one you’ll remember for the rest of your life; a highlight of your special day shared with your very nearest and dearest.

Ideally the night before your big day you’ll be staying where you’ll be getting ready. This night is the perfect time to get everything out and ready for the day ahead. Preparation is key to helping everything run smoothly on the morning itself. Set out all your accessories including veil, underwear, jewellery, shoes, and any sentimental items so you know if you’ve forgotten anything, and you still have time to make arrangements to collect the items.

Your dress itself needs to be taken out of any bag you’ve been storing it in and hung up freely, either in a big wardrobe or a door or if you’re getting married at the amazing Thicket Priory you can hang it on their very special Wedding Dress Hook. Any creases that may be in it should drop overnight. It’s worth checking to see if the venue has a steamer you can use just in case there’s any stubborn creases left (Thicket Priory of course does have one!).  If the venue don’t have one, I’d recommend you buy yourself a portable one to use on the morning and you can even take it on your honeymoon!

On the morning ideally, you’ll be wearing something loose fitting to be glammed up. A lovely, personalised robe to match with your girls is ideal as it won’t leave any strap marks that may be seen with your dress and won’t affect your hair and makeup when you take it off.

Leaving enough time to put your dress on is so important. It really is one thing you don’t want to rush as you’ll get hot, sweaty, and flustered. Allow between 30 – 45 mins to get into your gown. Put your shoes on first then step in the gown and lift it up. This will keep your hair and makeup intact. Make sure someone knows how to do it up.

Top Tip: A crochet needle or fork is ideal for doing tricky buttons up. It may sound a lot, but you’ll be putting your gown on as well as any accessories and jewellery. Your make up will probably be touched up and you’ll likely be having some photos before you leave. You do not want to feel rushed!!

Most importantly enjoy this special time and be prepared for a wonderful day.

Carla, Photographer:

The morning of your wedding is a wonderful time to either take it easy and relax quietly by yourself for a few hours, or to get your side of the wedding party together and kick off the celebrations whilst you prepare for the day ahead.

There are a few points to think about that can really help in not only creating the best preparation images, but your overall enjoyment and flow of the morning too.

  • Light! An enormously important factor, not only for photographers but for hair & makeup artists. Thicket Priory’s Buckingham Suite sets the standard for a stunning bridal suite, spacious and bright with dual aspect windows, the lighting in this room enables photographers to cover the preparations with beautiful natural light spilling through.
  • Keeping it tidy. Spaces used for preparations and getting ready can quickly get untidy with leftover croissants, cups of tea, pyjamas and bags kicking about. Nominate one member of your wedding party to help keep the bedroom free of clutter to ensure the space is kept tidy for your photographs. If possible, have a sort-out the night before, and ask your wedding party to leave their bags in another room.
  • Prep! Prep! Prep! If I had a pound for every label peeled off the bottom of a high heel and hanger loop cut out just as we’re heading out of the door for the ceremony whilst everybody is rushing to get ready… well, you get the gist. Take time during the week leading up to your wedding to ensure that all of the labels, stickers and tags are taken off your clothing. Send the memo to your wedding party too. If there are any important or sentimental details that you would like photographing, make sure that you have collected them all together, and to one side, to be captured on the day.
  • Timings are everything. This is a biggie. Whatever feels like enough time to get into your dress – add some more. Around an hour before the ceremony is ideal. This may sound like a long time, however there may be a wedding party reveal or parent reveal to organise, buttons on dresses can be super fiddly, the final shots of you in your wedding attire are captured before heading to the ceremony, and finally the officiant may need to speak to you around 15 – 20 minutes before the ceremony. Trust me (from somebody who had no choice but to rush on their own wedding day!), you won’t want to be heading out the door feeling rushed and stressed.
  • Above all… enjoy! Smiles on a wedding day should be natural because of how much fun you are having!

Sonia, Hair & Make-Up Artist:

To help the hair and make-up part of the morning run smoothly, good preparation is again vital!

Every stylist is different, but for me I like the wedding party to wash and smoothly blow-dry their hair the night before, so it is clean but not super slippery! I like skin to be cleansed, toned, and moisturised and lip balm applied first thing in the morning to get the best results from the make-up application. I like hair to be thoroughly brushed on the morning to avoid wasting time trying to get out knots, especially on long thick hair.

Bridesmaids should research hair and make-up ideas on the lead up to the wedding so they have a very clear idea of what they would like and some photos to show the stylist to keep things running in time.

Hair and make-up generally need to start early in the morning so be sure to try to get some rest and beauty sleep the night before!


Venue Thicket Priory

Photographer Carla Whittingham Photography

Bridal Boutique Treasured Brides

Hair + Makeup Sonia Schofield

With thanks to real brides featured: 

Mrs Wheatley – Est. 14th October 2020

Mrs Honeyman – Est. 1st September 2021

Mrs Waite – Est. 30th April 2021

Mrs Hart – Est. 16th November 2021

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