I'm Tori, a portrait and wedding photographer based in central New Jersey. Thank you for visiting my little corner of the internet; I'm so happy you're here. Come check out the full galleries from recent weddings and portrait sessions, behind the scenes, personal posts, helpful tips and more. Please feel free to take a look, and let me know if there is anything special you'd love to see in a future post. I hope to hear from you soon!

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January 11, 2019

Wedding Day Preparation Tips for Grooms

Wedding Day Preparation Tips For Groom Groomsmen NJ New Jersey Wedding Photographer

Alright gents, let me tell ya something – this whole wedding thing is not all about your bride! It truly is equally meant for both of you, whether you’ve been super involved in choosing the linen colors or floral arrangements or just supporting your love while she plans the day of her dreams for you two and your loved ones! I find myself giving tons of helpful tips and information for my brides, but I want your wedding day to be as stress-free and seamless as possible for the both of you! So, here are a bunch of tips to help you prepare for the day you say, “I do!”

Wedding Day Preparation Tips For Groom Groomsmen NJ New Jersey Wedding Photographer

You might think all of those pretty getting ready photos are for the ladies, but nope – great light is needed for great photos. I know all of the camera mumbo jumbo isn’t very interesting, but if you remember one thing about photography, let it be that photography is light. This will have a huge influence on the quality of your images (and video)! Your morning preparation photos will be some of your favorites because of all the amazing moments you get to share with your buddies, especially if you can find a room with big windows, doors, and lots of space!

Often, the brides location is super planned and refined, but the groom sometimes ends up in a crappy hotel room with ugly light and an outdated style. If you’re thinking that you only have the local hotel or your parents house to get ready in, think again! Local Airbnb listings can make for the perfect and unique spots to get ready in. They’re often decorated really cool and minimally, which is perfect for an uncluttered image! Another perk is that there is usually more than one room, so you can store all of the bags and messy things in one room (maybe a room with bleh light? yeah, good idea), while we take photos in another! There are so many options on Airbnb, you can probably find a place that fits the style, theme, and colors of your wedding day, too!

If you can control it, choosing a location that is nearby to your ceremony and reception locations (or even better, having everything all at one venue) is super helpful to an efficient timeline. It reduces travel time and eliminates the chances of traffic or any hold ups from place to place. Mainly, choose a getting ready location that is close enough, so that we can stay on track and fit in all the amazing photos during the day!

Wedding Day Preparation Tips For Groom Groomsmen NJ New Jersey Wedding Photographer

Find some time to be alone. Just you. You’ll quickly find that a wedding day can get a bit hectic once it gets going, from hopping from one place to the next to stopping to hug and catch up with your out-of-town relatives! You might find that the only alone time you get is if you have to make a quick bathroom run. If you can take some time early in the morning just for yourself to relax, breathe, and prepare, it will bring a calmness over you that will set you on the right foot for the day. It will be a much better start than rushing to get ready right as you pop out of bed. Plan for additional time!

Wedding Day Preparation Tips For Groom Groomsmen NJ New Jersey Wedding Photographer

Sleep, sleep, sleep! I HIGHLY recommend taking the day before very easy and low key. I definitely do not recommend having your bachelor party or any wild night the night before you say “I do!” You just don’t want to risk anything going wrong (seriously, what if you fall and break your ankle or get a black eye somehow?! Is that too extreme? Maybe I’m paranoid, but just be super, extra careful!) Make sure to get PLENTY of sleep the night before. You may be nervous and feel like you can’t sleep, but try your best to knock out a little earlier than usual, so you can be well rested for the big day!

A tip that came right from my dad is to schedule a full-body massage the day before. This will help you relax, unwind, and feel amazing for the long day ahead. Just like taking some time to yourself the morning of, you can take time for yourself (or a couples massage?) the day before! Prioritize relaxation way in advance to allow yourself to decompress and eliminate as much stress as possible!

Wedding Day Preparation Tips For Groom Groomsmen NJ New Jersey Wedding Photographer

I will make sure to remind you of this beforehand, but I want my second photographer to be able to come in and say hello, and then immediately be able to grab your details box or bag and start shooting right away! I don’t want you to have to search around for any stray details and take you away from just enjoying your morning! For my second photographer to be able to do this, you’ll have to prepare a box or bag AHEAD OF TIME of all the details you want to be photographed. This should not be something you do 10 minutes before the photographer arrives, but rather the day before or way in advance, so nothing goes missing! Here are some ideas of details to prepare, but please feel free to throw in anything you want documented: tie, shoes, socks, cufflinks, watch, cologne, boutonniere, belt/suspenders, letters/gifts, and any other details you can think of! All of those flat lay images that you see at the beginning of my blog posts happen right then, so we need all of the details to make it happen!

You might notice that I DO NOT have wedding rings or invitation suite in your list of details! That is because all rings should be with the bride in the morning, as I will be photographing those with the bridal details! So, PLEASE make sure your ring is with your sweet bride, so we don’t have to go chasing your best man down to find it for me!

Wedding Day Preparation Tips For Groom Groomsmen NJ New Jersey Wedding Photographer

This might sound really silly, because you’ve likely been smiling for 20+ years now, but it can’t hurt to check out your smile in the mirror. The photos you’re going to take on your wedding day are going to be hung in your home forever, and will last for generations to come. I want to make sure you love how you look and that the images highlight your best self. Learn which angles you prefer to tilt your head or if you like a closed or open mouth smile. Remember you can change it up in the photos, so some can be a big cheesy grin while others are a little more GQ model-esque! Blow up your cheeks like a puffer fish a few times to stretch them out, as you’ll be doing A LOT of smiling.

Wedding Day Preparation Tips For Groom Groomsmen NJ New Jersey Wedding Photographer

This one is CRAZY important! Do not forget to eat!! Even if you’re getting a little nervous and it seems hard to eat, please try to snack on some healthy, filling foods during the few hours you have in the morning. This will be a long day, so you want to make sure you can stand through your ceremony and party hard at the reception. Make sure to have some bagels, sandwiches or snacks out for your bridal party, as well! They are working hard and going to be on their feet a lot of the day, as well, so we don’t need anyone fainting! Oh, and LOTS of water to intersperse between those beers, so you’re still kickin’ by cocktail hour ;)!

Wedding Day Preparation Tips For Groom Groomsmen NJ New Jersey Wedding Photographer

Talking about food and drinks – it’s definitely part of the wedding morning vibe to drink with your buddies, so please, have fun with them! However, stay in control and do not over drink before your ceremony. Seriously, the last thing you want is to be feeling nauseous during one of the most important moments of your and your fiancé’s lives. Also, have a chat with your fiancé before the big day to see what matters to her. Trust me, I’ve seen a bride’s entire day ruined because her fiancé had a bit too much to drink in the morning and she could smell it on his breath. You want to make sure to have a great time, but please be responsible. Stay hydrated and drink lots of water, so you can pace yourself. It’s going to be a long night of partying, so maybe save those shots for cocktail hour!

Wedding Day Preparation Tips For Groom Groomsmen NJ New Jersey Wedding Photographer

Stick to the plan! I will be helping you make your wedding day timeline that is broken down by the minute, so there is a solid plan for every aspect of your big day! What that means is if anything doesn’t go according to the timeline, we risk throwing the entire day off. If you want to throw something in there, please let your photographer know WAAAY in advance (for example: time to play corn hole in the morning, smoke some cigars together during cocktail hour, or taking a group shot at the bar with your college buddies) so we can factor that in at a time where it won’t throw the whole timeline off if you go missing for 10 minutes!

Since there is a plan, be aware of it! READ the timeline FULLY and understand where and where you need to be everywhere during the day! Yes, things get hectic and you may not remember the exact minute you need to be putting your boutonniere on (don’t worry, we will keep you on track), but please make sure your wedding day isn’t the first time you’re looking at the timeline! Be aware of all the events happening on your day!

Going off of that, let ALL of your groomsmen know the timeline. SEND it to them. Tell them to review it. Go over it at your last get together before the wedding day! There may be times where we need the entire bridal party, and if your brother is missing, it can really hold us up!

Wedding Day Preparation Tips For Groom Groomsmen NJ New Jersey Wedding Photographer

Same as the bridal party, please also let ALL family members who will be in photographs know exactly where and when they need to be in certain places. Make sure they come dressed and ready to go. If family photos are starting and your uncle is in the bathroom, he risks missing the photos as we only get a certain amount of time to capture all of these important pictures!! Keep everyone in the loop! Send them a copy of the part of the timeline they need to know about in the mail and tell them to arrive early, email it to them, or text them a screenshot to have on their phones. Maybe this means making sure your father is present during the getting ready portion of the day to help you put your boutonniere on or your mother coming in to do a first look with you before you head out. Whatever you need to do to make sure all of your people can be present and part of all of the special moments you want them to be in!

Let your bridal party in on the photography end of this whole day! Share your photographer’s website or Instagram with them, so they are excited for all of the pictures you want them to be a part of. It feels more like hanging out with old friends when everyone knows your photographer’s style and personality from their social media!

Wedding Day Preparation Tips For Groom Groomsmen NJ New Jersey Wedding Photographer

Practice everything – this means knowing exactly how to tie your tie or bowtie BEFORE the morning of your wedding! It can take up SO much time if we have to pull up a Youtube video with all of the guys to teach everyone how to make the perfect tie knot. Make sure everyone knows how to do this beforehand. Same goes for your boutonnieres! Please make sure to learn how to do this in advance – it’s not all that easy and we usually always have to call mom in to have her put everyone’s on!

Make all of your decisions in advance! I recommend knowing EXACTLY what details you want to wear on your wedding day and exactly how you want to wear them. So, if you’re wearing a tie, know the exact length you want the tie to be at so you’re not retying it 100 times. Decide between a belt or suspenders, since they are both doing the same thing – don’t leave the decision up to your buddies that morning! Know the socks you’ll be wearing, the cufflinks you want, and how much facial hair you’ll have! Seriously it sounds so silly, but if you can make these choices in advance, you won’t even have to think about it when you’re getting ready. It’ll all be set out and ready to go!

Wedding Day Preparation Tips For Groom Groomsmen NJ New Jersey Wedding Photographer

Make sure your suit and all of your groomsmen’s suits are all pressed in advance BEFORE the wedding day. Keep your clothing hung up to avoid any wrinkles.

Wedding Day Preparation Tips For Groom Groomsmen NJ New Jersey Wedding Photographer

When you’re deciding on your final attire, make sure to add your own flare and do it your way! If consistency matters to you and your fiancé, make sure all of your groomsmen match whatever you’ve chosen. If you want some photos with sunglasses, make sure all of the guys have their glasses on them for portraits. If you want everyone in funny socks, make sure they all have a pair approved by you and are wearing them during portraits. If they should have matching chubby shorts at the reception (yep – for real!), have them all prepped in advance so everyone can be matching. This goes for any details like cufflinks, shoes, ties, and so on. REMIND them – sometimes these little details can get missed or slip people’s minds, so make sure you’re taking the time to decide on what kind of fun flare you want to add and that everyone is on board. Make sure to try everything on before the day of and get it approved by your most fashionable friend or mother!

Wedding Day Preparation Tips For Groom Groomsmen NJ New Jersey Wedding Photographer

Let’s talk groom self-care! I know you probably are a pro at shaving by now, but this time, there are going to be photos to document your skills! Think about how your skin reacts when you shave – do you often get little nicks around your neck, does your skin get a little red and blotchy, do you get some breakouts? KNOW this, and prepare for it. If you often have little nicks, bring a styptic nick relief pencil to stop the bleeding. Red and blotchy? Maybe shave the day before to let your skin relax. A pimple or scabs from the cuts? Don’t be embarrassed to find some cover-up that matches your skin so you can hide any redness or scabbing. As little as it may seem, it can actually hold up your photos being delivered sooner, as the photographer will have to retouch each image to make your skin look more flawless! Try to be proactive here and learn about what products you can use to hide anything (maybe seek out a professionals help to make sure the color matches your skin)! Also, consider getting shaved by a professional instead of doing it yourself!

Other grooming tips – the hair on your head and cheeks aren’t the only places to be aware of. Trim those nose hairs, ear hairs, and any other hairs you think may be seen. Yes, there is a chance that a close up photo of you kissing your bride will be close enough to show your ear hairs – crazy right?! Clip those nails and file them nicely so there are no sharp edges, because those hands have rings on them and rings get photographed! 🙂 Lots to think about, so don’t wait until the last minute. Have a plan in place!

Wedding Day Preparation Tips For Groom Groomsmen NJ New Jersey Wedding Photographer

Travel light! Try to keep your phone, wallet, and keys in a bag with someone else or in a secure place instead of in your pockets! You spent a lot of money on your suit and attire for today, I’m sure you don’t want an outline of your phone in your pocket or to have to deal with continually taking things out of your pocket and putting them back in from spot to spot!

If your furbaby will be joining you for the morning getting ready, I recommended having them cleaned that morning or the day before so they’re less likely to cause any mess. Try to keep their paws clean, so when guests arrive and they get excited, they aren’t getting paw prints on your people! Make sure they go to the bathroom or someone is in charge of them for the day, as you don’t want to be dressed and ready to go and then remember that you need to take Buddy out to poop!

Wedding Day Preparation Tips For Groom Groomsmen NJ New Jersey Wedding Photographer

Emergency kits are KEY. Maybe you want to designate a groomsman to prepare this for your big day, but have someone create a bag or box with the essentials. I always carry one with me, but just in case I haven’t arrived yet, you want to have some items like lint rollers, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste mouthwash/mints, band-aids, razors, shaving cream, baby wipes, safety pins, and the list goes on! You never know when you might even need a hot glue gun or super glue, it’s a lifesaver!

Wedding Day Preparation Tips For Groom Groomsmen NJ New Jersey Wedding Photographer

Go to the bathroom before getting dressed! Sounds so silly and probably won’t be much of an issue if you have to go again, but just in case you’re hurrying and accidentally get water or soap on your suit right before your first look… maybe try to get it done beforehand!

OOH this one is SUPER important!!!!! PLEASE write your vows and cards for your gift to your fiancé BEFORE the morning of your wedding day. Seriously, you have months and months to prepare these sweet words, and your best work won’t come when you’re in a rush. I’ve seen this from both brides and grooms, so please remember to get these down on paper or in a little book way in advance. If we need to be taking photos, but you forgot to copy down the words from your phone to your vow book, we will be thrown off on timing! Notice how I said copying from your phone to paper… yes, please do that! It just looks a little nicer when you’re reading hand-written notes instead of from your phone when you’re up at the altar or holding your phone in a book to pretend that you are. Also, PRACTICE your vows a few times through!

Wedding Day Preparation Tips For Groom Groomsmen NJ New Jersey Wedding Photographer

Do not stress. Talk to your family and friends before the wedding day (maybe at a rehearsal dinner or pre-wedding hang out) and go over the timeline with them. Tell them what you want from them, and let them know that you don’t want to stress on your big day. This means that if they notice the timeline is running over, they do not need to panic. Your vendors know how to keep your day on track and will do everything we can to get you to where you need to be at every moment. It always hurts my heart when I see a sweet, but overly concerned, mother or sister start getting frantic and making the couple antsy over a few-minute delay. You both deserve the most amazing day and nothing less. Nothing can start without either of you!

Wedding Day Preparation Tips For Groom Groomsmen NJ New Jersey Wedding Photographer

Recognize that if something little goes wrong, like a flower falling out of a boutonniere or an incorrect sandwich order arrives for your groomsmen, there is very little that you can do to fix it at that moment, SO try to let the little things go. Enjoy this milestone in your life and realize that all that matters is that you are marrying the absolute love of your life, so the little details won’t matter as much in the long run. My couples value a lifelong marriage over a perfectly flawless wedding day because that is what this whole big thing is all about. Let it go and focus on the happiness and love that you are surrounded by. It’s going to be incredible!

If you loved this post, you may also enjoy:
How to Plan a Stress-Free Wedding Morning!
Allaire State Park Fall Wedding, Wall, NJ | Bryana & Joe



Wedding Day Preparation Tips for Grooms

January 11, 2019

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