10 Tips for Great Getting-Ready Wedding Day Photos

The Morning of Your Wedding Day

Most brides will say that getting ready with their girls was one of the most memorable parts of the entire wedding day. On the morning of, there’s nothing more fun than sipping champagne, primping, and having quality time before the day begins. To make this time is even more special, you’ll want to ensure that you’re getting ready in a way you’d want captured. Here are my top 10 tips to ensure you will have beautiful getting-ready photos from the morning of your wedding.

#1 Picking the location

Location- Picking the perfect location to get ready at can seem like a large task, but this space will ensure beautiful photos to start your wedding day right. You will want to make sure the space or suite is large! You will be spending a significant portion of your morning getting ready and taking bridal portraits in this space. This space needs to be large enough for you, all your bridesmaids, friends, moms, hair, make-up, vendors and me.

Natural light– Natural light assures that your hair and make up will photograph their best and give all your photos that beautiful light and airy feel. Keep in mind that if your getting ready space is dark, cluttered or the church nursery your wedding photos will suffer.

*TIP*- If you fell in LOVE with your venue and it does not have a beautiful getting ready space, we can do many of these same photos outside. You will have much more of a consistent wedding gallery that flows beautifully together.

#2 Gather your details

Have all your wedding day details gathered together in one spot so when I get there I can start photographing all your pretty things right away. Things that you will want to include with your wedding details are listed below.

  1. Invitation suite with envelope
  2. Rings
  3. Jewelry
  4. Shoes
  5. Perfume
  6. Veil or hair piece
  7. Dress Hanger

#3 Flowers

If possible have your bouquets and boutonnieres at your getting ready location. This way you are always ready for any photo opportunity and there is no mix up later when we need them. Request a small amount of loose blooms from your florist that are specifically for me to use. I use loose blooms for styling photos of things like your invitation suite. I always give florist unlimited access to beautiful photos in return. If your florist is unwilling to provide a few loose blooms let me know and I would be happy to pick some up that morning.

#4 What to Wear

Robes, matching shirts, monogramed shorts etc. Matching outfits always make for such cute personal touches to your getting ready photo gallery. This is always a sweet time for photos with your bridesmaids before they change into their dresses. ALWAYS have your bridesmaids dressed before you get into your wedding gown. If that is not possible I suggest who ever is helping you get into your dress should try to at least be formally dressed.

#5 Hair and Makeup

Make a schedule and know when it is your turn to hop in the makeup chair. DO NOT GO LAST! Hair and make up is never exactly on time. If hair and make up are running behind I suggest cutting in front of a bridesmaid and making sure you are on time. The bridesmaids can always continue to get ready when you are on your way to your first look. Makeup shots are some of my favorites and we will be sure to capture those final touches!

#6 Keep the Space Clean

We all know the bridal suite can be a hot mess on the wedding day. By dedicating a few bridesmaids to clean up before the photographer arrives saves so much time and stress right from the start. You will have more opportunities for beautiful photos and your photographer won’t look like the bad guy asking everyone to clean up the room as soon as they arrive. A clean space allows for beautiful getting ready photos!

#7 Pop the Champagne

Don’t forget to eat…no really! Pop some champagne, grab some food and enjoy this time with your closest friends. Make sure to have plenty of snacks, waters and food for all your closest friends. It will be several hours before you are sitting down to dinner at the reception.

#8 The Groom

Make sure to share with me before the wedding day where the groom will be getting ready. I will pop into his room for about 15 minutes and capture him getting into his suite and opening gifts. If his room is not photo ready I will take him out into the hall or outside the building to find a clean, simple backdrop.

#9 Exchanging Gifts

Make sure if you are exchanging gifts with your fiancé or bridesmaids you wait for me to document the moment. You will want to remember those beautiful tears you cried opening those gorgeous new earrings.

#10 Getting into the Dress

This is when things start to feel real! Getting into your dress is such a special moment. I typically have you stand in front of a window with a clean room behind you. Once in your dress we will do a few photos putting on your jewelry, shoes and having a sweet moment with those around you. Getting into the dress should be a relaxed (not rushed) experience. Planning a few extra minutes for bridal portraits in the hotel is a great way to capture those moments of anticipation and excitement before the wedding.