How to Plan for Getting Ready Photos

I just recently put together a Wedding Day Guide for my clients, filled with tips I’ve gathered, in hopes of making their experience everything they hope and expect it to be!  I'm going to be sharing those tips on the blog from the beginning to end of the wedding day, from the photography point of view.  I hope you follow along and get the most out of what I've learned!

Just like with any aspect of the wedding day, planning the time when you get ready shouldn't be overlooked.  In my experience, if any part of the day runs late, it is most likely during the getting ready time.  Don't underestimate the time you need here, make sure to pad in an extra 15-30 mins to your timeline than what you'd think.  It's helpful to ask for realistic times from your vendors to make sure everything runs smoothly and your not feeling rushed.

I like to arrive to your getting ready room 2 to 3 hours prior to leaving for your ceremony.  We plan your exact schedule before your wedding, so you know when to advise your stylists and bridal party to be ready by.  I like to start photographing just as the finishing touches of the bride's hair and make-up are being applied. 

TIP:  Schedule your bridesmaid's hair and make-up to be completed before the Bride's.  Preferably she would be the last one in the chair, so everyone who is to be in the photos is ready to go!

Details are part of your story and make your wedding story unique!  One of the first things I do when I arrive is photograph your details.  Gather your dress, shoes, rings, invitations and any other accessories or heirlooms your wearing into one spot before I arrive.  Photographing these items creatively can take 45 mins to an hour, depending on how many items you have.

TIP:  Have your bouquet delivered to your room prior or during the time I'm photographing.  I love to use it together with the details and it's great to have for any bridal or bridesmaid's portraits pre-ceremony.

If you got your girls special robes or shirts to wear while they get their hair and make-up done, plan time to take a few candid photos with them once everyone's hair and make-up is done. 

Photographing the Bride getting into her gown is so classic and one of those traditions that won't go out of style!  While I'm photographing details, I ask all bridesmaid's and family member's to get dressed.  That way everyone is in their pretty dresses, when it comes time to get the Bride into her's.

TIP:  Bride's - don't forget to smile during this time!  Also, remember to place your hands either to your side or resting on your waist, these positions make for the loveliest photos.

Once the Bride is dressed, some of my favorite moments are those of her putting on her shoes or earrings.  It's great to save putting on your accessories until after you have your dress on, so we capture the entire look!

Many time's the Bride and Groom exchange gifts with each other or with their parents.  I love capturing these moments once your fully dressed.  It's an emotional moment and a sweet thing to see before the ceremony.

TIP:  Don't forget to include this in your timeline!  It can take 5-10 mins to soak in this moment and touch up your make-up if you need to :)

In my next post, I'll be listing everything you should set aside for photographing details!