On the morning of a wedding day, there’s nothing better than a tasty brunch and quality time with your best friends. As everyone gathers to get ready for the festivities, joyful memories are made that you’ll cherish forever! And if photography is important to you, then you’ll want to make sure that your getting ready in a way that photographs beautifully and timelessly.
How to make this happen is entirely up to you! However, I’ve pulled together some helpful tips as a wedding photographer to create authentic images…that are also styled to perfection. From coordinating cute pajama sets for your bridesmaids to steaming dresses ahead of time to finding the perfect lighting, these pointers will help you achieve album-worthy images!
Chances are, you’ll have quite a few people in your getting ready room! Your bridesmaids, hair and makeup team, parents, photographers, videographers, and coordinators will all be close by to make sure you have what you need. That can add up! So, it’s important to find a space that can accommodate everyone. For photographers, it helps if we have the space we need to be able to find the right light and angles. If you get ready at a hotel, try to book a suite. Or if one isn’t available, split the fun into two adjoining rooms. This also helps keep the calm and avoid overwhelm!
I’ve walked into many hotel rooms. And I can confidently say that a lot of them aren’t styled for weddings! Before booking, make sure that the room has clean walls (i.e. little art) and neutral tones. Carpets and draping should be light and airy (whites, creams, grays). Avoid rooms that have dark carpets and lots of wood.
Natural light is so important for photos! Having access to a large window, or several, allows me to photograph your getting ready images in a cohesive way with the rest of the day. Even more, it’s important for your hair and makeup team to be able to work in natural light, as well. If you are getting ready in a hotter month, please make sure the room has working air conditioning. This has nothing to do with lighting, but it will do wonders for your happiness!
How you do this is entirely up to you! Asking your wedding party to dress in similar outfits is a great way to blend in your wedding colors and style at the beginning of the day. Most of my couples do this by gifting a personalized shirt, pajama set or robe to wear while getting ready. No matter what you choose for your wedding party to wear, it’s important to remember that this time together will be highly photographed. After all, these moments are ones that we want to hold onto! It’s important that everyone feels great and looks amazing before I arrive at the beginning of the day!
*Quick tip: Ask your wedding party to remove any hair elastics before capturing fun getting ready images! It’s a small detail, but they’re hard to remove from photos once they’re captured.
By removing empty water bottles, trash and leftover brunch plates and napkins, you’ll instantly elevate the space you’re in! There’s nothing more frustrating than looking back at a beautiful image of you and your MOH, only to find an open trash bag in the background. I do my best to clear any space before capturing these images, however, sometimes I end up spending valuable time cleaning before I pick up my camera. To get the most out of this time, throw away trash, put away extra clothes and hide suitcases and other travel items you don’t need. This gives me more time to capture the photos you love!
I swear by this motto when it comes to who is invited to the getting ready suite. Try to keep your numbers down while you prep! This helps alleviate any drama, stress or overwhelm, which is so important on your wedding day! Add to this a little light music, some champagne and mimosas, and you’re in for the perfect start to a perfect day.
Capturing the groom and groomsmen isn’t nearly as involved as the girls, however, there are a few tips I love to give! Before I arrive, I ask for the groomsmen to be fully dressed, and my groom to be in his pants and shirt. This allows me to capture his details (shoes, cufflinks, watch, tie) before he puts them on. Then I capture him as he puts on his shoes, tie and my favorite image, as his best man helps him with his jacket.
*Quick tip: Gentleman, please remove everything from your pockets! Keys, phone, wallets…all of these items look very unflattering. If necessary, place your wallet in your back pocket. Your phone can go in your jacket pocket where it’s better hidden!