5 Tips For Better Getting Ready Photos

Getting ready photos are some of my personal favorite photos of the whole wedding day!

A Special Part of a Special Day

I think I love them so much because it's such an intimate, emotional time. You are with some of the people you care about most, preparing for one of the most special moments of your life.There is something really beautiful about the excitement, joy, and anticipation that you experience as you get dressed for your wedding.

I just die when creating luminous photos of brides having their dress laced up, draping a special necklace on, or adding the finishing touches to their beautifully done hair and makeup. They have never felt so fancy or feminine in all their lives as they do in their wedding dress, and it is absolutely radiant!

Crafting a Beautiful Legacy

As I'm shooting, I can't help but envision the brides' granddaughters poring over the images and being struck by their grandmother's beauty and how wonderfully in love she looks! I am sobered by the honor I have to craft the legacy you'll leave for generations to come!

Truly, this special time of the wedding day deserves some special attention. With that in mind, here are 5 tips to help you reduce stress and get the best possible getting ready photos:

1. Leave everything at your venue the night before

Take everything you need to get ready to the ceremony/getting ready location the night before your wedding. Seriously, from your dress to makeup to stationery. Take it there and leave it.

lace edge a bride's wedding dress
lace edge a bride's wedding dress

You'll probably be a little more absent-minded than normal the morning of your wedding. You may not have the presence of mind to remember everything you need when your jittery and excited.

I was on a cloud the morning of my wedding. Locked my keys in my car and set everyone behind a good 45 minutes right from the start! Not everyone is like me, but give yourself a break on your wedding day by thinking ahead in the days leading up to it.

2. Know how long each task will take

bride getting her makeup done on her wedding day
bride getting her makeup done on her wedding day

One of the most common reasons brides run late on their wedding day is because something at the salon takes longer than expected. Schedule a trial run for hair and makeup and make sure the last scheduled bridesmaid has plenty of time to travel and get changed after her appointment and before your dress goes on.

Make sure you time your travel between all your different venues that day (salon, ceremony, and reception site) and add that into your schedule. Some people underestimate their travel time and think that a 20 min gap in the schedule is a lunch break or a chance to tie up loose ends for you. Writing in your travel time will help your friends and family stay on schedule!

3. Find good light (or let us!)

Oftentimes, brides look for a secure place to store their dress the night before their wedding, but don't think about what the room looks like. They don't have time to think about what photos may look like getting ready in a church nursery with cinderblock walls, cartoon character paintings, and tungsten lighting.

bridesmaids getting ready for a wedding on a four poster bed at Hotel Ruby Marie
bridesmaids getting ready for a wedding on a four poster bed at Hotel Ruby Marie

So as you are looking for a place to store your dress, keep in mind that it will make your photos completely breathtaking if you get ready in a location with natural window light. If that is somewhere different from where you are storing your dress, don't worry about it! Stephen and I will have  a location in mind so if you would give us the honor, we would love to guide you to the best place to capture these special moments.

4. Schedule everyone else to be ready before you

When you are getting photographs of you and your closest friends and family helping you into your wedding dress, it's a beautiful time. Things start feeling real as you slip into your dress. The excitement is contagious-your bridesmaids start getting excited and Mom starts tearing up. It's a really beautiful time together. But if your mom and bridesmaids are not dressed yet, they won't feel like being in front of a camera helping you as much. And Mamma isn't going to let ANYONE see her before she's in her full mother-of-the-bride glory.

bride giving her bridesmaids a gift while wearing plum pretty sugar robes
bride giving her bridesmaids a gift while wearing plum pretty sugar robes

So here's the deal: It takes about 30 minutes to get into your dress, hug friends and family, let them ooh and ahh over your bridal beauty, and then take some private bridal portraits. Schedule your girls and mom to be ready 15 minutes earlier than you and communicate the reason to them. They will feel even more special if they realize that you want them dressed early because you want them to be a part of your getting ready time.

5. Give yourself some time alone

Schedule permitting, after you get into your dress and enjoy a few minutes with your mom and bridesmaids, Stephen and I dismiss everyone to capture private bridal portraits for a few minutes. After that, most brides rush to the next event on the schedule. I would encourage you to schedule in just a few moments alone!

These are your last moments as a single person and it's a momentous occasion. You have made the biggest decision of your life, you're throwing the biggest party of your life and you are the fanciest you have ever felt. Don't rush through your day! Plan a few minutes to just be alone, whether it's to just sit and breathe, pray, or read a love note from your groom, you won't regret taking a few minutes to just be. It will help you remember the day so much better.

As you begin planning your wedding day timeline, pinch yourself! Your wedding is almost here if you're at this point! Make time to enjoy it because what everyone says is totally true: It flies by! Embrace it, take your time, and savor the memories you are making!