The getting ready part of your wedding helps set the tone for your entire wedding day. It’s filled with laughs, champagne, and pumped up jams. It’s also filled with beautiful getting ready photos. But beautiful getting ready photos don’t just magically happen. Without the proper planning and preparation, getting ready photos can look dark, moody, and cramped. So, what can you do to make sure you get the best getting ready photos on your wedding day?
Here are 10 simple tips that, if followed, will help you get the best wedding getting ready photos.
Bride and maid of honor gets the bride into her dress in a clean, tidy getting ready space which gives her the best wedding getting ready photos.
The more space you have in your getting ready location, the more you and your wedding party will be able to relax and spread out. The smaller the space, the more cramped and chaotic the morning will feel.
When you have ample space to get ready in, your photo backgrounds are less likely to be full of clutter. And that equals better, less distracting wedding day getting ready photos.
There’s nothing worse than taking beautifully posed photos of you getting into your dress and having what looks like dirty laundry in the background. If you don’t have enough room for your wedding party to comfortably move around and get dressed in, your getting ready photos won’t look nearly as clean or as polished as they could.
Do yourself a solid and either book a hotel suite or a roomy Airbnb.
Even if your wedding venue has a getting-ready space, it may not be large enough for your wedding party. Consider that and my next tip in your planning.
No matter how large your getting ready space is, make sure to keep your space clean! Trash and laundry in the background of your getting ready photos is not only unsightly, it’s super distracting. Throw out all trash, move laundry to a room you won’t be using, and remove any items from the space that “don’t make sense” in the “getting ready” scene.
When I think of wedding day getting ready photos, I imagine soft, beautiful, clean light. Those kinds of romantic images are only possible if you have natural light in your getting-ready space. Natural light not only looks dreamy, it allows me to honor your and your wedding party’s skin tones. Tungston light often makes people look either dead or like orange oompa loompas.
So, before you book your getting-ready location, make sure it has windows, preferably large ones. A space without windows should nixed immediately. The more windows, the better.
What if you’ve already booked a space without windows? Look around the venue for a spot with access to clean natural light.
By now you know I’m a fan of clean, neutral colors especially when it comes to the background of my photographs. So this tip should come as no surprise. Pay attention to the wall color of your getting-ready room.
Are the walls particularly dark? Are there distracting elements on them? Are the walls bright and bounce light easily?
These are questions you want to ask yourself. Ideally, the walls will be neutral in their color, with few distractions, that bounce natural light off well.
Help your photographer by gathering all of your wedding detail items together in one place before they arrive to take photographs. Put them in an easy to carry box that they can move to wherever the best light is. Items may include two sets of your invitation suite, all three rings, shoes, wedding dress, veil, and jewelry.
Remove any and all tags from dresses and suits and hang them up on hangers before your photographer arrives. Please also steam your bridal veil (if you have one) as well as your bridal dress and all of the bridesmaid dresses incase they have wrinkles in them.
Gathering your detail items and steaming your attire ahead of time means your photographer won’t need to waste precious shooting time hunting down your items.
Tip: If you haven’t put your details in an easy to carry box ahead of time, have your Personal Attendant do this as soon as you both arrive at your getting-ready location.
Want fun photos with your girls in your matching robes or pjs? Or perhaps you want a photo of your party popping champagne bottles? These staged wedding day getting ready photos take time and we have to account for that time in our photography timeline.
If you want to take these wedding getting ready photos, let your photographer know a month or more before your wedding. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT spring these photos on your photographer at the last minute. If you do, don’t be surprised or disappointed when they say no. Not because they don’t want to, but rather, because there isn’t time to take them or because someone isn’t done with hair and makeup.
And that leads me to my next tip…
This topic was recently brought up in a wedding industry Facebook group that I’m in.
A local makeup artist said that she and other artists are often running into the situation of miscommunication about when their clients need to be photo ready. She said they deal with surprise bridesmaid dress reveals, last minute timeline alterations, and overall miscommunication about the time they need to have everyone ready.
I feel for hair and makeup artists on this! Their work takes time. That’s why it’s imperative that you communicate your photographer’s “photo ready” time with your hair and makeup team. It is not the responsibility of the photographer to do this. We are all members of the same team and if one of us is left out of the loop, the whole team (and our work) suffers.
Help your vendor team help you and communicate your timeline needs to everyone.
Unless you specifically want your wedding party to be in their robes or pjs as they get you into your dress or tux, they should be completely dressed in their wedding attire before you get dressed.
Your wedding day getting ready photos will look more polished and put together with everyone fully dressed as they help you into your dress or tux. This is one more reason why it’s important to communicate your timeline to your hair and makeup team.
As a photographer, I know how much time I need to photograph your getting-ready portion of the day excellently.
I know that I need at least an hour for wedding detail photos. I know issues can arise when a bride gets into her dress. I also know that couples forget to schedule time to eat and we have to take time away from their first look in order to eat a sandwich.
Because I’m the expert at what I do, I know first hand that the getting-ready part of your day take time and sometimes takes more time than what you think. That’s why it’s important to have plenty of fluff time built into your wedding photography timeline.
If you’re making your own timeline, do yourself a favor and ask your photographer how much time they need for the getting-ready part of your day. And if your photographer is creating your photography timeline for you, let them dictate you how much time they need and don’t fight them on it.
Your photographer is an expert and you’ve hired them to do a job. Let her do her job! Trust her when she asks you to do something. It may not make sense to you but that’s ok. You can trust that her requests are for the betterment of your photographs.
How do we even start to say thank you for all the work and effort you put into our wedding day?
- Josie and Scott
Lauren played such a meaningful role in our wedding, capturing the day in photos that we'll look back on for the rest of our lives. She kept Scott and me calm and sane - Lauren is a miracle worker! She put in 100% effort and gave us her very best, and that means so much to me. Seeing our photographs makes me so excited and so happy that Lauren was with us on this journey.
Lauren made the process so easy and made us feel so comfortable!
- Amy and Luke
We just wanted to say thank you again so much for your amazing work. You were seriously incredible to work with and we loved the locations you suggested for both our engagement shoot and the spots in Stillwater. We were very worried about getting professional photos done since we had never done it before, but you made the process so easy and made us feel so comfortable. Thank you!
Working with Lauren was easy breezy and FUN! She gave us our most treasured photos ever!
- GRACE AND NICK
There was a chunk of time in our wedding planning when we thought we'd go without a professional photographer to save on cost (terrible idea!) but once we met with Lauren, we knew we'd be in good hands. She checked in often and asked questions that got us thinking about other parts of the wedding that we probably would've missed. Lauren captured exactly who we are as a couple!
Lauren's enthusiasm and passion make the photo-taking process so fun – she made me feel like a star!
- Alisa AND Adam
Lauren and her team are so much fun to work with! She made us feel so comfortable on the day of our wedding, providing both silly and helpful cues to help us relax and be ourselves in our photos. Lauren’s background in dance is super helpful in recognizing simple posture changes that make a big difference, too. Oh, and the photos we got are just stunning!
Lauren was pivotal in making our wedding day perfect!
- Emma AND Erik
My husband and I looked FOR MONTHS to find the perfect photographer and after meeting Lauren we knew was the best fit for us. She made our day so much fun and easy. She found little opportunities to make the perfect photo all with a calm ease that comes from someone who has an artistic eye along with experience in understanding the flow of a wedding.
Not only is Lauren an amazing human being, but she is an awesome photographer!
- Haley AND Erick
I've been in several weddings and have worked with a multitude of photographers and I never felt as confident as I did with Lauren. I love how professional she is. She helped with the timeline way in advance and we stuck to that timeline the day of. She was also able to professionally and firmly keep unruly family members settled and focused and navigated family drama beautifully!