If you’re getting ready at a hotel, lodge or resort, consider booking two nights so you can relax more and so you don’t have to move all your belongings back and forth. When you try to decide what room to get ready in, look for a large or spacious suite with lots of windows. Getting ready photos are always better if the background is clean and simple. Large windows are ALWAYS a plus. We love that natural light! Even if you are not in a hotel, the same idea applies. Big spaces (to fit you, your favorite people, some family members, hair and makeup stylists, dresses and us) with neutral colors with big windows are ideal! Some bridal suites at venues are TINY and really dark so you might want to check it out in person before you plan on getting ready there with all your favorite people.
The trick to getting great shots is to keep the space tidy (ask everyone to help by keeping bags on one side of the room). No one likes having to clean it all up later anyway! And, not having your space tidy can actually be hazardous – we’ve seen people almost go down because they are tripping over bags they have to jump over! A clean and tidy environment is also way less stressful!
Getting Ready & Prep
After we’ve photographed all the details, you will hopefully be done with your hair and makeup. Remember to ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS schedule more time than you think for this part of the day. It is way better to start early in the day and make sure everyone is ready then to stress for any reason. We won’t start to photograph you and your bridesmaids until you are almost ready with your hair and makeup – unless otherwise requested. Most people prefer to have photos of them when they look “more ready” than not. If you and your girls all have cute robes or pajamas, we’ll make sure to photograph you all in those before you all get dressed in your dresses.
Changing into Your Dress
Next, we’ll have your girls all change to their dresses. Make sure your mom and everyone else is fully dressed and ready, especially if they are going to help you get in your dress. Once everyone is dressed, we’ll have you put your dress on. We’ll give you some privacy and won’t start to photograph until you are decent. Then we’ll have your mom or Maid of Honor help you lace, button or zip your dress up before we’ll have your bridesmaids help your do final adjustments. Make sure to use the restroom before you put your dress on!
After this, we might decide to remain in the same spot or we’ll go somewhere else for some portraits with your immediate family (Mom, Dad, and siblings), some of just you, and of course some with your bridesmaids. By taking these portraits before the ceremony, you will have more time after the ceremony to enjoy your reception and your guests.
By the time we are done with these images (or before this – depending on how your day goes), we will also make sure to photograph the groom, his family and his groomsmen. If you are getting ready close to each other, this will make it a lot easier as we won’t have to spend time driving between two different locations. If you are getting ready at different locations, we sometimes prefer to photograph the groom before we come to photograph the bride so that we can stay with you until the ceremony.
Parent/Siblings/Friends First Look
If you want, now is the time to do a first look with your parents, siblings or wedding party. It’s such a sweet and tender moment when they get to see you all dressed up for your wedding day. We’ll pick a place with good lighting and have them stand, facing away from you. Once you are ready you can ask them to turn around and we’ll capture it all. The reactions are always priceless.