How to achieve gorgeous getting ready photos on your wedding day

For Brides

February 20, 2018

How to achieve gorgeous getting ready photos on your wedding day


How to get gorgeous getting ready photos


I love photographing the morning part of the wedding day.  Everyone is bustling around and getting ready, hair and makeup are being done, laughs are being had and it is such a joyful experience to see everyone getting ready for the wedding.  I know the guys are with Scott and always are playing cards, hanging out watching tv or just relaxing.  The girl’s room always has more activity happening and I love capturing it!  All of these tips easily apply to the men as well on the wedding day. I will focus just on the girls for now but know that everything can easily be applied to the guys and the guy’s room.


Here are ways to make sure that you have gorgeous getting ready photos!


Plan cushion time –

I always like to plan to have a little bit of cushion time during the getting ready portion of the wedding day.  Cushion time can be as simple as an extra 5-10 minutes planned here and there during the getting ready.  Almost every wedding we have had – something has run late in the getting ready.  It always happens so we just like to plan for it now so we make sure we still have plenty of time for a First Look or separate bridal party pictures if you are not doing a First Look.  It is always better to have a couple minutes to freshen up before the ceremony then running to the ceremony.  If you ever have questions about how much cushion time to plan or what parts of the day can benefit from it let me know and it I can help!


Large room –

A large room for getting ready in is always the best.  If you think about it – there will be anywhere from 4 – 10+ people in the room at once… getting ready.  That is a lot of people in a tiny room!  Especially when you add in your vendors ( makeup artist, hair stylist, me, your videographer – that is 4 extra people right there not including your bridesmaids and any moms in the room ).   Ideally, you want to have a large enough space that everyone can move around comfortably. We have photographed in all sorts of shapes and sizes for getting ready rooms and by far my favorites are the larger ones since usually, that means that I can get lots of different angles of the getting ready portion, do all the detail shots in the room, and there is room to breathe.  If you are planning on getting ready in a hotel room – opt for a suite since that will give you more space or if there is another room close by that is cleaned up then we might actually pop over there to put your dress on since it is cleaned up.


Natural Light  – 

It is always best to have as much natural light as possible.  You do not need a whole wall of windows ( but if you have it, we will take it! ) just one good window is all the light we need to make sure that the images are well lit and have a beautiful and soft feel to them. I know some churches put brides and bridesmaids in little rooms to get ready – so if that is the plan – I highly suggest getting ready at another location that has better natural light and heading to the church right before the ceremony.    This ensures you have gorgeous pictures that are surrounding by lime green walls with only overhead tungsten lights.


Clean up a little –

I always look at the getting ready room and pick out a good spot for the bride to put her dress on.  I am looking for a clean background with natural light and minimal distractions so the focus can be just on the bride and her dress.  If there are a couple bridesmaids available then I will ask them to help tidy up the little space.  Usually, it is just moving a couple bags out of the way, extra coffee cups, shoes, etc.  We do not need to clean the entire room at all – just a little space that you will be putting your dress on.


Have everyone who will help you already in their dress – 

This is a time that we actually put in the timeline so that all the bridesmaids and moms know when to be ready.  The general idea is that anyone who is going to be helping you put your dress on or hanging out with us while you put the dress on ( and who could possibly be in the photos ) to already have their dress on.  We want this because that means that everyone will be in their beautiful bridesmaid’s gowns and the wedding colors will be shown.  It provides a gorgeous background and ties the photos to the rest of the wedding day.  Their dressy attire matches the dressy attire of your wedding gown  versus one of the girls helping in their yoga pants and work-out shirt ( even though that is super comfy for the early portions of the getting ready!)


Those are my 5 tips for having a great getting ready experience and gorgeous photos.  With just a little bit of prep and planning, you will set yourself up for an easy getting ready portion of the wedding day that is super stress-free.  You will be able to just enjoy the process of getting ready and hanging out with your girls!


Here are a couple pictures from various weddings!


Just in case you were wondering we do photograph everyone relaxing and enjoying the getting ready portion of the day!



I am an Ohio based photographer who loves photographing weddings and engagements, traveling to beautiful sandy beaches, running after our adorable son Wyatt and border collie Bentley. A chips and salsa freak. Lover of  coconut smelling lotions - candles - tea  - desserts and... well anything that smells coconuty, and finally warm summer nights on our patio!  Come hang out with me on Instagram and Facebook!

With Love,




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