Get the best out of getting ready photos before your wedding
Today I would like to talk about how to get the best out of your getting ready photos, while still having a fun and relaxed day that is YOUR day! It’s so easy to get caught up looking at wedding photos on Pinterest or Instagram and you see beautiful light and gorgeous rooms for the bride to get ready in, or stunning portraits in the softest evening light. It can be inspiring, but also a little daunting.
There are things you can do to make the most out of your photos on the wedding day, wherever you choose to get married. I’m not talking about turning your wedding day into a styled photoshoot! Your wedding day should be a reflection of the two of you and what is important to you, the people and the places that you connect with and mean something. These are simply a few helpful things that you might not have considered that can make all the difference for your photos.
In this post, I’m going to concentrate on the morning of the wedding day with the getting ready photos. If you’re looking for other parts of the day head here:
Photographing you two preparing to be married
I love the morning of the wedding day. The nerves, the anticipation, all the hustle and bustle of the morning that is leading towards the most wonderful moment. I love being able to photograph all that. The details, the place and the people. The quiet moments of contemplation, as well as laughter and cheer as the champagne, is opened and shared with your best friends. Even those photos of you with your hair in rollers and no make-up on eating a bacon butty will be ones you will be able to look back on with a giggle.
Who will be there with you whilst you’re getting ready?
The biggest things to think about for the morning preparations where are you getting ready and many people are going to be there? These two things make a huge difference. If you are planning to get ready at a hotel and you have 5 bridesmaids plus hair and makeup artists it doesn’t take long for a room to get very busy, very cluttered and a bit of an assault course. Trying to capture amazing photos in this sort of space is going to be tricky. If you are going to go to a hotel make sure to check out the rooms.
You want the biggest room you can get, preferably with large windows and plenty of natural light. If they don’t have any big rooms then ask if you can have two adjoining rooms for the morning. That way you can have the hair and make-up in one room and then everyone can hang out in the other. Always, always, always try to get a room that has plenty of natural light. Not only is this better for photographs but your hair and make-up artist will thank you too. Make-up artists will always prefer to be able to set up near a big window so they can see what they are doing in natural light.
If you are getting ready at your own home or your parents’ home have a think about which room will be best for space. Again, ideally, find a room that is reasonably spacious, has room to move around and has plenty of natural light.
This is the start of your wedding day story
On the morning of the wedding, one of the first things I do is, to begin with, some of the details that give the starting point of the story of the wedding day. This might be the location, the room you’re in, the photos of your dress, shoes and any other bits you have chosen that have meaning to you on this day. I have found this is a good way to break the ice when everyone is a little nervous about the photographer turning up and having photos with no make-up on. I do really enjoy these detailed photos but to be able to create the kind of images I like, ones that will look beautiful and creative do take space and light (yep…I’m on about light again!)
If you are happy I will sometimes suggest these photos are done outside if there is a good garden or outdoor space. If I do this I make sure to be very, very careful with the dress and shoes and only do it if I know the ground is dry enough! Otherwise, it’s a case of finding somewhere that has plenty of natural light and is not too cluttered. Something else to think about when considering where to get ready. Is there a room or an area that would allow you to hang your dress well, if you want photos of it?
After the make-up and hair is done and the champagne has been sipped it’s then time to get into your dress! This is another time that I would recommend thinking about where you will get ready. Finding somewhere that has plenty of room to move, space for your mum or bridesmaids to help and lots of light is really key to get those great shots when you helped into your dress.
Seven points for the Getting Ready Photos checklist
- Make sure your room is big enough for everyone who will be getting ready.
- Try to get a space with plenty of natural light…the more big windows the better!
- Keep the room(s) tidy. Try to put all cases and bags in one area so they aren’t in the way.
- Keep clutter & rubbish to a minimum. Supermarket plastic bags, washing hanging up and take away cups will never make great backgrounds for photos!
- Did I mention natural light? I’m going to add it twice because it really helps. Light, light and more light. The less you have to use the electric lights the better, orange skin is never a good look.
- Ask your make up artist to set up near a window (if they don’t do it themselves). Move a table if you have to. This will help them do their job and make your photos better.
- Give yourself space to get into your dress. I always recommend finding a room with lots of light or space near a window. Clear the area so there is plenty of room and no clutter on the floor.
After all of that, I want to add that the most important thing is you enjoy yourself! It’s the morning of your wedding day after all. Ask your bridesmaids, relatives or mum to help you plan things, so you can be calm and sorted on the day. You want to be able to have a fun, relaxed and exciting morning as you get ready for your wedding ceremony.
So there you go. I hope this helps gives some ideas for making the most of your wedding photos on the wedding morning. You can also visit my planning guide section that has loads of great advice posts and top tips to share.