I love that I get to start wedding days off in the bridal suite as the bride and her besties are getting ready! Anticipation and emotions are running high, all the beautiful bridal details are there, and there is a ton of opportunity for beautiful getting ready photos! This is always a favorite time in the wedding day because you’re SO CLOSE to getting MARRIED!! These photos are often full of emotion: whether that’s energetic anticipation or quiet prayer (or both!) and they’ll definitely make it into your wedding album. It’s worth it to spend some time making sure that time is planned out to give you the most beautiful getting ready photos! Today I’m sharing four tips for ensuring your getting ready photos are beautiful and just as magical as the rest of your wedding day!
1. Look for natural light
Large windows will give you the softest, most natural and flattering light, so make sure your bridal suite has large windows if at all possible! We’ll normally want to turn off any overhead lighting, since that can cast unflattering yellow shadows underneath your eyes. If possible, we’ll rely on the soft window light for classic, romantic photos! And as a bonus, if the getting ready room has white or neutral light-reflective walls–even better! You’ll ensure light and airy getting ready photos.
There are venues of all kinds, and sometimes it just isn’t possible to have “perfect” conditions for getting ready photos. Maybe the only room available to you has no windows or dark paint on the walls. No worries! We can capture the action in the room with flash, and then think about bringing you to a secondary location for some final “finishing touches” photos. I’ve had brides at outdoor weddings getting ready in trailers or dark community halls, and then they step just outside the door to put on their earrings and have a moment with their bridesmaids. It’s the best of both worlds! At Mary’s wedding, for example, she got ready in the church’s cry room, with just one tiny window. We have some beautiful photos as her bridesmaids laced up her dress in the cry room, but of course I couldn’t resist shooting details and some final portraits out in the curved white staircase just outside the cry room. Being flexible is key!
2. Have everyone else get ready first
It’s true that on your wedding day, you’re the center of attention! Your mom and bridesmaids will be totally focused on making sure you look perfect before you walk down the aisle. But it’s worth each of them taking a minute to get themselves ready before the pictures start…because they’ll be in all of your photos too! If your mom and bridesmaids are all in their wedding attire as they lace you into your dress, it will make your getting ready photos look ten times better, and you’ll be proud to include those in your wedding album. Plus, that will ensure they’re ready to dive into bridesmaid duties if they’re all ready to go before I even arrive–which means they’ll be available to be included in all of those sweet pre-wedding photos!
3. Hide the clutter
Between all your bridesmaid’s gear, the makeup artist, and your own stuff…a single bridal suite can get crowded FAST! To make sure we don’t have overflowing duffle bags or coffee mugs in the background, designate a hidden corner (or better, a closet) to hold all the clutter! Ideally, at least the space near the biggest window will be clear. The more space that is open and clean, the less we’ll need to worry about clutter in the background of your photos! I’m happy to help once I arrive, but if you designate a bridesmaid to keep on top of hiding clutter, we can dive into photos that much quicker!
4. Relax, eat and drink, and ENJOY IT!
It can be a daunting morning, especially if you’re doing more of a DIY wedding. I always encourage my brides to hire a day-of coordinator if at ALL possible, because the last thing you want to be on the morning of your wedding is DISTRACTED with details! Because if you’re worried about your reception decor going well, it’s going to show on your face in pictures! Instead, delegate EVERYTHING that needs to happen on your wedding day. Then kick back with a mimosa, and a muffin (because you’re remembering to eat, right?) and ENJOY your day with your favorite people! This is the number one way you’ll get joyful wedding photos!
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