Most often, a lot of thought goes into the portrait location or venue selection, rightfully so! But what about your story begins? The preparation for the day, the getting ready spot, the last photos of the two of you before becoming one family. How can you be sure to get stunning getting ready photos? Here are our tips to help make the most out of your getting ready pictures.
Tip 1: Location, Location, Location!
Location is important. You will need to be sure the house or hotel where you are getting ready is conveniently located for the wedding party (and creative professionals), as well as, within a short distance from the wedding location. For photographing both the bridal party and the groomsmen, it is best that the getting ready locations are close in proximity. This way, we will be able to capture the greatest amount of getting ready photos for the entire wedding party. Minimizing travel time means less stress, more fresh!
The Size of the Location is often overlooked. You must consider the amount of people and moving parts that will be in the room. You will need room for the bridal party, make-up artist(s), hair stylist(s), photographers, videographers, mothers, kids, etc.! The space will need to cater to large groups; depending on the size of your bridal party, a suite or adjoining rooms typically works well. A house is also a great option. If you’re working with a smaller space, tidiness is very important. Regardless of the room’s size, you should set up a specific spot for everyone to place their bags – a tidy room photographs way better than a cluttered one!
Location and quality of the Lighting is key. Of course, as professional photographers, we will be prepared for any lighting situation. However, natural lighting is the most flattering and some of our most stunning images come from beautiful, naturally lit spaces. If you’re planning on booking a suite at a hotel, make sure the room’s window is on the side of the building that will have the most daylight during the time you’ll be getting ready. If you’re planning on using a house, be sure to set up the area with the best natural lighting as the main area to get ready. Most hotels tend to decorate with yellow hues because its easier to maintain, but those often looks super unflattering in photos. We will do our best to combat bad lighting in camera, and adjust for things in post but keep in mind, your cinematographer will not have that luxury!
Tip 2: It’s all in the Details
While you’re getting ready, we get to photograph the special details, like hand written vows or extra fabric from your dress alteration. Gather and organize your wedding’s sentimental details for us beforehand so you don’t have to lift a finger while you’re getting ready. Have at least a few things for the groom as well as yourself. This includes things such as; heirloom jewelry, pocket watches, your engagement and wedding rings, shoes, bouquets, stationary, etc. These items will help put sentiment and personality into your getting ready photos. The more details the better, especially if you are submitting your wedding for publication!
Tip 3: Plan Activities
We are going to be taking a lot of photos. To keep everyone engaged and happy, a fun idea is to plan activities! Just because you’ve got matching robes for everyone in your party doesn’t mean the photos are going to be extra cute, if everyone is just sitting around watching you get your makeup done. A naturally fun environment will always exude more emotion and excitement than staged laughs. *This ESPECIALLY goes for the guys!
For the groomsmen, you should set up an activity for them that we can photograph while the bridal party starts hair and make-up. This could be a trip to the driving range, tossing Frisbees, or even a craft beer tasting – whatever fits the groom best.
For the bridal party, find activities that can be done while you get ready. You can have a bridesmaid prepare a playlist of your favorite throwback jams, serve a few themed cocktails, and have some games to keep everyone involved.
Tip 4: Keep to a Timeline
On your wedding day, we want everything to go as smoothly as possible. That means planning, preparation, and having a timeline for the big day. Your timeline is very important especially if you want to have a First Look session. If a First Look session is on your list, you will want to make sure your hair and make-up is completely finished at least an HOUR before you plan to see your groom. This will give you time for a first look with your dad, some solo bridal shots, portraits with your girls, and time for everyone to pack up their stuff before traveling to the next location.
Tip 5: Relax and have fun!
While you are getting ready, you should take a little time to reflect and find peace in the middle of the nerves and excitement. The best time for this is when you’re getting your make-up done – just close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. This day is going to be so busy, the time will fly by. Take the time to just soak it in. After a few minutes of that, be sure to enjoy your friends and your pampering. Let go, be loud, have fun, shake some nerves out. If you are actively having a good time, everyone else will too, which will make for great getting ready photos. This is your big day, enjoy it!