Guide for wedding getting ready photos

Your guide for those dreamy getting ready photos

Let’s talk about the getting ready photos on your wedding day! We’ve all seen the beautiful photos on Pinterest that show the bride getting her makeup done, popping champagne with her girls, and getting into her dress. The morning portion of your day is what I’m referring to when I say the “getting ready” photos! Most brides want to have those photos captured but aren’t sure if they need to do any planning or how they need to prepare. Look no further! This blog post is your ultimate guide for getting magical getting ready photos at your wedding.  

Why you should capture the getting ready 

Let’s talk a bit about why I encourage brides to make sure these photos are captured. First, it’s so fun to have this part of the day photographed because it’s a part of the day that is almost entirely candid and shows genuine emotion and excitement! Aside from a few group shots that will be posed, these photos are so fun to have because they are truly candid. You’ll have priceless memories with your bridesmaids, mom, sisters, etc helping you get ready and they show the whole story of your day! You’ll hear over and over that wedding days fly by and it’s so true. The morning is a time for you to soak in what is about to happen and get giddy with your friends! 

I mentioned that this part of the day is going to be candid, and that’s true. However, it’s still nice to have some pre-planned touches to include that will help you love these photos even more. First, let’s talk about the space you’ll be getting ready in, since it’ll be the background of your photos. Lighting is everything! If you have a choice in your getting ready location, I highly suggest booking an Airbnb with plenty of windows and natural light or going with a bridal suite at your venue if they have one. Hotels often have yellow lighting and are fairly small spaces so they aren’t my first preference when giving brides suggestions. Especially if you have a larger bridal party, having a large and open space is necessary. 

Once you have picked out a space that you love, you’ll want to ask your bridesmaids to do their best with keeping the area tidy. It’s so easy for the space to get cluttered with people running all around trying to get ready. You won’t want that in your photos! Ask your maid of honor to designate a space for everyone to keep their items and to be diligent about it so that the space can be as cleaned up as possible when I arrive to take your photos. 

What to wear for getting ready photos

Next up is the wardrobe. I suggest investing in matching robes or pajamas with your girls because they make for such fun group shots! If that’s not really your thing, I would still say that you should have a white robe for getting ready. It’s your day after all! Something you may or may not have already thought of, are bra lines. I suggest wearing loose clothing (hence the robes or pajamas) that you can easily get in and out of without messing up your hair and makeup AND that you can easily wear bra-less to avoid lines! 

What to bring for getting ready photos

Let’s move onto what you should bring for your getting ready photos. I always tell brides to pack their essentials the night before they arrive at the getting ready location because the day gets so hectic and you don’t want to forget anything! One thing to know is that during the getting ready portion of the day, I am also going to be taking your detail photos. Plan to have all of your detail items set aside so that I can grab them from you when I arrive. Think of things like your save the dates, jewelry, perfume bottle, etc. You should consider purchasing a pretty hanger for your dress photos, even if it’s just a velvet one from Amazon! 

Here are some common items that people typically like to include in their detail photos: 

  • Dress 
  • Bridesmaid dresses 
  • Veil 
  • Shoes 
  • Rings 
  • Jewelry 
  • Watch 
  • Family heirlooms 
  • Headpiece 
  • Garter 
  • Vow books 

I know that planning can get hectic and it is so easy to forget something. That’s why I created this FREE checklist to make sure you have everything needed for the detail shots. Click HERE to access.

Timing for getting ready photos

As for when the getting ready photos will take place, I recommend having your photography coverage starting right as you are finishing getting ready. Your hair and makeup should should be almost done. This is because most people don’t want to have all of their getting ready photos when they are bare faced or have morning hair! Instead, I will capture photos of the finishing touches, like putting on lipstick, lashes, or those final bobby pins. 

For the groom and groomsmen, they should be completely dressed aside from their jackets and boutonnieres. For the ladies, they should be fully dressed before the bride- that way they look put together while the bride gets into her dress! On average I need 30-60 minutes for the getting ready photos with the girls and the same amount of time if we include the guys. 

Additional tips that will help your getting ready process run smoothly

First, invest in a steamer to remove any wrinkles from your bridesmaid dresses! Make sure that there are enough outlets in the room for your makeup artist, hairdresser, and of course phone chargers. Make an emergency kit with all of the essential items you may need throughout the day.

This is what I recommend including:

  • nail clippers
  • stain remover
  • pens
  • hair pins
  • breath mints
  • tweezers
  • hair spray
  • fashion tape
  • first aid kit
  • any other must have items for a wedding emergency

Finally, here are a few of my favorite tips just for my brides: 

  • Don’t over-schedule your morning. The last thing you want is to be feeling stressed and rushed on your wedding day!
  • Do not try any new products on your wedding day. Your skin will thank you.
  • Please don’t forget to eat and drink! 
  • Go easy on the alcohol until after the ceremony so you’re feeling your best
  • Most importantly: remember to be present and have fun

There you have it! I hope I’ve convinced you that these getting ready photos are a fun part of your wedding day and deserve to be captured. With just a little prep you’ll have beautiful memories to look back on for years and years. If you have any additional questions, reach out to me HERE and I’d love to help you out!

Ashlynn Shelby

October 26, 2022

Hi! I'm Ashlynn. When you choose me as your photographer, I promise to extend everything I have into your experience and your photos. You deserve the best experience possible and that's what I plan on providing.
My blog is where I share love stories I've been a part of, and resources for couples planning their engagement , wedding or elopement. I hope you can find some helpful information here to help you plan your big day. 


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