Tips for Better Getting Ready Photos on Your Wedding Day

Getting-ready shots have a bigger meaning behind them, and I’ll explain why: They are an important part of telling the complete beginning-to-end of your wedding day. The pictures captured during this time will serve as moments when you went from “me” to “we.” While you are enjoying your last hours of singleness with people most important to you (besides your best friend about to see you walk down the aisle), I’ll be there so you can cherish these laughable moments forever. You and your friends will adore these photos, and you’ll be drop-dead gorgeous in them too. Here are my top tips to help you prepare for these sweet moments. 

tips for better getting ready photos on your wedding day at hotel surety in Des Moines

Discuss Preferences with Your Photographer in Advance

If there were ideas you liked from someone else’s wedding albums that you would like to incorporate, share them with me so we can have that in advance. Therefore, I can arrive at the location accordingly. If you’re envisioning something specific for the kind of place you want to get ready, but are having a hard time finding a location, let me know – I can help!  But not doing anything to prepare for this time and then being bummed when the space is less than stellar because of lack of planning – that’s not what you want!

des moines des lux hotel bride getting ready

Pick a Beautiful Location with Natural Light

I love an area with natural light coming into the space creating the perfect lighting! The sunlight will compliment your complexion and create a soft glow which will result in fabulous photos. You also want to keep this space matching your wedding theme. Feel free to swap out whatever florals might be there for bouquets so your color palette is present. (Just remember to put your flowers back in the water so they don’t wilt!) Having a window for natural light and taking into account the ambiance will improve the quality of your photos.!

beautiful wedding gown hanging in grand room

Choose a Spacious Room for Makeup & Getting Ready

You want to make sure you have enough room to put on your wedding makeup and LOTS of light if possible!   Getting your makeup done takes a fair amount of space, and I actually suggest to brides that they have one space for makeup/hair prep, and a completely separate one for getting into your dress.  This may sound crazy, but you’ll be glad you have the room and then you don’t have to worry about tidying up before getting into your dress.  You’ll have a clean and clutter-free space ready to go!  

Keep Things Tidy

If you don’t have the luxury of lots of space, make sure you keep things tidy.  Dress steamers.  Shoes.  Red solo cups or water bottles.  Keys. Phones.  Dress bags.  Sandwiches and food trays.  Not to mention 12+ people in a small space rushing to get ready.  It’s not uncommon for the getting-ready space to be rather chaotic when we arrive!  Make sure you take a moment to declutter a bit and tidy up the space where you will be putting on your dress, because a messy space will make for distracting photos.  Ask your bridal party for a quick help tidying up, and if you have a bridal suite, just shove everything into the bathroom if you must – we’ve all done it 😉

royal Amsterdam hotel bride getting ready photos

Be Intentional About Who Joins You to Get Ready

Another great thing about getting-ready photos is they give you time to get rid of your camera jitters — especially being around the people who love you the most. I’d suggest you pick the people who make you feel special to be in that room while you get ready.  You do not want people with you that will bring additional stress – and this is something I greatly encourage you to consider!  If your mom is an encourager and you want her there, then do it!  But if she just stresses you out, it’s okay to have her be a special part of another portion of your day without increasing your stress during this vital time. We typically do not recommend having little kids around during this time just because it often adds more stress, which you definitely don’t need during this time!  

bride getting ready with her grandma on her wedding day

Highlight Special Details

We know you put a lot of thought into small details for your wedding and I want to capture those for you! These special details that make up your wedding style are so important because they make up your bridal look! Many of the details of your dress, shoes, and veil are items you may never wear again. Having those pictures of your ring, invitations, and flowers helps to tell the story of your wedding day. If you are curious about other things to bring for detailing shots, I have created another blog post about bridal details and what to prepare for your wedding photographer. In 20 years you will love being able to admire all the details that you carefully selected for your special day!  Make sure you have all those special details ready for their close-up!

wedding day details macro ring photo

When All Else Fails – Let it Go!

Every wedding day has something that doesn’t go perfectly.  Life is not perfect. And your wedding day will not be “perfect”.  Let that sink in for a moment. Things may not be absolutely perfect, but you will be getting married, and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters!  Whether a button snaps, the zipper breaks, your dress gets dirty, you’re missing a boutonniere, or you forgot your veil (literally ALL of these have happened at real weddings!) – those things really don’t matter.  Take a DEEP breath and just remember the whole point of this entire day!  The “wedexpectations” of perfectionism lead us to blow things out of proportion.  If one tiny thing goes wrong, that does not mean the whole day is ruined.  So…be like Elsa, and just let the little things go and ENJOY your wedding day regardless of whatever happens!

For more tips for your wedding day, visit these popular posts related to getting ready:

How to Create the Perfect Photo Timeline for Your Wedding Day
What to Look For in a Getting Ready Space
Bridal Details: What to Prepare for Your Wedding Photographer





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