Perhaps one of my favorite parts of the wedding day to photograph is the beginning! The getting ready portion of the wedding day is a time when you will be busy getting your hair and make up done. You will most likely have your bridesmaids in the room with you.
I usually arrive an hour and a half before the first look or ceremony, which gives me ample time to photograph the getting ready portion of the day.
You will be asked to have the following readily available for me when I arrive.
- His + Her wedding bands
- Your dress (remove the stuffing and have it out of the bag for me to easily access it)
- Your veil
- Your shoes
- Your invitation suite
- Your flowers
- Anything of sentiment that you want photographed (this might include a prayer book, something borrowed, etc)
This list is NOT a requirement. If you do not have many details, or if you simply do not care about having these items photographed, that is completely fine!
One of the big things that I have noticed is when brides do not get their makeup put on first. When a bride is not the first one to get her hair and make up on, she is at the mercy of her bridesmaids and hair/makeup artist. If her bridesmaids are delayed, then the bride is delayed. It's always best to have the bride put on her makeup first.
While I am photographing some of the details, my second photographer is assisting me and photographing candid moments with the bridesmaids.
Once your makeup is almost complete, I will have you sit next to the window (or wherever we have natural light) and I will photograph those finishing touches by the makeup artist.
Getting into Your Dress
Once your hair and makeup are finished, it will be time to get into your dress! You will most likely have either a bridesmaid or your mom helping you. It is important that all of your bridesmaids be dressed at this time, in case they are in any photos.
It's helpful to know how much time it will take to get your dress on, some dresses will take 20 minutes!
In this scenario, I will have you stand next to a natural light source and let the moments unfold naturally. I find though, that sometimes the bride will need some guidance on where to look, or where to place her hands, so I have no problem speaking up for that :)
A Father First Look
This is when your father sees you for the first time in your wedding dress. I usually photograph this in your hotel room. It is a special time and makes for great photographs.
If the groom is getting ready at the same location as the bride, I am happy to have my second shooter (or myself) hop over to him and photograph him getting ready. This does not take any longer than 15-20 minutes.
Groom prep photos include:
- Putting on the tie (or bowtie)
- Putting on the cufflinks
- Putting on the jacket
- Securing the boutonnière
- Putting on shoes
- Finally, a groom portrait
- If his groomsmen are present, then a few photos of them together.
Things For You to Consider
- If your dress requires a crochet hook, do not forget to pack it!
- Be sure your florist knows to bring your bouquet before or at the same time your photographer arrives.
- Have ALL of the details that you want photographed gathered in one spot so that it is easily accessible for me.
- In a room full of people, clutter such as water bottles, hair spray, suitcases, shoes, and clothes can pile up. It's best to keep things tidy and neat.
- Have a hanger for your wedding dress! It might not be something you think about right away, but when you see your wedding dress photographed on a plastic hanger, you might regret not purchasing a custom wedding dress hanger.