WEDDING PLANNING: Getting Ready / Bride & Groom Preparations Tips
1. How I photograph the getting ready part of the day
Capturing the ‘getting ready’ shots in the morning is one of my favourite parts of a wedding day. I love turning up ion the morning to a calm room and everyone chilling out and enjoying the day, then watching the calm turn into excitement and buzz as it gets closer to the time leave for the ceremony.
A lot of couples aren’t sure if they would like this part of the day covers, I always say go for it! The photos help to tell the story of the day, and this is the beginning of your day unfolding. If your are getting ready separately having photos of you both in the morning means you can see what your husband / wife / partner in marriage to be was doing in the morning and they are always fun shots to have. If you have a second shooter and are getting ready separately, I would send my other shooter to the groom or for a same sex wedding you can decide which partner I cover…otherwise we will both be there with you.
I would arrive between 2-3 hours before you need to leave for your ceremony, giving plenty of time to capture all the details and they key moments in the morning. I would start the day focusing on your details (eg. dress, flowers, shoes, kilts, button holes etc) so have these looked out and leave them together in an easily accessible place so I can find these. Starting on the details means everyone has a chance to get used to me being around before I shove a camera in their face. Another bonus is that by the time your are ready to leave, everyone has got to know me and is relaxed around my cameras.
During this day, I mostly capture in a documentary style and let things unfold. That being said, if there is some great light I may put you in it or give you the odd pointer. We’ll save the formal group shots for later in the day when you are more relaxed (although if you do want some morning ones I can do these for you if we have time).
TOP TIP: Make sure you have something to eat and drink (not just booze) and make a playlist of your favourite songs to get you in the mood for the day.
2 . Where to get ready
Where you choose to get ready can have an impact on the outcome of your photos, look for large windows with lots of natural light and plenty of open plan space. This will also help your hair and make up artists. Most couples choose to get ready in their venue, and as a bonus you won’t need to hire a car or transport to get you there.
If you are planning on booking a hotel room to get ready, speak to the staff at the time of booking and ask for the room with the biggest windows and the best light in the morning. Air B&B or other holiday rental properties are also a great option giving you the opportunity to hire unique and interestingly decorated places which are free from fire exit signs, fire extinguishers and other distractions to your photos.
Make sure that there is plenty of storage space for your bridesmaids suitcases, day clothes, pjs etc so these can be safely hidden away out of sight when you put your dress on. If you are planning on getting ready in your home or a family home make sure that you declutter. A conservatory or living room, master bedroom all make for ideal places to get ready.
TOP TIP: Make sure that you only have the people who need to be there with you in the morning. Having extra people there can make things stressful in the morning!
3 . Getting dressed and making sure you are on time
Before your wedding give your outfits a test run with the people you will be getting ready with. Buttons, bows, hooks and fastenings (not to mention underskirts of dresses!) can be difficult to get into. Make sure that if you are bustling up a dress you have someone who knows how to do this. For the men, you would be surprised how many grooms and groomsmen don’t know how to tie ties, put on buttonholes, or lace kilt shoes (note: my brother is a bagpiper and I’m a good person to be asking for help with kilt outfits if you do need it)!
Prior to putting on your dress / outfit have a quick tidy up, not only will it make for nicer photos; but it also means when you come back at the end of the day you can relax in a clean and tidy space.
TOP TIP: Aim to be ready about an hour before you need to leave for your ceremony, this means I can leave early and get to the venue to capture your guests arriving and makes sure you won’t run late. It will always take you a lot longer than you think to get ready to allow plenty of time. Arriving on time for your ceremony means the rest of your day will run smoothly and you can really enjoy yourselves.
4. First look with your dad / wedding party
One of the most emotional parts of the day is when your dad, wedding party or someone special to you sees you for the first time. Once you are ready, get them in for the big reveal and I’ll be there to capture the reaction.
If it all gets too much…close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. You are marrying the person you love and the day is going to be amazing.
If you have any questions about planning your day, or are looking for a photographer get in touch and we can have a chat.