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Bridal Prep: How to get the best Getting-Ready Photos

These 10 tips will help you prepare well, so you can relax, have fun, and have your wedding photos turn out beautifully.

Bridal Prep: How to get the best Getting-Ready Photos

Bridal prep is a special time for you as the bride, and your closest friends and family. It’s a time to relax, get ready for the big day, and celebrate with those who love you most.

The day you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived! If you’re anything like many brides, you’ve had this day planned out in your head (or on Pinterest) for years. You know exactly what you want your wedding to look like and feel like. You’ve planned and prepared and prepared and planned. And now it’s time for it all to come together.

What goes into the Getting Ready photos

When it comes to your wedding photos, a major part of any wedding gallery is the “Getting Ready” shots. Aside from venue detail shots, typically the beginning of your gallery will include a good amount of Getting Ready photos.

These are the photos when your hair and makeup is getting done, bridesmaids doing the same, and then getting into your dress and final touches. During this time, your photographer will be there to capture these memories through their artistic vision.

However, as a bride, there are a few things you can do (aside from hiring a great photographer) to ensure the images come out beautifully.

Just so we’re on the same page, Getting Ready photos can include any of the following:

  • Arriving to the venue
  • Unpacking and setting up
  • Snacks / drinks, chatting with your bridesmaids
  • Hair styling
  • Getting makeup done
  • Posed images of everyone in their robes
  • Getting into your dress
  • Bridesmaids putting on their dresses
  • Attaching your veil
  • Final touches
  • And at the end, posed photos of you and your bridesmaids, and you yourself, just before you go out to walk down the aisle.

Tips to get the best Getting Ready photos

First tip: Get a venue with a good bridal suite.

The room really makes all the difference, and is one of the biggest factors here.

One of the most important things is that the room is spacious. You’ll want not only a spacious room, one in which the photographer has space to move around everyone, get the angles they need, and arrange you and the setup in artistic ways as they shoot.

Also, if the room is well-lit, that’s a major plus too. Large windows make for the best images, but even just a brightly lit room will do. Generally, the brighter the room, the better the images will turn out.

The photographer will be able to use a flash if the room is too dark, but ideally, you’ll want to start with as much natural light as possible.

Tip 2: Keep that room clean (or at least clutter-free)

The more neat the room is kept, the less of a chance any clutter has of showing up in the background of your images.

Just having a trash can and a designated place to put all your snacks and drinks, helps a lot!

Tip 3: Personalize

A few small touches of personalization here and there will go a long way and can look super aesthetic in your photos. Personalized robes with your names or initials, bags, tumblers, even makeup bags, can add a really nice and special touch to your getting ready time.

What’s a great resource for this? Etsy! Can’t go wrong here.

Tip 4: Communicate details with your photographer beforehand.

This should probably be Tip 1 because it’s one of the most important!

If there’s any special items you’ve prepared, gifts for bridesmaids, heirlooms, or even matching robes, let the photographer know your plans so he/she can make sure to capture those items and special moments!

Also, making sure your photographer has everything they need, will help them focus on you, your bridesmaids, and capturing the emotions and memories of the time, in the best and most artistic way.

Tip 5: Get those items ready for your photographer

It’s super helpful for the photographer if you have all your special items ready and prepared together, so your photographer can quickly arrange them as they like and take photos. This includes things like vow notebooks, jewelry, shoes, rings, any heirlooms, and any other items that are special to you.

Tip 6: Allow plenty of time.

Don’t try to pack your timeline too tight and not give enough time for the getting ready portion of the day. It’s important, and you’ll want to make sure you have the time you need. This will avoid you feeling rushed too, and will allow for a stress-free and overall better experience leading up to your ceremony.

Tip 7: Stay on schedule.

Along the same lines as the last tip - once you have your timeline, stick to it!

No guests enjoy waiting in their seats for 45 minutes because the bride is running behind schedule. And as a bride, in that position, you’ll be adding unnecessary stress to your day as well. Ensure you arrive on time to the and stick to the schedule from the beginning so the moments before your ceremony don’t have to be rushed.

Tip 8: Get your hair and makeup done early

Most brides prefer most of their getting-ready photos to be taken once their hair and makeup is mostly done - so they look how they will for the rest of the day.

Since hair and makeup often take a good amount of time, having them done early allows the rest of the time to flow smoothly and gives you plenty of time for all the photos you want.

Getting hair and makeup done early also helps the rest of the day stay on schedule. 👍

Tip 9: Choose a photographer who will have a team of 2 or more.

This isn’t an absolute must, but if your photography team is 2 or more, then they can both be dedicated to capturing your getting ready time as well as the groom’s and groomsmen’s. As a photographer who’s shot plenty of weddings solo, it’s always nicer to have two, because it’s very easy to miss small moments here and there because you’re running back and forth between the two buildings or rooms. Or, if the bride and groom are getting ready at separate locations altogether, this can make it really tough to capture the full story of both times individually.

Tip 10: Relax and have fun!

Ok, this is for sure the most important! If you’re stressed, it will for sure show in the photos. If you are relaxed and enjoying yourself during this time, your photos will be ABSOLUTELY 100% better. As a photographer and cinematographer, I’ve witnessed it at so many weddings. The difference is truly night and day.


Honestly, if you pick just 3-4 of these and do them, you’ll be ahead of so many brides. And it will for sure show in your photographs.

But if I had to pick just one, it would be #10. No matter what, this is your day. It’s a day that you should enjoy. And it’s a day that you should remember and treasure for the rest of your life. That’s what your wedding photography gallery will allow you to do. And with some planning and preparation through the tips in this article, you’ll be able to ensure that your wedding gallery comes out in a beautiful way that truly reflects you and your special day.

James Trent
About the Author

James Trent

With over 10 years experience in cinematic wedding video production, James has a passion for capturing moments and creating an artistic, meaningful final product.

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