On Zach and I’s wedding day I got ready in a small room in the basement of the art museum where we got married. There were cardboard boxes lining the walls and bright green carpet. It wasn’t exactly Pinterest worthy. But over the years I’ve learned some tricks to getting those beautiful getting ready images that every bride dreams of. If lovely getting ready photos are a priority, this list is for you! Here are 10 tips for dreamy getting ready photos on your wedding day!
When I think of bridal portraits, I think of beautiful light! There is something so breathtaking about soft light pouring in on a bride in those first moments after she has put on her dress. When selecting the space where you will get ready on your wedding day, keep an eye out for windows! It’s amazing how much of a difference natural light can make! If the getting ready room in your venue does not offer a window, look for other options around the building! We can always move there when it’s time to button your dress!
In addition to having a window nearby when you get ready, keep an eye out for the wall color in the space where you will be putting on your dress. I know this one sounds a little far fetched, but not only will certain colors be distracting – reds, yellows, browns and tans will cast onto your skin and dress. No thanks! Keep and eye out for neutrals and pastels. The blue wall below is located at Warrenwood Manor and was perfect for getting ready portraits! If you’re getting ready in a hotel suite – don’t be afraid to ask for a tour of the rooms before booking!
One of the first things I do when I arrive on the morning of the wedding is photograph your detail items! You can save valuable girl time by having these items gathered together! This way I can give you a big hug and get started right away with out interrupting the getting ready fun! Click here for a list of items to have gathered!
Once you add up the bride, her mom, several bridesmaids, a hair and makeup crew, a photographer, a videographer AND all of their stuff – one tiny hotel room gets cramped really fast when it comes to getting ready on your wedding day. So if you are going to get ready in a hotel I recommend requesting a suite or at least two adjoining rooms! But my favorite recommendation? An Airbnb! There are so many beautiful airbnbs out there and for a similar price that you’d pay for two hotel rooms, you can double your space! Plus you get to pick which airbnb you like aesthetically AND you get a full sized refrigerator for champagne AND more plug outlets for curling irons and phones. Double win!
Robes are undoubtably a great gift to give your girls for the morning of the wedding. But not all robes are created equal! Pay attention to the quality when ordering robes to make sure they aren’t covered in wrinkles! Avoiding satin robes helps a great deal with this!
Keeping the bridal prep space clean of clutter can be a big task! But with some careful planning ahead there will be no duffle bags or spare socks in the back of your getting ready photos! Select a designated space in the room for everyone to keep their things instead of setting their bags down anywhere. If you want to take it an extra step, you can purchase small baskets for each of your girls to keep her things organized! (I like these storage baskets from Amazon) This will also help when everyone needs to clean up their things to leave the getting ready space quickly!
One of the most common ways for wedding days to run off schedule is hair and makeup running over – it’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. But one way to avoid this is to provide your hair and makeup team a “hard stop” time. This means brushes need to be down and curling irons off – no matter what! This will help your beauty team determine a good start time for you!
One of my favorite parts of the getting ready process is when the brides mom, sister or bridesmaids help her into her dress! Make sure tell whomever is helping you into your dress to be fully dressed and ready ten to fifteen minutes before it’s time for you to get into your dress!
After your favorite ladies help you into your dress, I encourage brides to take a few moments to put on her earrings, garter and shoes and just breath the process in. Plus these photos look best if your dress is already on!
This is my final and BEST tip of all! Plan to give yourself time to put on your dress. Not only is putting on a wedding dress totally different than throwing on your favorite pair of jeans, but you deserve to savor this moment! This is the only time that you will have to really soak in being a bride for the first time, so give yourself time to celebrate that fact! I recommend setting aside 20-30 minutes to put on your dress, add your finishing touches and take a few portraits of you as a bride!
About the author: Alison is an Indianapolis based wedding photographer who loves working with joyful couples, celebrating timeless love and helping other small businesses grow.