It’s pretty indisputable that emotions will be running high on wedding day. Between your First Look (if you so choose to do one), to walking down the aisle, your vows, your first dance as husband and wife; each of these moments holds a once in a lifetime energy that everyone will want documented for years to come. The stage is set. You’ve spent hours researching for the most beautiful locations for your ceremony, reception and portraits to not only ensure that everything looks just as you’ve always dreamed it would, but also taking care to choose places that will photograph beautifully! With all of that time and effort spent in planning your big day, often times one important part can be forgotten – getting ready – the morning (or afternoon) preparations.
The morning of your wedding is such a special time. A time when you’re preparing for one of the most important days of your life! You are surrounded by the people who love you most in the world and want nothing more than for you to have the most incredible wedding day ever. There will be lots laughter and sometimes tears, as you reminisce with your closest friends about the times you’ve had together over the years. Your heart will skip a beat as you step into your wedding dress that you so carefully picked out to wear on this one and only day. It only makes sense that, after so meticulously planning your wedding, the morning should be just as lovingly documented as all of the other parts of your day. So, how can you go about making sure that your getting ready photos are just as stunning and moving, despite the chaotic hecticness that can come with morning preparations?? Well, we’ve got a few easy tips for you on exactly how to make that happen. :)
1. Clear the room. Nothing can compromise a perfect photo like a room full of clutter! No matter how beautiful you look and feel on your wedding morning, that pile of clothes in the corner and dirty dishes on the tables will always make your getting ready photos look less stunning than they should. Since you’re the bride and you totally shouldn’t have to spend your morning worrying about whether or not your bridesmaids are throwing out their trash or leaving a trail around the room, try designating this task to your Maid of Honor or perhaps a bridesmaid who you already know likes to keep things neat and tidy by nature :) Wedding morning can get a bit chaotic at times, so a great way to ensure a neat space is by having a designated area for you and your ladies to leave all of your things – undergarments, tote bags, last night’s pajamas, make-up bags, etc. Have your assigned bridesmaid take a few moments to make sure there are no plastic water bottles or overnight bags overflowing with unmentionables laying around before the photographer shows up. Think about having your morning snacks set out in a nice presentation as opposed to muffins sitting out on the counter in their plastic store bought container. Also, if you’re getting ready at home, don’t be afraid to declutter the decor as well! The simpler the space, the better the photos.
2. Proper Lighting. Ask any photographer and they will tell you that natural light is the absolute best! A naturally well lit room makes all the difference. If you have the option, opt for the room with the largest windows. If you don’t have access to a room with plenty of windows then be sure that whatever room you choose has plenty of lighting throughout it. An even better option for a windowless morning – have your finishing touches completed in a nice outdoor space instead! (But don’t forget about the clutter! Maybe avoid using your sister’s backyard if your niece and nephew’s toys are covering the lawn. That old swing set is great but not necessarily as a backdrop to your beautiful wedding dress).
3. A large enough space. Nothing is worse than cramming 8 people into a room meant for 2. Not only is it nearly impossible for your photographer to get a clear shot of you through all of the bodies in the room, but crammed spaces also breed chaos (and sweatiness, lol). If the home where you were planning on getting ready isn’t quite spacious enough to comfortably fit you and all of your leading ladies, with room to spare, then consider renting a bridal suite in a local hotel for the morning instead. It will be well worth the extra expense when you don’t have people accidentally stepping all over your dress and bumping into your make-up artist while she touches up your lips for the camera.
4. Be ready for the details. Have all of your bridal details easily accessible and ready to go, including your flowers, two copies of your invitations (in order to photograph both sides in one shot), jewelry, perfume, shoes, rings and any other significant wedding details that are near and dear to your heart. By having everything ready it saves you and your photographer the hassle of trying to find all of these items during the hustle and bustle of the morning. Make a list a few days before of all of the special items that you would want forever photographs of; this way nothing slips your mind on wedding morning. This goes for the guys, too! They may not have as many details, but things like cuff links, a special cologne, their shoes, pocket square, and bow tie can make for a beautiful keepsake photo. Also, consider choosing a nice hanger to make your wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses look even more special. You and your ladies spent a lot of money on those amazing dresses; those pricey and important articles of clothing should be hanging on beautiful hangers, not just a plain wire or plastic one. (Too much on your mind to deal with this step?? That’s why you have bridesmaids! Put one of your more responsible ladies in charge of this task!)
5. It’s your wedding morning, dress the part! Consider what you and your ladies are wearing while you’re getting ready and how that will look in photos. Matching silk robes are always a nice touch, or opt for color coordinating button down shirts. The last thing you want is gorgeous photos of you with your bridesmaids in the background wearing their boyfriend’s oversized college sweatpants and a t-shirt with holes in it. Hey, we all love those super comfy outfits but there’s a time and a place for those old pajamas that you’ve had since high school and, unfortunately, they aren’t the best choice for photo attire.
Follow these 5 important tips and we can assure you that your getting ready photos will be just as stunning, emotional and memorable as all of the other big moments of your wedding day. What do you think about our suggestions? Do you have anything else to add? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!