Tips For Bomb Getting Ready Photos On Your Wedding Day

bride getting ready in Boulder Colorado

9 tips for getting ready photos on your wedding day

Here are some tips for getting ready photos on your wedding day! Getting ready photos are a really special part of your day and good planning will help ensure that your photographer can deliver amazing, meaningful getting ready photos in your final gallery. As a photographer, I’ve photographed over 100 weddings over the years and I’ve learned a thing or two about how to get the most out of your photos. Keep reading!

crested butte bride getting ready
Bride putting her jewelry on

What are getting ready photos?

Getting ready photos are just that, photos of you getting ready before your ceremony. Usually couples choose to have coverage start when they’re nearing the end of actually getting ready. For brides, this can be an entire process and typically no one wants photos before everything is coming together and hair and makeup are 90% complete. Adjusting your timeline to reflect the photographer and videographer showing up about an hour before your hair and makeup is complete will make sure you don’t waste precious coverage (and money).

Are getting ready photos really necessary?

When you get your gallery back, you’ll see the story of your day. You got ready to marry the love of your life on your wedding day—they’re a sweet beginning to your story. I know it can be tempting to opt out for photos of you getting ready but you’ll be surprised of the emotions you’ll feel when looking back on those moments. I’ve had couples tells me that they’re some of their favorite photos of their entire day. To get this, you don’t need to choose a 12 hour photography package, having your photographer and videographer show up in the final stages will be enough to get the good stuff. 

Tips for getting ready photos

brides getting ready together before elopement
Brides getting ready together

Choose a pretty place

This one might seem like a no brainer but I still feel like it needs to be said. When choosing an Air BnB or a venue with a getting ready space, make sure you like it. When you look at it you should think something along the lines of “oooo very cute”, “I have no problem getting ready in here” “or this is going to photograph beautifully”.

Bride getting her makeup done

Make sure there is good lighting

Good lighting should be a non-negotiable. Lighting can make or break a photo and a poorly lit photo can be a nightmare to edit later. Now, I’m not saying that the entire place has to beautifully lit–that is a photographer’s dream but we understand that’s not always an option. Having a getting ready space that has lots of/big windows or a door will give your photographer more control over the lighting. In a place that doesn’t have the best artifical lighting, I immediately look for natural lighting through windows. If the windows still don’t give me a ton of light, I look for a door to open! I’ve been known to take photos from outside, looking into the Air BnB or venue in order to get that amazing lighting!

Breckenridge elopement, bride getting dressed
Bride getting before her elopement ceremony

Keep it clean

This is obviously easier said than done but try to keep your getting ready space clear of mess/clothes/food. Reducing clutter reduces distractions and that’s the goal when having these beautiful moments documented! My suggestion is to either leave the space with the best lighting clear of a ton of mess or designate someone to clear things up as you get closer to your getting ready photos.

rocky mountain national park elopement, mother of bride helping bride get ready
Mom zipping up bride’s dress
Father of Groom helping Groom get dressed, crested butte wedding
Dad helping groom button up

Have all of your important people there

Getting ready photos are an awesome opportunity to have beautiful moment captured with your most favorite people! Whether you’re having your parents help you get dressed or have your best friend put your jewelry in–think about these things in advance and let people know where to be and when so your photographer can capture everything.

Have your wedding party get ready first

Having your wedding party—and any other special people you want to share these moments with—get ready first means that they can be photo ready by the time they’re needed to help you in the final stages of getting dressed. Think about mom helping you zip up your dress, or dad helping you put your watch on, or having a first look with your ‘maids! Another reason this a good idea is because you want to save you for last so your photographer can snap some photos of you putting jewelry on, touching up makeup, securing your hairstyle, and more when they arrive!

colorado bride reading vows before ceremony
Bride reading a letter from groom before getting into wedding dress
colorado groom getting ready
Groom putting on his late father’s cufflinks

Let your photographer know of any special moments happening

It’s really important for you to give your photographer a heads up about any really special moments happening! This way your photographer can make sure they aren’t out photographing other things while you’re doing something as special as putting your late grandma’s pearls on, or taking photos with your late dad’s letterman jacket on, or reading a pre-ceremony letter from your future spouse.

colorado bride getting ready
Bride touching up her makeup

Play music for chill vibes

Having a photographer bouncing around with their camera can be weird. The majority of people don’t having cameras following them around and it can be slightly intimidating. One way to ease nerves is to have a getting ready playlist! Leading up to your day, put some of your favorite songs into a playlist and have it playing in the background. It seems like it wouldn’t make a huge difference but it totally does.

colorado bride getting ready with champagne
Bride drinking champagne while getting ready

Mimosas. Whiskey. White Claw.

This is self-explanatory. If you’re someone who consumes alcohol, this will definitely help you feel and look more natural during getting ready photos on your wedding day.

Wedding dress photo

Pack the pretty hanger

Dress photos are always something people want on their wedding day! Photos of the dress hanging up is a classic and is delivered in every gallery! ANYTHING BUT A CLEAR PLASTIC HANGER PLEASE. You don’t want a cheepo hanger detracting from the beauty of your wedding dress. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy! A lot of brides love hangers with their future last name on it and it photographs really well. Etsy has amazing options.

ring details on wedding day
Wedding details
colorado elopement details
Elopement details

Have wedding details ready for photographer

Detail photos of anything you’re wearing that day happen before you officially get ready. Having all of your things in one place for your photographer to quickly photograph helps you both make sure you aren’t missing anything. Your photographer will take all of the details you want photographed and create a pretty flat lay to document them all. 

Detail ideas:

Wedding bands & engagement ring

Any other jewelry you’re wearing

Sentimental items (grandma’s handkerchief, dad’s cufflinks, etc)

Invitations

Perfume or Cologne

Pro-tip: Ask your florist for a couple of extra blooms in order to include some in photos!

Estes Park bride touching up makeup
Bride touching up her makeup before getting into dress

Enjoy your time!

These are some of the last moments leading up to you marrying the love of your life! It’s a big deal. Relax, soak in the moments, and enjoy being surrounded by your most favorite people.

Are you looking for a Colorado Photographer?

I hope you guys enjoyed this list of tips for getting ready photos and they end up helping you prepare for your day! If you’re looking for a Colorado elopement or wedding photographer, let’s chat! You can check out my Colorado elopement and wedding packages here and you can fill out my contact form after. I can’t wait to hear from you!

January 10, 2022

Mikayla Robertson

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