Getting Ready: Everything You Need to Know About Pre-Ceremony Photography On Your Wedding Day

Getting Ready - Everything You Need to Know About Pre-Ceremony Photography On Your Wedding Day

As a wedding photographer (if you’re new here, hi, that’s me), one of the things I LOVE the most is the feeling of anticipation and excitement in the hours before the actual wedding. In the getting ready rooms, the music is usually blasting and the air is lightly scented with perfume and hairspray. 

Often the champagne is popping, and we’re able to capture all that bubbly (literally with the champagne) energy in photos! 

One thing is for sure, though: getting ready is always a good time! The photos that come from this part of the day are so uniquely fun and beautiful. To help you make the most of these photos, here’s your guide to everything you need to know about pre-wedding photography on your wedding day.

The Timeline Within a Timeline: Getting Ready

When it comes to determining your timeline for your wedding day, I like to divide it into 3 chunks: Pre-Wedding, Wedding, and Post-Wedding. (Or Getting Ready, Ceremony, and Reception, if you will.) Each one of these can then become their own mini-timeline, and preparing for them just right can make all the difference. 

Here’s a sample of a 2 hour getting ready timeline that we’ve learned makes the most of this coverage time.

Capturing Details: 1 Hour

This is a time for us to preserve some of the most special little parts of your day: the family heirlooms and sentimental touches you’ve planned: the details! 

When planning when to start your coverage, keep in mind that a good timeline allows for the photographers to arrive no more than 45 minutes to an hour before the bride & bridesmaids are all done with hair and make-up. By the end of that time, everyone needs to be almost ready to go!

Final Touch Ups + Getting Dressed: 15 Minutes

Get your last lip touch-ups or hair zjushes ( done, because it’s time to round everyone up for a quick group photo. These fun photos can be taken while you’re still wearing your robes, pajamas, or other fun getting-ready gear! 

During this time, we might pop some champagne, cheers, and start building on the energy in the room. Then it’s time to get dressed!

Getting Into The Dress: 45 Minutes

By this point, everyone should be finished with hair and make-up, and fully (or nearly fully) dressed – even the bride. 

In true photographer sleight-of-hand style, the “getting into the dress” photos actually happen after the dress is basically all the way on, and we really only capture the final buttons by whoever’s job it is to do that. 

Then it’s time to play princess.

Similar to the scene in Cinderella when the birds and mice help her get dressed, everyone will gather around and fuss and fluff and fawn. Trust me: it’s going to feel silly, but it’s a sweet moment that every bride deserves!

So that’s it. Your whole getting ready timeline! Then you can either do a first look or move straight to the ceremony. 

Total getting ready Coverage Time: 2 Hours

Getting Ready - Everything You Need to Know About Pre-Ceremony Photography On Your Wedding Day Getting Ready - Everything You Need to Know About Pre-Ceremony Photography On Your Wedding Day

Our Best Tips for Getting Great Getting Ready Photos

Expect a little coaching. Getting ready photos are usually more staged than you think!  While we love the candid stuff, some of the best images can sometimes need a little coaching to turn them into beautiful memories. We still only capture the reality of the moment as it happens (which is essentially a candid moment), but we’re going to give a few directions, too. We might have you move to an area with better lighting, redo the same button 10 times, or have mom re-zip that zipper as y’all look back at each other. 

Embrace the awkward. With recreating these moments, it’s possible you’re going to feel awkward. Our best advice? Laugh through the awkwardness (and suddenly the moment is genuine.) Or use this time of zipping and re-zipping to really stay mindful and soak in the moment. This is such a brief, but important memory with your mom. Perhaps letting it last a little longer isn’t such a bad thing?

Let it be low-pressure. There are enough things happening on a wedding day, so we don’t believe in adding a list of responsibilities to your plate. This is time with the ones closest to you in a comfortable setting where you can just be yourselves. The more you relax, the easier our job is.  

Getting The Photos That Matter Most

The thing about getting ready photos is that they are more than just literal getting ready images. They are tangible moments of bonding with your family and friends and the completion of your full wedding story! 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed trying to put all of the pieces of your timeline together, we get it. While your engagement is one of the happiest times of your life, wedding planning can also be one of the most stressful, but our goal is to put the fun back into your engagement!!! 

When you book your wedding with us, we promise to be right here, helping you prepare your perfect timeline and having some serious fun.

Getting Ready: Everything You Need to Know About Pre-Wedding Photography On Your Wedding Day

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