One of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE parts of a wedding day is the beginning! Everyone is fluttering around, so excited and full of bubbly nerves. But many brides choose not to have their photographer present during the bride getting ready time… and come to regret it later! Bride getting ready photos are some of the most beautiful images from a wedding!
Why Are Bridal Prep Photos Important?
When you picture the bride getting ready, you probably think of curlers and Spanx – maybe NOT something you want immortalized in film! But this bridal prep time is a great time for me to get warmed up AND for the bridesmaids to get used to me being around.
When you are planning out your photography timeline, you might consider having your photographer wait until your first look or formal portraits to arrive. However, it is so important to give your photographer time to warm up! I always appreciate the chance to meet the bridal party, get into the style of the day, and start off on the right foot. Without the time for bride getting ready photos, the wedding photo process can feel rushed instead of relaxed.
You should also want to capture the whole experience of your wedding day! During bridal prep, I not only get photos of you and your bridal party – I also shoot detailed shots of your wedding dress, bridal accessories, and other special items from your day.
And honestly? Having photos of all the important and beautiful little details of your day is absolutely amazing!
What is the Timeline for Bride Getting Ready Photos?
Bridal prep photos typically take place at least one and a half hours before your first look, or two hours before your ceremony if you are not having a first look. You should allow for at least one and a half hours for bride getting ready photos including introductions, set-up, and photos.
Let’s talk about how this will break down! Once I arrive on scene at your getting ready location, I’ll familiarize myself with your bridal party (putting faces to names) and then get right to work! While you get beautified and clink champagne glasses, I’ll take care of capturing every detail! And, not to toot my own horn, but I’ll style your accessories together to get the absolute BEST photos. During and after the details, I’ll snap photos of you and your bridal party, capturing the fun moments and flurry of activity as you prepare for the happiest day of your life!
Bridal Prep Photos
When photographing the bridal party getting ready, I love to capture all the little details that make your wedding day SO special! From tiny trinkets attached to your bouquet, to the pair of heels you’ll walk down the aisle in, each item shows YOUR bridal style and tells part of your love story! You’ve spent so much time making every detail perfect: these special photos will allow you and your loved ones to remember all the thoughtfulness and care that made your wedding so memorable.
While you get ready with your girls, I warm up with these detail shots! Here’s a handy bridal prep list of common items I photograph to have on hand. Stow these items safely in a bag or corner, or assign a bridesmaid to hold onto these special details to help me capture everything!
- Wedding Dress: Before you slip on your wedding gown, I’ll photograph your dress on its own. Hanging your wedding dress on a custom or wooden hanger makes these photos even better! Plastic hangers just aren’t as pretty. Hotels typically have nice spare hangers on hand if needed.
- Invitation Suite: Memorialize your wedding invitations and any other wedding paper such as save the dates. Gather each piece of wedding paper together before your big day!
- Bridal Veil: Beautiful on its own, your veil also serves as the perfect backdrop for photos of other details such as your wedding rings and bridal shoes!
- Wedding and Engagement Rings: Make sure to have all three rings with you: your engagement and wedding rings along with your fiance’s wedding ring.
- Bouquets and Boutonnieres: Florals are such a beautiful element on your wedding day and I love getting detail shots! If you’re sharing a first look (which I encourage all couples to consider!) then you need to have your bouquet delivered to wherever you’re getting ready so that it can be ready when you leave for portraits!
- Bridal Shoes: Whether you’re wearing flats, heels, or even different shoes for the ceremony and reception, I’ll be sure to capture each pair.
- Bridal Jewelry: Close-up shots of your bridal jewelry will be SO GORGEOUS – especially when I pair your earrings or necklace with other details such as invitations and florals! Wait to put on your jewelry until after you get dressed – you’ll love having photos of yourself excitedly clasping that special bracelet right before you see your future husband!
- Perfume: Studies show that wearing a different scent than your typical perfume helps bring back memories from the day when you wear it again later! Let’s capture this special scent in photos, too!
- Keepsakes: Family heirlooms, monogrammed handkerchiefs, and other significant details make for beautiful photos AND are so important to your love story!
- Good Luck Charms: If you have something old, new, borrowed, or blue, this is when I’ll photograph it! And don’t forget – a haypenny in your shoe is still good luck!
- Gifts/Cards Between Bride and Groom: Gifting each other something new, or delivering a heartfelt card is a great way to connect as you each get ready! And the photos of each of you laughing and shedding happy tears as you open and read? How sweet!
Be sure to make room in your wedding day timeline for bride getting ready photos! You’ll be SO happy to have photos of all these beautiful details from your wedding day!
Want more tips and tricks from Heather K Cook Photography on how to make your wedding day a breeze? Learn how I put together a wedding day photography timeline!