Planning Your Wedding With Photography in Mind: Getting Ready

Welcome to the first post of our series where we walk you through a planning guide for your wedding day with photography in mind! We’ve been photographing weddings for over 7 years now (150+ weddings) and it’s about time we start sharing the accumulation of knowledge we have from these weddings to get you the best photos possible!

Let’s start with the getting-ready portion of your day! We have 5 tips for you in planning ahead for well lit, beautiful photos while you get ready on your wedding day.

1. Windows and Natural Light

When photographers walk into a getting-ready space on a wedding day, we love seeing lots of windows that let in natural light. We love seeing white walls that allow the light to bounce nicely and fill the space. That nice light is where we’re going to ask you to put on your dress and enjoy those sweet moments with friends. We’ll likely go and turn off any warm lights that are turned on in the space that compete with our natural light. If you have the opportunity to choose between a few different options for your getting-ready location, whether at your venue or off-site (airbnb, hotel, or friend’s house), we definitely recommend you look for the space that allows the most natural light.


2. Clean Space = Clean Photos

Often times a group crashes in a bridal suite or hotel before the early wedding morning and naturally there’s trash, bags, shoes, charging cords and food left all around the space when we arrive. We recommend blasting a few songs and having a clean-up-party even if it means putting everything in a dark corner before we arrive. This will allow clean backgrounds for your wedding photos and happy photographers. 🙂


3. Leave Items out Before we Arrive

Before we arrive to photograph you getting ready on your wedding day, leave out some key items for us to grab and photograph: your jewelry, outfit (dress, shoes, veil…), sentimental items, invitation suite, and both yours and your partner’s rings. It’s nice to leave that job to a friend so that we don’t have to bother you while you’re getting make-up on and we can get to work once we arrive.


4. Everyone Dressed Before you Get Dressed

Before you get dressed and put on jewelry, let’s make sure everyone’s out of their PJs and ready to help while looking fancy shmancy themselves. The photos will just look better if you’re doing final touches with people who are also in their outfits ready to go.

5. Keep it Simple with Less People Around when Getting Dressed

I recommend having just a few key people help you get ready because it makes for a really intimate and special moment with them. I’m so glad that I just had my siblings and mom with me when I got my dress on during our wedding day and a fun bonus was that I got to do a grand reveal/first look with my wedding party when I was all ready!

6. Write Letters and Wrap Gifts before the Wedding Day

To keep things running smoothly, we highly recommend you write your letters and hand them off to your partner *before* the wedding day… this allows more time to get ready and read your letter instead of writing your letter quickly.

7. Get Your Dress on Half Way Before Sending in Photographers

Every bride is different with privacy. If you’re one to want to get situated first, you can get ready in privacy and then let your let your photographers know when you’re ready to jump in some nice light and get zipped in or buttoned up.

Looking for more info about elopements and wedding planning? Check out our Planning your Elopement in California guide!