Getting ready on your big day is an integral part of your wedding story, especially when it comes to photos! I mean, that shot of you slipping into your dress in the light of a gorgeous window? **Chef’s kiss* *
Bride getting ready photos are the start of most wedding day stories. The excitement is palpable and sets the tone for the rest of the event!
But if you’ve never been a part of a wedding, you may not know how this all plays out or why it’s even important.
What are “Getting Ready” Photos and Why Should You Care?
Honestly, I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. Getting ready photos are, well, photos of you getting ready.
Yes, traditionally, they hype up the bride and the bridal party, but guys are getting in on the action now too!
And why not? It’s just as much their day!
Getting ready shots are essential to capture because they serve up some of the most beautiful and emotional moments.
The first time you see yourself in your wedding dress, or how about when your mom, dad, or sibling sees you? I mean, gosh, bring the tears!
It’s just you and your girls (or guys) taking in these last moments before your ceremony. A blend of relaxation and giddiness, hype and reflection, and all your favorite people will be there.
Why wouldn’t you want to capture that?
Bride Getting Ready Photos FAQ
How Long Do Getting Ready Photos Take?
Mmmkay, so you see how vital getting ready photos are, but how long do they take?
This one kind of depends on you. Will you be getting ready at your venue, or will you be at a salon? If you’re getting ready anywhere but your venue, you’ll need to calculate travel time.
Getting ready will also take longer if everyone gets their hair and makeup professionally done. You’re going to want to plan in about 30-45 minutes per person for makeup and about 60-90 minutes for yourself.
The same goes for the hair.
So obviously it depends on your choices and how big your wedding party is. However, you’ll want to invite your photographer at least an hour early.
What Time Should a Bride Start Getting Ready?
Make a schedule for yourself based on how long it will take for everyone to get ready, and then work backward. But, to give you an idea, a bridal party of four will typically take an hour each to get prepared.
Schedule that time before your wedding party photos are taken.
What Should a Bride Wear While Getting Ready?
Whatever you feel comfortable getting photographed in! Many brides choose robes specially selected for the day (sometimes even coordinating with their bridesmaids).
But don’t limit yourself based on what you think you should do. It is your wedding day after all.
Finding the Perfect Location for Your Getting Ready Photos
Spend some time here, friend. You need to make sure that the space you take your getting-ready photos in is conducive to taking photos!
Make Sure There’s Plenty of Space
Choose a room where there’s ample space for everyone to get ready, especially if you have a large wedding party.
You’ll have friends, family, maybe some kids, and possibly even some dogs coming in and out of that room. Not to mention all of the clothes, bags, food, and drinks.
I’m guessing you don’t want a ton of clutter in your photos, so having a room large enough to accommodate everyone while still keeping an area clutter-free is key.
Windows, Windows, and More Windows
If you want to highlight an emotional moment or two from this time, you’ll want to make sure the photos look gorgeous.
The best way to do that (besides hiring a fantastic wedding photographer, of course) is to choose a room or an area of a room that has some natural light.
If you can, choose a room that has plenty of windows to give you that glowy, natural light that both you and your photographer will love.
Somewhere You’re Comfortable
This might be the most crucial point. If you’ve got all of the beautiful light in the world, but the room makes you feel icky, it ain’t gonna work.
Choose somewhere you want to get ready.
How to Get the Best Getting Ready Bridal Photos
Getting ready and getting ready photos are not necessarily the same thing. When we’re talking about “getting ready photos,” we mean you’re paying for your photographer’s time, so make sure you make the most of it!
Have Your Details Ready
Make sure you have all of the sentimental details you care about ready to go. Have a family heirloom you’d like captured? How about your “something blue”?
Keep all of these details in one area for your photographer to easily access. That way, you won’t have to spend time on the morning of your big day running around collecting things.
Keep Your Wedding Rings on Hand
I mean, not literally. Just keep them close.
Get Your Flowers Delivered
Hot tip – get your flowers delivered to your bridal suite so you have access to them when you need them. That way your wedding photographer doesn’t have to spend time hunting them down.
Create an Enjoyable Space
Think about what this might mean to you. Maybe it’s plenty of coffee, tea, or how about some mimosas?
Perhaps it means having food catered and brought in, so everyone has what they need right there. Whatever you and your fam need to feel settled and comfortable, bring it in!
Must-Have Getting Ready Photos
Now, let’s get into the best wedding ideas for capturing those gorgeous getting-ready photos for your wedding album.
A Quiet Moment
Do you know that moment? The one where you’ve got your wedding gown on, your hair and makeup are done, and you’re just waiting to say yes to forever?
You may not have had that moment yet, but don’t miss it when it comes!
Wedding Day Excitement
Grab a picture with your bridal party where the excitement is evident! Of course, that will be most moments throughout the day, so this one will be easy.
Grab a Drink
My first thought here would have been coffee, but if you want to get the day started early, grab yourself a mimosa!
Your Getting Ready Outfit
You’ve likely put some thought into what you will wear while you’re getting ready. Maybe it’s a beautiful silk robe passed down through your family, or perhaps it’s something you chose to coordinate with your besties.
Either way, you won’t want to miss the chance to have it documented.
Your Bridal Party’s Fit
We all know that the wedding dress is the showstopper, but don’t forget to give some kudos to the bridesmaids’ outfits. You probably chose them intentionally and with care.
Plus, your girls are going to look amazing in them!
The Bridal Bouquet
Your florals will be stunning. Get some photos of your bouquet in some wedding details shots, then grab it and work that gorgeous greenery.
The Love Letter
If you and your beau are planning on writing letters to one another, make sure your photographer is there when you open yours.
This is sure to make a heartfelt photo.
Get In Close
Have a few photos where you get in close with your loved ones. This will probably happen naturally in plenty of candid moments throughout the morning.
When it does, your wedding photographer will document it.
I’m pretty sure your face will be beaming all day, so this one should be in the bag.
When you get ready, it’s a fun blend of nerves, joy, and anticipation. The first time you see your hair and makeup done, when you get your flowers delivered, and when you finally get that gorgeous gown of yours on.
I mean, the getting-ready photos are prime joy time.
Breaking Out the Bubbly
Sis, this is your time! Ain’t no shame in starting your game early.
Break out the bubbly with all your bridesmaids around, and make sure your wedding photographer is there to capture the moment.
All the Candids
You and your friends are goofs, and there will be photos to prove it. Invite your photographer in early while you’re getting ready, so they don’t miss all the ridiculous moments your girls will be serving up.
You can’t miss these special moments with your ride or die.
No, not your future husband. We’re talking about your pup! Make sure they’re getting the love they deserve on your wedding day.
Flower Girls First
If they’re part of your wedding, then they probably matter to you. Don’t miss capturing the adorable moments of those little flower girls getting ready for their time in the spotlight.
Portraits While Prepping
Photos of your friends and family helping you get ready will show you how much you’re loved. Don’t miss these!
Don’t Miss the Details
Family heirlooms, a perfume that’s your scent, a locket gifted to you by your late dad – all noteworthy details that are worthy of camera time.
You and Your Wedding Dress
If there was ever a secondary love story happening on your wedding day, it’s the one between you and your wedding dress.
Don’t you dare miss the chance to capture that love story in all its glory!
Getting Into Your Gown
This is one of the sweetest moments during your getting-ready time. In fact, it’s what the whole prep time leads up to, so document it as part of your wedding story!
The Final Moments
Those finishing touches that you and your fam work on to get you ready for your ceremony deserve some play in your wedding photos. These are the sweet final moments before you say yes to forever.
Rock Your Wedding Shoes
What wedding photographs are complete without a bit of shoe action? When you slip on your wedding shoes, you’re almost ready to walk down the aisle, and that’s a shot you can’t miss.
Get Some Veil Action
If you decided to rock a veil, make sure you let her have a moment in the spotlight. She deserves a close-up in your wedding photos.
The Bridesmaids’ Surprise
If you’re going to make your whole bridal party wait to see you all dolled up, then make sure you get their reaction.
It’s likely to be worth it. Your friends won’t let you down.
Besties Got You
Some of the best getting-ready wedding photos are the ones where your friends are helping you out. There will be plenty of those moments throughout the day, though, I’m sure.
You’ve got the real deal on your team.
Some Mama Time
If you and your mama have a good relationship, don’t miss out on some mama time in your wedding photographs. The day can get away from you, but make sure to carve out a little time just for her.
Some Grandma Time
If you’re lucky enough to have your grandma still in your life, bring her in on the festivities.
Grooms Gotta Get Ready
Don’t forget that your man also has to get ready. Images of a groom and his groomsmen getting ready are special wedding day photos too!
Your wedding jewelry is gorgeous and hand-picked by you. Get a few photos of you putting it on, as well as some detailed photos of just your wedding jewelry.
You chose a space with glorious light. Now work those windows.
Find What Matters to You
All these ideas are fun to think about, and they certainly get the inspiration flowing, but ultimately, you should be tailoring your getting-ready photos to you!
Your wedding is for you. So, if getting ready looks like throwing on some makeup at home before heading into the mountains for an elopement, then own it.
Finding what matters to you and intentionally choosing that will always make for better photos than following the industry trends.