From our Photographer’s Point of View series…

Over my career, I’ve captured hundreds of weddings. I’ve photographed small weddings, big weddings, weddings in churches, under tents…fancy weddings, and simple weddings. I can offer a unique perspective because when I photograph a wedding, I see the entire day from beginning to end. A photographer is the only wedding professional who sees the ENTIRE day. Through the years, I’ve witnessed many magical moments unfold in front of my camera, and I’ve seen a few “less-than-ideal” situations that could have been easily avoided.  Here are 7 tips for getting ready photos on your wedding day!

A photo of wedding rings and a wedding ring case.

If possible, keep the wedding rings and a copy of all of your printed materials with you in the morning.  When there is a down moment, I can get pictures of every detail.  You spend a lot of time and money on these items, so it’s important to include them.

My suggestions are not intended to tell you what to do on your wedding day, but rather suggest a few ideas that might make your day run smoothly. If you’re reading this, it’s probably safe to say that you’re in the planning stages and you probably feel a little overwhelmed. Hopefully this information will help you feel prepared and confident when you create your wedding day schedule.  (For more information on wedding day scheduling, check out this article on the Knot.)

The mother of the bride inspects the bridal gown.

While this photo probably will not end up framed on a wall, it’s an important moment you’ll want to remember.  
The ‘getting ready’ time is my favorite part of the day! It’s an important part of your wedding day story. The morning will be filled with excitement and emotion, so it’s important to include this in your coverage. Here are a few things to consider when you are getting ready for an incredible day!

1. The getting ready photos are very relaxed and candid. We aren’t in your face with big lights, screaming “Work it girl!” Hopefully, you’ll barely notice that we are even there.  Try to relax, and start ignoring the photographer. Focus on your friends and family, and getting ready for your wedding!

2. This is a great time for us to take detail photos. If possible, please have all of the wedding rings, and any printed materials you want photographed with you. (Like invitations, save-the-date cards, etc.)

A photo of a wedding invitation.

At your getting ready location, bring your wedding invitation, and any other printed materials.  Also, bring the rings!

3. Location is always important when it comes to nice photos. Salons, hotel rooms, and houses make great settings for your wedding prep.

4. Please, at all costs, avoid getting ready somewhere where there is no natural light (also known as window light). And especially avoid getting ready with fluorescent lighting (like in a church basement).

5. You’ll want to have your flowers delivered to your getting ready location. This way you’ll have them for any photos you want before the ceremony.

The bride puts on her makeup in a mirror at a beauty salon.
The bride puts on her makeup, and I get a little creative. 

What about the guys?

This may come as a great shock to some of you, but the guys getting ready process isn’t quite as involved as it is with the ladies. There are a few options for the guys…The groom ties his tie before his wedding.

6. If your package includes one photographer (also known as “me,”) I can stay with the girls in the morning, then go meet the guys at their prep location, or at the church. Sometimes the guys don’t want getting ready photos, and skip them entirely. I always assure guys that photos are relaxed, candid, and fun.  I know guys usually don’t enjoy getting their photo taken.  

7. If your package includes a second photographer, he or she can spend the entire morning with the guys (or as long as needed). Sometimes guys have an activity in the morning, like a round of golf. This is a great time to use a second photographer.

Formal Bridal Party Pictures Before the Ceremony

8. A great way to save time after the ceremony, and insure you get to your reception during cocktail hour, is to take some of your family and formal portraits before the ceremony. This can be done at the prep location, or even at the church. This time of the day is a great time to take some bridal portraits (make sure you have your flowers), portraits with your parents, and portraits of you with each member of the bridal party.  You may even consider a “first look.”  You can read more information about first looks here.

The bride poses for a portrait with her dad, mom, and sister.

Your wedding day will go by faster than any other day.  Great wedding photos will insure that you remember every detail.  Try to have some natural light, bring your rings and printed material, and have your flowers delivered to your getting ready location.  

In the next post, I’ll talk about the pros and cons of the “First Look!”  And don’t forget to view my latest wedding work on my Instagram feed.