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Capturing Memories: Getting ready photos for your wedding!

April 21, 2023

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Photos while getting ready is an essential part of any story told with wedding photography. These images capture the intimate moments of a couple’s preparation for their big day. From final touches of hair and makeup to putting on the dress or tux, these images are a beautiful reminder of the anticipation and excitement that comes with getting married.

As a wedding photographer, I truly love capturing the memories of couples getting ready! Each individual is unique; some get ready with family while others with their wedding party or close friends. Some have fun celebrations with champagne, while others have intimate family moments filled with happy tears and laughter. When it comes there is no wrong way to go about this! Just do what feels perfect to you and your day! 

Why do getting ready photos?

If you’re on the fence about getting ready photos, let me just say it’s time to get off the fence and start falling in love with getting ready shots. This time before your wedding is great for beautiful wedding photos to help capture all the excitement, anticipation, and joy as you’re preparing. Yes, there might be a couple of nerves and those are totally normal! 

When you look back on your wedding photos, these photos are a great reminder of the moments leading up to your wedding! These capture such raw and beautiful emotions and really truly are magical. When wedding planning, be sure to include time in your wedding photography schedule for getting ready photos!

Should both grooms and brides do getting-ready photos? YES! It’s beautiful to capture both members of the couple getting ready as they anticipate their first look…but more on that later!

Lastly, consider that having getting ready photos allows you a slower roll-in to the day with your wedding photographer. Rather than meeting up with them at your first look or as you get into your more posed portraits, they can be with you during this more casual and slower-paced time. Talk about setting the mood and vibe for your day!

Image of a bride putting on socks with hearts and then sneakers on as she's getting ready photos wedding.

Choosing a space for getting ready photos!

One of the first things we need for getting ready photos is a space! If you’re not sure, check with your wedding venue as they often have getting ready space(s). In an ideal world, we want lots of light in your getting ready space! If it’s darker and there is not a lot of light, unfortunately, there is only so much photography-wise that can be done, but we will try our best!

Try to have a bright, clean space! No one wants photos with piles of wedding day gear in the background, or piles of clothing that your wedding party just got out of when getting into bridesmaid dresses or suits! You want the space neat and tidy so that as the camera moves around the room it can capture all angles and sides of all your precious moments without worrying about making sure certain items aren’t in the shots! 

Image of a bride Getting ready photos wedding. She's putting on earrings in a mirror with her wedding dress on.

Gathering items for those detail shots!

Detail shots are a great element to include in your getting ready pictures! These allow specific items that are important to your day to be captured in your pre wedding photos. I’m talking about the ring shots, those beautiful crisp wedding invites, a family heirloom, a card of your vows… (cue endless list of cute items).

My first piece of advice with these pictures is to have all the detailed items together and ready! This allows me to take my time getting beautiful pre wedding photo detail shots and not waiting on each piece to arrive. I recommend putting these items in a box (like your shoe box) and giving it to me (your wedding photographer) when I first arrive. This allows me to take photos of the items and set them up as needed for dreamy pictures. Be sure you plan ahead and make a list of what detail items are needed so that on the day of, you know exactly what to gather and bring!

Here are some examples for your wedding day getting ready essentials (detail shots):

·        Rings

·        Wedding Invites, Menu, and/or Save the Date

·        Heels & Shoes

·        Cufflinks & Tie

·        Ribbon, Flowers, and Décor Items

·        Jewellery

·        Veil, Hair Piece, Tiara

·        Something old, new, borrowed, and blue

·        Written out vows

·        Bouquet, boutonniere, or flower clippings

·        Perfume

Image of wedding detail photos with a lavender tie, white heels, rings and a bouquet.

Bridal getting ready photos

Brides-to-be where are you at? When it comes to a bride to get ready here are a couple of helpful tips to help you with your getting ready photo wedding prep! First thing first: who is getting ready with you? Do you want your bridesmaids getting ready with you? Do you want your family to get ready with you? Make sure your helpers are dressed and ready before it’s time to help you! We want to stay on schedule, and ensuring they’re ready first to assist you is KEY!

Speaking of schedules… make sure you work with your hair and make-up artists to schedule appropriately! It’s crucial that they’ve got ample time to get you ready before your getting ready for photos! It can be really pretty to include a couple of photos of your bridal team helping with the finishing touches. But, we don’t want your entire prep photos to be exclusively you getting your hair and makeup done!  We want to see you and your crew sharing beautiful intimate moments!

As the bride gets ready, you also want to ensure that you have everything you need! Making a list and checking it before arriving can be so helpful! A pro tip I’ve learned over the years as a wedding photographer is a crochet hook can be your best friend! How so, Jess? If you have buttons on your dress this helps you easily bob and weave through the hooks to secure each button (and save your helpers’ fingers and manicures!). Also, be sure you know who is going to be zipping/buttoning up your dress so we can get some beautiful shots of those moments! 

Image of a bride getting her make up done getting ready for her wedding day.

Groom Getting Ready Photos!

Hey Fellas! Yes, you! Here are some helpful tips to help you with your getting ready pics! Similar to bridesmaids ensure your groom squad and helpers are dressed and ready to go before helping you. You’ll want to think about who you want to help you get ready, is it a family member, a couple of friends, or your best man? Of those folks who you want to help you get ready, establish who you want to help you put on your suit jacket and boutonniere! These make for beautiful photo ideas for intimate and memorable moments.

Image of detailed groom items such as his vows, bow-tie, cuff link and wedding ring for getting ready photos wedding.

First look getting ready photos wedding ideas!

Before you have your first look with each other, do you want to do first looks at your wedding party or with your parents? This is a great time to plan ahead and make sure you can get those shots!

Want to do some fun first look with your wedding party? These can make for some truly cute and special wedding photos! You can make them fun and silly, or have intimate moments that are full of raw and genuine emotions! Whatever your style is, go with that! Want some inspiration? Check out my blog on wedding party photo pose ideas here

What about a first look with a parent or both of your parents? Taking special time to connect with your parent(s) can be powerful and so special, so if you’re mulling that over, I would say go for it! Just make sure your parent(s) are aware of this part of the day and ready to go when it’s the time! 

Image of a bride doing a first look with her bridesmaids!


Wedding photos can feel overwhelming, I get it! That’s why you can reach out to me and I can help with the process! I love to chat with couples and get ideas of what’s special to them, and how they want to see their day and truly capture their love story in a real and authentic way! I hope this post gave you some helpful ideas for your big day! If you’re looking for a Minnesota Wedding Photographer – I’m your girl!

Looking for more information on booking a wedding photographer? Check out my in-depth blog that goes over EVERYTHING to help make this one area of wedding planning as smooth as possible! 

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It's Jess!

Passionate about celebrating relationships between partners and between us and our home, Earth.

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