Hey, future brides! This one’s for you.
Have you been scrolling through Pinterest, saving photo after photo of gorgeous getting ready photos just DREAMING of the day when you’ll be getting ready for you own big day? Let me tell you, getting ready photos are some of my absolute favs, and if you’re wanting coverage of you and your gals getting ready, mom helping you into your dress, or the epic shot putting on your shoes and garter then I have a few tips to help you create the best space for those moments. I’ve broken this into 10 tips to keep in mind when choosing your location, or prepping it for the morning of.
1. Prioritize Natural Light
This is number one for a reason. When choosing a spot to get ready, natural light can be a total game changer. Natural light makes everyone in the room glowy and beautiful, and is one of the most important things to think about when choosing any location for your wedding. A well-lit room makes all the difference.
Consider finding an AirB&B with tons of big windows (bonus points if it has a giant mirror!).
2. Think of Your Character and Style
What is the theme and style you’re going for with your wedding? If you’re having a beach or Alaskan wedding, consider a location that matches, or even find a space outside. This was one of my favorite getting ready spots. Christina and her sister got ready right on the deck outside the cabin. It made for absolutely gorgeous photos with the natural light, and can you believe this view?!
3. Hang up dresses on wooden hangers
I always try to bring at least one wooden hanger just in case for the bride’s dress, but if you want photos of your bridesmaids dresses, this is a great idea to level up the look. Wooden hangers, which can be found anywhere, can be a fun gift for bridesmaids if they’re engraved or written on, and look so great in photos. But don’t stress about a detail like this if detail shots aren’t a priority!
4. Give yourself more time than you think you’ll need.
I can’t stress this enough. You will most definitely wish you had planned for more time. You are going to want to take your time when putting on your dress, and it feels so dang good to sip a mimosa and not have to worry about time. Trust me. As someone who was racing from getting my hair done to the family photos, I KNOW! This is why I talk with my couples about their timeline and assist in creating the absolute best outline with you. We’ll talk about whether you want to do a first look with your bridesmaids, or if you’d like time with just your mom to put on your dress. These are such precious moments that are so special to have captured but it is important to make sure we plan the time for each.
5. Drink from cute cups rather than plastic water bottles or styrofoam coffee cups
This one is kind of a stretch. But think about the background. If there are 15 plastic water bottles constantly being moved, it is likely they will show up in your photos somewhere. Think about using cute cups. Not only will you feel special drinking from a “Wifey” cup, but you’ll make your photos even better, too.
6. Arrange the space so you’re facing towards natural light.
If you’re unable to find a space filled with large windows, then be sure to arrange your chair to face the window. This will ensure that the photos of you getting your hair and makeup done will have nice light on your face. This might mean rearranging the room, but it is so worth it in the end!
7. Have your details ready in a box so you don’t have to dig on the day of.
Get the little things that you want detail shots of ready in advance in a box so that you don’t have to worry about it on the day of. How does this relate to creating a getting ready space? You don’t want any stress in this space! Do these little tasks before hand to save yourself time and stress on the day of. You don’t want to be digging around looking for your earrings when you’re supposed to be getting your makeup done. All these things can have an impact on your morning so do yourself a favor and put it on your list for the week before. Also don’t forget to have your cleaned engagement ring, band, and your fiances ring ready, too. It’s common for those items to be in many separate locations on morning of!
8. Plan for a time when your bridesmaids will open their gifts
Are you planning on having gifts for your bridal party? If so, these can be a fun part of your gallery to remember. If you’ve put a lot of time and effort into creating special gifts, it can be so fun to capture the expressions. I remember spending weeks making custom mugs in my ceramics studio for each of my bridesmaids and my photographer captured their expressions, and we got a photo together of them holding their mugs. It was so special for me because I had put so much time and love into them, and it is so fun to look back on.
So if you’re the same way and have a plan to create gifts, don’t forget to let your photographer know in advance to plan that time on your timeline.
9. Make the bed!
This one is similar to the next tip. Make sure if there is a bed in the room that it is made! You don’t want all your photos to have an unmade bed, and it might be the perfect spot to stage gifts for your girls, or to do some getting ready shots with champagne!
10. Keep the space tidy!
Okay, I know this might seem like a given, and you might not think your space could get too messy if you’re only spending a few hours there anyway, right?
Imagine this, you create the perfect getting ready space. You’ve chosen this location for a reason and you have it all ready for your girls, right down to the perfect snacks, dresses on cute engraved hangers, and monogrammed bathrobes pressed and ready to go. People start arriving, and slowly the space is taken over by clothes, shoes, makeup, water bottles, and it will take time away from the photographer to clean those things up before taking photos!
So here’s my tip: encourage your ladies beforehand to keep their belongings stowed away. If they change into a matching robe or pajamas, have them clear away their clothes into a hidden closet or corner (even their car!). This will ensure that your space remains clean and tidy, and we can spend tons of time capturing gorgeous getting ready photos.
To summarize, you don’t have to get ready in a space offered at a location if it doesn’t match your character and style! There are so many great options. Think about preparing for your getting ready space in advance to avoid stress and to have the most time possible to soak in your day, and truly enjoy yourself.