Getting ready on your wedding day sets the tone for the entire experience. Plan your wedding getting ready photos according to what will most benefit you!

Why Wedding Getting Ready Photos Are Worth It

Elopement Tips, Weddings

The way that your wedding day begins sets the tone for the entire experience. Your ability to relax into it makes it possible to not miss a thing. You may need time alone, with your spouse-to-be, your wedding party or with a parent. Fortunately, there isn’t a rule for how to do this portion of the day. What matters most is that you plan your wedding getting ready photos according to what will most benefit you!

Making Space for Wedding Getting Ready Photos in Your Timeline

wedding getting ready photos of bride with bridesmaids

If you choose to get ready alone, you may also want this time to be free of your wedding photographer, which parts of it absolutely can be! Your wedding photography timeline is crafted by you and it’s not required that I capture every single moment if you are looking for some privacy.

But, capturing even just a few wedding getting ready photos are in fact worth it for several major reasons:

Reason #1: The Storytelling

My number one selling point for those who are on the fence about wedding getting ready pictures is how it adds so much to the storytelling of your day. Rather than your photos starting with the ceremony, they begin with the actual opening ceremony of your day: getting ready.

We go to the hotel room or getting-ready space in your venue where it all officially begins. Usually you are hanging out with your closest friends and family laughing, sipping champagne, and eating snacks or breakfast together. Brides will often wear a wedding getting ready robe that matches or complements her bridesmaids.

There are so many options for activities to fill this time which generally include actual getting-ready activities including hair and makeup or getting into your wedding outfit. For wedding bridals, it’s zipping up the dress and for the groom this may be attaching cufflinks, pinning the boutonniere or tying the tie. It’s my job to be a fly on the wall as you work through any pre-wedding nerves. Witnessing this preparation for the biggest day of your life is such a beautiful thing.

Reason #2: The Surprise

Another major benefit of wedding getting ready photos is that typically the bride and groom aren’t together during this time. This is an opportunity to capture you separately for bridal portraits and of the groom putting on his wedding accessories (tie, boutonniere, cufflinks, etc.).

Having these moments photographed allows you to catch a glimpse of how the other’s day started. These photos are a complete surprise because you may have no idea what they were up to during that time! Seeing the gallery for the first time helps paint a picture of the full day.

Reason #3: The Details

wedding getting ready photos of wedding details

Couples put an insane amount of thought and love into every aspect of their wedding style. There’s a reason why Pinterest is overflowing with photos of these wedding details! Your wedding details matter and often play a crucial role in the design of your day.

While taking your wedding getting ready photos, I’m able to capture all of those unique wedding details before they’re in use. These wedding photos can include the dress hanging on a beautiful tree, the wedding rings before they come out of the box, the groom’s tie before it gets tied, or the perfume or cologne bottle that would otherwise never be photographed.

Nothing brings the wedding details shot together like the flat lay. A flat lay photograph is an elegant way to capture all the small details and accessories from the day. The items are laid out in a very beautiful and thoughtful way then captured in a single frame. Here are some ideas for your wedding details checklist: 

wedding getting ready photos of wedding details
  • Wedding invitation details card or the full invitation suite (w/save the date).
  • Rings and ring boxes.
  • Vow books.
  • Items for something borrowed, something blue.
  • Cologne or perfume.
  • Tie, cufflinks, tie pin, boutonniere, shoes, watch.
  • Heirlooms or other mementos of pets or loved ones.
  • Bouquet, heels, veil, jewelry.

Know Your Options for Wedding Getting Ready Photos

Because the day hasn’t “officially” started, photographing these early moments are when I catch the most candid shots. It’s also the most private moments you’ll get all day with your wedding party and family members before the wedding day events.

First Looks

Just because you select a wedding party doesn’t mean that you have to get ready with them. You can get together separately followed by a bridesmaid or groomsmen reveal. Other first look options include:

  • Groom does a first look with mom. 
  • Bride does a first look with dad.
  • Either does a first look with their parents.
  • Get a moment even with your dog!

The Groom

groom drinks with groomsmen on wedding day

Getting ready can be a completely different experience for the bride versus the groom. The groom usually doesn’t have makeup and hair to do so he has a little extra time on his hands. These are some ideas for the groom’s wedding getting ready photos:

  • Play lawn games or cards.
  • Drink and offer a toast.
  • Give gifts to the groomsmen. 
  • Read a letter from or write a letter to your bride.
  • Get a fresh shave from an on-site barber.

Activities Together

wedding getting ready photos of couple exchanging gifts

Over half my wedding couples want to incorporate a gift exchange at some point during the day. Once they arrive at the venue, the day can become a bit hectic. There is really no better place or time to do a gift exchange than when they are both fully dressed and still at their getting-ready spot. Gift-giving also lends itself easily to a couples first look where you can continue to warm up to my cameras before the day officially begins.

For an elopement, the couple often gets ready together since there may not be a wedding party or even guests. Making the time for wedding getting ready photos allows you to take it all in and slow down. We don’t want you to miss a single moment of your day!