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To ensure a nice flow throughout the wedding day, it is vital to start the day off right. The more we can accomplish before the ceremony, the more time we will have later to get creative with pictures of the two of you. By being prepared for us, and knowing what to expect, it helps us capture amazing photos for you!
When we first arrive, it is very important that the bride and everyone in the room be hair and makeup ready. We always suggest asking your bridal party and stylists to be finished 15-20 minutes earlier than necessary. The last thing you want to have to do is wait for a person in your bridal party! Only the bride should be putting on finishing make-up touches at this time. The groom and groomsmen should be nearly fully dressed. It will also be a good idea to put your bridal party to work to ensure the room is nice and tidy, as many photos will take place in the getting-ready area.
As you will see below, the “getting ready” portion of the wedding day is a time for many unforgettable photos. The ideal amount of photo time for this part of the day is 1.5-2 hours. If you are doing a first look, typically 2.5 hours is suggested. To maximize photo time, we designate one photographer for each spouse, which enables more coverage during this time period.
Here is a list of what to expect during the getting ready portion of your day, in chronological order:
1. Detail Photos – For the bride, this includes photos of the dress before it is put on, shoes, jewelry, florals, gifts and even invitation suites. Its a good idea to have these items ready when we arrive. For the groom this may include shoes, gifts, boutonnieres etc.
2. Candid Getting Ready Photos – For a bride, these include photos of finishing make-up touches, photos in special outfits before the dresses are on and of course putting on the dress. Putting on the dress photos occur about 20 minutes after we arrive, and typically take about 10 minutes, with the understanding that some dresses take longer than others to put on. While these shots are occurring, all of the bridesmaids and immediate family (ex. mother of the bride) should be fully dressed and ready to go.Rather than photographing a bride actually putting the dress, on we typically photograph the final lace up / zip up, along with bridesmaids/family helping with the finishing touches like shoes and jewelry. For a groom, we may photograph moments like friends/family helping with the suit, putting on shoes, and overall fun with the group.
3. Individual and Group Portraits Next, we will photograph some formal and stylized shots of the wedding couple in the room, and around the property. This is also the time for fun and formal portraits with each individual bridesmaid /groomsman, along with full group shots. Including family members is optional at this point, as there is usually time (after the ceremony) specifically set aside for family photos.
4. More Photos! Additional photo opportunities may take place throughout the getting ready portion, such as a gift exchange, a no-look meeting with each other, or even a first look with the Bride’s father. These can make for some unforgettable images. Then, before the ceremony, it’s a good idea to schedule in a 15 minute break. This allows you to decompress, and to get ready for the big moment.
With all of this said, it’s important to remember that a wedding is a live event! Even when things don’t go exactly as planned, it is important to be adaptable. Embrace the excitement of the day, and we’ll be right there to capture amazing photos :)
Check out more unforgettable getting ready wedding images.