When choosing which wedding coverage options suit them best, brides often ask the question: “Do I really need getting ready photos?”
When “getting ready” photos, they think just that: pictures of you and your bridesmaids in half-face makeup and robes, hair in curlers, and a couple of pictures of you putting your dress on.. But it’s so so SO much more than that, and I’m excited to share just why that is with you and all the ways you can make sure you get the best out of it.
In this article, I will cover the following:
1. The benefits of getting ready photos
2. Three quick tips on how to make sure you get the best out of them
3. What to bring along with you
♦ ♦ ♦
Why you TOTALLY want getting ready photos
Think about it: this is a time where you and some of the people that mean the most to you in the entire freaking world are all in one place at the same time. Excitement is in the air, it’s raining mimosas, Spotify is blasting all the throwback hits you listened to together in middle and high school, and oh yeah, YOU’RE ABOUT TO GET MARRIED.
It is what you make of it, and every part of your wedding day should be special. So if this isn’t the perfect moment for you the throw the most ultimate girl’s/guy’s night get together, I don’t know what is.
Not only does getting ready time give your photographer plenty of time to gather quite a few shots of you and your closest companions, but allows them to exercise their creativity and capture all the little details of your wedding day, such as your dress on its hanger, or that special bottle of whiskey your buddy brought you all the way from overseas as a gift.
♦ ♦ ♦
Getting the best of your pre-ceremony session
So now that you’re totally convinced (right?) I’ll share the three very little things you can do and watch for that will have a major impact on your pre-ceremony session.
Laundry, bags and beauty supplies seem to have a way of getting scattered all over the place whenever there are multiple people and things going on in one small space. I’ll usually try my best to tidy up when I arrive, but making sure everyone puts their things in another room, closet, or a designated corner of your getting ready space will help to keep distractions out of your photos.
Face the windows
If the room you are getting ready in has windows, planning to prep as much as possible near or facing their direction will result in some amazing lighting that you’ll thank yourself for later, and so will your makeup artist and photographer! Window light is some of the most beautiful and pure forms of lighting. It’s bright and neutral, and it will bring out your features in a way overhead tungsten lights only wish they could.
Bring along any details you’d like to have photographed
Were your invitations simply adorable? Did someone custom make your guestbook with their bare hands? Does your dress dazzle anyone who looks at it even while it’s still on the hanger? Getting ready time comes with plenty of down time your photographer can utilize to creatively capture all the little things too!
Treat yo self
Bonus fourth tip! Most importantly of all, don’t forget to treat yourselves too. Whether it’s matching robes for you and the ladies, or a special bottle of whiskey to share with your guys, indulge. This time should be not only about checking things off a list, but about relaxing and enjoying yourselves.
♦ ♦ ♦
What to bring
As a photographer, pre-ceremony sessions are one of my favorite parts of the day to document. It allows me to capture not only you interacting with your besties and the connections you have, but leaves me with plenty of time to capture the fine details and personality behind your wedding as well. Shooting and styling objects is one of my favorite things in the whole world and I love that I can bring it to the table through my wedding photography. This time enables me to pour a lot of time and creativity into photos I may otherwise need to squeeze in quickly on a shorter coverage schedule.
I recommend bringing two copies of each stationary item so that your photographer can grab front and back photos in the same shot. Stationary can include anything from your invitations and save the dates and the components that made them (ribbon, stamps, etc.) to what you wrote your vows on and your guestbook.
A beautiful hanger for a beautiful dress
We all know the plastic hangers with the metal hooks from the old days of yore. Practical, timeless, and… not cute. That said, you may want to consider purchasing aesthetically pleasing hangers for photos. Even basic wooden ones are a nice alternative, or you can get real fancy pantsy and peruse Etsy for beautiful vintage or even custom made hangers with your name on them. A bland dress hanger can be very distracting even when paired with designer dresses and a gorgeous backdrops.
Bring the rings
Pre-ceremony is prime time for your photographer to get creative with ring shots. Bring not only your wedding ring, but your sweetie’s too!
Have some extra florals handy
It’s not always possible to get your paws on your wedding flowers early, but they can be just as an important part of your wedding as anything else by representing the color and theme of your wedding. Incorporating bridal bouquets, groom boutonnieres, or even borrowing a couple from a center piece momentarily can breathe so much life into detail shots. If it’s a hassle, don’t sweat it! Your gorgeous bouquets and arrangements will make it into the photos of your reception hall.
♦ ♦ ♦
So there you have it!
With pre-ceremony coverage comes countless memories to be captured and turned into keepsakes you will smile back on until you are old and grey. Remember your wedding day not just for the big moments, but the little ones as well. It may not be for everyone, but it’s certainly worth the consideration. And even if you’re not planning on getting ready separately on your wedding day, you have other options as well!
Intimate sessions instead?
Coverage is coverage! Even if you’re planning on having an intimate pre-ceremony time getting ready with your sweetie, there are still so many incredible moments to be captured. Bride and groom shoot in the AirBNB? Yes please! Using this time for an intimate couple’s session either in a hotel, on a morning walk, or a brunch outing together is getting increasingly more and more popular and I’m all about it! It calms the nerves and gives you two a moment before all the craziness begins to just be together.
What’s that? You want to do a getting ready session with meee? Well let’s get in touch then!