4 Recommendations for Beautiful Getting Ready Images

Michelle Gauthier portrait in getting ready room at Wintergreen Woods
Michelle in her getting ready room at Wintergreen Woods. Click this link to see more of her beautiful summer wedding in Lexington, South Carolina!

Getting Ready Images

Why not kick off the start of one of the most exciting days of your life with clarity, and beauty? The getting ready portion of the day can fly by, and when it’s your big day, you don’t want to stress about the photography. Follow our four recommendations below to set yourself, and your photographer, up for success!

Prepare Items to be Photographed

Having all of the items you wish to have photographed put together helps make this part of the day a cinch. We recommend placing all of these items in a box, even just a shoe box, so it’s easy to carry. You’re also ensuring everything is all in one place. So what types of items are typically put inside this box?

  • The rings (that’s the engagement ring and the wedding bands)
  • Any heirlooms that are part of the day
  • Your invitation suite
  • Your perfume (some brides choose a special scent that they wear on anniversaries and special occasions to remind their partner of this day!)
  • Hairpieces
  • Shoes (these can be in their own shoebox, if needed)
  • Gift/letter to your partner

Separate from this box would be your dress (which we’re pretty sure you won’t forget to have in the bridal suite). Should your flowers arrive before we do, we will also photograph your bouquet. While we recommend doing this, if your florals don’t arrive on time, it’s no issue. We can snap a few images of it during couple’s portraits.

Get Ready Near a Window

This will not only help your hair and make-up artist, or yourself if you’re doing your own hair and make-up, but it greatly helps the outcome of your photographs. Windows provide flattering natural light, that can add dimension depending on where you’re seated. For our style of photography, we like our brides to be sat parallel to the window, just behind the window opening. If your hair and make-up artist wants to get you ready somewhere else, that’s fine. Most hair and make-up artists are happy to do the final touch ups near a window, placed how we prefer. Thus, we get our shots, and they are also happy. Everybody wins!

Keep the Clutter to a Minimum

This can be practically impossible. With multiple bridesmaids, you, and potentially mothers and grandmothers all getting ready in one area, the room can quickly turn into a hot mess. While we can create beautiful images by moving a few bags ourselves, and we’ve certainly worked in small spaces, it’s easiest to have a few items in place.

We recommend designating a bridesmaid or two to try to keep an eye on clutter. Bring a few trash bags (because the hotel and bridal suite bins are usually far too small) to throw away used cotton balls, snack wrappers, and the like. These appointed ladies can also keep an eye out for large suit cases and bags sprawled open everywhere. It helps keep the clean up afterwards easy, and when we arrive, we most likely won’t have to move too much. That being said, if we need to clear out a corner or particular spot for some reason, we are more than capable of doing so. And we ALWAYS announce we’re moving a bag or item before doing so, and say where we’ve placed it.

Have the Bridesmaids and Mother’s Dressed Before You

Often times the bridesmaids and mothers aren’t sure when they need to put their dresses on. We highly recommend asking them to put their dresses on at least 10 minutes, if not 20, before you. This way everyone looks polished for when you do a bridesmaids reveal (capturing the reactions of the bridesmaids when they first see you is always exciting), and/or when your mother (or whomever you choose) zips up your dress. Your girls are also in your images when helping you put on your jewelry and your veil. This small request can make a good image, a great one.


Black and white image of Tim and Shannon DeLong of DeLong Photography in Riverfront Park park smiling at the camera

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