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Bride with Her Bridesmaids Before The Wedding

When it comes to wedding photography, the part of the day that perhaps causes the most confusion is the ‘getting ready’ photos. With your hair and makeup freshly done and the butterflies in your tummy going full speed, this is probably your first and last chance for some beautiful photos of you before the chaos of the day takes over. We get so sad when this opportunity is taken away because our brides (or grooms!) are stressed, rushed, panicked, hair half-done or not dressed! Here’s how the photos work and some tips to make the most of this special time.

For the best results on your special day, we like to break it up into three sections:

The Dress and Details: (allow 45 minutes)
Hanging White Wedding Gowns

These photos are a lot more difficult to capture than you might think, but the extra effort is really worth it and are often an incredible first page to your wedding album. The first shot we take is one of your wedding dress hanging up. We will take some extra time to have a good look around and find the perfect place to do this – usually on a door or window frame or even outdoors under a porch or on a tree branch (if it’s not windy).

Wedding Accessories During Preparation

After the dress, we’ll photograph all your special details including flowers, shoes, jewellery, engagement ring, perfume, invitation, gifts, garter and any other precious mementos. It saves a lot of time if can gather all these items and put them in the same safe place, ready for when we arrive. We might move them to a location with better light, but if they are all together we won’t have to hassle you or your bridesmaids while you are getting your hair and makeup done.

We won’t photograph any actual people during this section unless there is enough time. No one really wants photos of themselves without hair and makeup done in their wedding album, trust me!

The Guys: (allow 60 minutes)
Preparation of the Groom

When we arrive at the boys’ house, we’re hoping to see the groom and groomsmen dressed and looking sharp (please not still in your undies!) Groom, please leave off your shoes, tie, cuff links and button hole flower. And all groomsmen should be completely ready except for buttonhole flowers.

Groom's Detail During The Preparation

First we will photograph the above items, along with the rings, aftershave and any gifts. Again it’s ideal if you have already gathered these items together in one spot, ready for us. Once they are photographed, we are ready to put them on!

Solo Picture of the Groom
We’ll get some shots of the groomsmen helping you with your details (don’t worry, Jo will show you how to put on a button hole flower!) Then we’ll take some nice portraits of you and the boys and any other family members who are at the house. If these family members want to be in photos, they need to be photo-ready (ie. completely dressed and hair/makeup done for girls) when we arrive.
The Girls: (allow 60-90 minutes)
Putting the Earrings of the Bride

The beauty of photographing the dress, then the boys and then returning to the girls is that the bride has plenty of time to actually put the dress on while we are away. I promise you this always takes longer than you think and you don’t want to feel rushed. So at least 30 minutes before we return, all the bridesmaids should get themselves completely ready and then help you put on your dress, leaving off the last few buttons if possible.

Solo Picture of the Bride

If all has gone to plan, when we arrive we’d love to see all the bridesmaids completely ready and the bride in her dress. Then the bridesmaids can help with the last few buttons and put on your shoes and jewellery. Once everyone is completely ready we will take the time to capture some calm, beautiful portraits of you and then group shots with your bridesmaids and family.

The more time we have for these photos, the more chance we have to get some truly candid shots of you all having fun and being a little nervous at the same time. Rather than demanding you all “quick, stand still, look here and smile”, for example we can ask your parents about what you were like as a child or what your bridesmaids thought of you when you first met. Again, if your family members want to be in photos, they need to be completely ready when we arrive.

Photo of the Bride with Her Bridesmaids
Despite the best intentions, we can’t tell you how many times we’ve arrived at girls and guys houses to find them not ready for photos. In the end this means everyone has to rush and feel stressed and those beautiful, natural moments go completely out the window as there’s only time for a few shots before you rush into the cars.
Here’s some of our best tips to make sure you’re not one of these people:
– Carefully write a detailed time schedule for the day and confirm it with all your other suppliers (ie. flower delivery, hair, makeup, videographer) to make sure everyone is on the same page
– Try to keep the number of people at the ‘getting ready’ houses to an absolute minimum. More people inevitably means more stress, more questions, more bags to pack, more mouths to feed, more waiting for toilets, showers, etc
– Before the day, gather a few bags to put at the front door and label them: car to go to ceremony, reception, hotel, etc. Then everyone knows where everything is and needs to be – without interrupting you to ask a million questions
– Do a complete dress rehearsal well before the big day with your dress, shoes and jewellery to make sure your bridesmaids understand how the dress goes on. You can also see the whole package and potentially fix any issues like jewellery catching on the dress or the garter leaving a weird bulge
In the end, the most important thing is that you get to your ceremony on time to marry the love of your life and if you aren’t quite ready for ‘getting ready’ photos, we aren’t going to make you late for that.
Bride Inside The Bridal Car