As a wedding photographer I love the "getting ready" portion of the day. There is that anticipation and emotion of getting ready for your bride or groom and it is an important part of the story worth capturing. Although it can sometimes feel chaotic. So I thought I would offer up some advice about how to protect that space and get the best "getting ready" photos.
1.) Allow enough time for yourself. If you are an extrovert maybe this means just chatting with your girl/guyfriends. Going on a hike or doing a morning yoga class. For me I really wanted to sleep in, drink coffee and listen to some worship as I went on a run. Maybe it means taking a bath or getting a massage. Man that sounds awesome right now. It's so hard to not get immediately sucked into the "to do" list.
2.) Allow enough time to get ready. This may seem obvious, but no one likes to be rushed. I allowed 3 hours for my hair to get done on my wedding day. I had a good friend from high school who is extremely talented do my hair and I was super excited that she got to play that role on my wedding day and just wanted to be fully present to that. We did to a trial run and then added extra time just in case. If you are hiring a professional - they should educate you on how much time to allow.
3.) Ideally the photographer should have a least one hour. We love to get shots of the dress, shoes, jewelry and invitations (you can always bring your invites for your photographer to take pictures of!). The bride finishing up her makeup, drinking champagne, laughing with her friends or crying with her mom. The grooms nerves as he puts on his tie or has a whisky with his best buds. Maybe reading a note from their fiancé. The bride seeing the look on her dad's face as he sees how beautiful she looks in her dress.
4.) Think about the space. I highly recommend getting ready in a house or an Airbnb or a cabin verse a hotel room. You would be surprised at the cutest spots you can find in the mountains or city for sometimes cheaper than a hotel. Sometimes a hotel is just what is most convenient or available and sometimes it's a super cute hotel. But most of the time you are dealing with weird outlets and coffee makers and no smoking signs. If you are getting ready in a hotel you can ask for a spacious corner room with the most window light!
5.) Find the most natural light. The first thing I do is open the windows and turn of any lamps. The more lamps and artificial light there is, the more yellow everything is going to look. The bigger the window the better.
6.) It's ok to be picky about who you invite. Some people have EVERYONE there getting ready together and that makes them the absolute happiest. And then I have seen some brides where EVERYONE is there and it is super stressful. Make sure the people who are in the room are not causing stress or anxiety. It's completely ok (and recommended) to communicate that to them before hand.
7.) Keep things simple and clean. Delegate a friend to help pick up any clutter before the photographer gets there. Have all your details (shoes, jewelry, dress, invites) in one spot for you to tell the photographer. Have your dress steamed out (if it needs it) before the photographer shows up.
8.) Boys matter too! I make sure to get some of the boys putting on ties, jackets and shoes. Sometimes if there is time or depending on your timeline we do portraits or first look right after so boys need to make sure not to bring wallets, phones, keys, gum or sunglasses. You can see phones when they are in the pocket!
9.) Relax. If I need something from you I will let you know. But besides detail shots I am getting candids and want to be a fly on the wall.