Today we are going to talk about the bride, it could also apply to the groom, but the bride's ultimate getting ready guide. Getting ready on the morning of your wedding is an event in and of itself. It's got all kinds of stuff going on your hair and makeup getting dressed. Your photographer photographing your cute little details. And then you getting ready. And it's something that you should definitely put some effort into planning. So I have some tips for you guys that are hopefully going to help you make the most out of your morning and make sure that your photos of your morning of your wedding turn out the best they can.
First things first is you want to choose a space to get ready in that has natural light. That is so important in making sure that your photos are the best they can be.
I have had some brides bring me to getting ready rooms that were super small and tight. Had ugly art on the walls and had zero windows. Those are extremely challenging places to work in. Nowadays when that happens, I will just shoot as much as I can and then I will have the bride go outside for the zip up of her dress so we can at least get beautiful photos outside because it would be so much better to take them there than in their really dark just not very attractive room. I understand that everybody is on a budget. So if you can't get a good looking room, then let your photographer know “hey I'm totally willing to go outside for the zipping up and like the putting on my earrings and putting on my shoes photos.” Because it would be best to do those in the place that has the better lighting and backgrounds and if your room is not super pretty usually outside is your better option. So to find the best like the most ideal room, try to find a corner hotel room or a room somewhere that has at least two windows. The more windows and light you have, usually the better. And also a room that has really clean backdrops. So you don't want a whole lot of crazy stuff going on unless it matches the decor and colors of your wedding. If you had a funky hotel room in palm springs with like palm leaf backgrounds like that could totally work for your wedding.
But if you have a hotel with palm leaf backgrounds but your wedding has really traditional like ivory and french blue and very elegant and traditional vibe. You're probably not gonna want your getting ready photos in front of a palm tree background because that's not really gonna go. So what I love in a final gallery of wedding photos is for them to look cohesive. I want everything to blend together beautifully. And all look like it was intentionally put there or intentionally shot there because it matched and it really complemented the wedding day vision. So that to me is extremely important; If you have a photographer who doesn't think like that, it's kind of up to you sometimes depending on the skill and experience of your photographer. And how they think and how they see things to make sure that the space you're getting ready in doesn't clash with your wedding day vision.
So make sure that you're choosing clean backgrounds or backgrounds that are going to match the aesthetic and the vibe of your wedding. And then if there are things on the walls or things in the background, have your bridal party move them out of the way. Ask your photographer where do they want to do the photos of you putting on your dress. They say over here. Then like the bridesmaids can help you move all the crap out of the way that we don't need, like telephones, alarm clocks and little hotel things. I always move anything that is not beautiful that can be moved out. If you have your bouquet and vases move that in. Since I as a photographer, I style my scenes as much as possible to make them look beautiful. If I have the time to do this I will take the time to do this. When I first started out I didn't think this detail oriented and I can definitely tell a difference in my pictures now versus then.
Moving on my next tip is to have music to play with you. I typically find that more calming music is spun or just something that's exciting like Taylor Swift. Choose your vibe in the mood that you want if you're feeling really anxious and nervous. Play something really calming to make sure that you feel calm. If you've got like really upbeat music going on and you're already feeling anxious. You could start to feel overwhelmed by the pacing of the music. So choose your music wisely based on what you think you need to hear the morning to make sure that things aren't too quiet but also that you get in the mindset that you need to be in.
The next tip is really important. Make sure that you bring food and beverages or order them if you're in a hotel get room service have food and drinks brought in for people to sip and snack on.
Because the last thing you want is somebody passing out during the ceremony because they forgot to eat they didn't have access to food. It's kind of hard to go get food when you're in the middle of having to get your hair and makeup done. So have food arranged to be in your room for the morning of your wedding day to make sure that you are hydrating and eating. Definitely please eat and drink a lot of water before your ceremony.
Another thing you can have is champagne or mimosas rose. Make sure if you have a super rowdy crowd and you don't want them getting too wild before the ceremony. That you don't have too much of that in there or that you have a conversation about it. But for most people they should be able to handle themselves well and it'll be just a fun little thing to have. You can pop champagne for your pictures that's always really cute. But just have something fun to sip on like that is also a really good idea.
This next one is very important. Designate your most responsible person in the room to be your timeline keeper. I as a photographer try to be a timeline keeper. But if you have a bridesmaid, maid of honor, best man groomsmen, whatever your their title is, who's really good at time stuff. Send them the timeline a few days before their wedding and say hey can you kind of keep on top of this for me. Let me know when we're getting close to needing to leave. Just make sure that you are in charge of taking us where we need to be. Have a point person that's going to be really helpful. If you have a wedding planner they might have an assistant who can help do this for you. But if you don't have somebody who is like a vendor, who can do this during that morning, make sure you have a responsible friend who can keep everybody on time. Because the last thing you want is for things to go out of schedule and then you lose time from the valuable portraits that you care about or you're late to your own ceremony.
A lot of people are like I don't want any pictures of me getting ready. Or I don't need my photographer then. And to that I say, always trust your photographer's advice. Even if you don't want pictures of your hair makeup going on. Your photographer probably still needs to be there to photograph certain things like your jewelry, your shoes, your invitations unless you really don't want any of those photos. But then again your photographer usually needs a little bit of warm-up time not just for themselves but to warm everybody up including you to them. So if you have your photographer just show up write it like family portraits or right at the ceremony. It's just a little off, they need that time to acclimate to the event, and your guests, your people need to acclimate to the photographer. Same thing with you. If you've got them there for a while, you get comfortable with them being there taking pictures. You are going to look and feel a lot more natural and comfortable on camera when it comes time to your portraits.
The last thing for the wedding morning is to just simply in your timeline make sure that you have a lot more time than you think you need for everything. If you are not working with an experienced top-notch wedding team of vendors who are used to like getting things done on time. If they're maybe newer more experienced and they don't really have a good grasp of how much time they need, add more time. It's totally fine if you finish things early before your ceremony and you're just sitting around relaxing. That's actually a great thing. But I have been to so many weddings time and time again where my couples did not hire one of the hair and makeup people that I recommended. They hired some rando that had no experience and that person made things so late, that we have lost up to like an hour of portrait time before. I've had a wedding where we were late to this ceremony because the hair makeup team was not very experienced and they did not know how to plan out the time wisely. So if you're working with somebody like that because of budget or that's just who you picked. Make sure that you add a little bit extra time. If you have to travel from your getting ready room to the ceremony whether it be walking or driving, double the time you think it's going to take. That is extremely important it is always better to have extra time than to not have enough time and run late. And a lot of times when we have put in extra time in my own wedding, we run a little bit late but because we have the extra time, we're essentially on time. Had we not added extra time for traveling, hair and makeup, bride getting into the dress, because she's gonna have to go to the bathroom and she could have to do all these things. I've learned at this point that having that time means that we will at least always be on time if not a little early. So don't be afraid to pad your timeline as much as possible in order to ensure that you have all the time that you wanted for those important wedding day pictures.
Have cute robes or pajamas for you and your group to wear. Have something that is going to look really cute in your pictures. Have some sort of cute outfit for them to wear. Or if you can't splurge that in your budget and they can't either, let them know everybody arrive in black leggings and a white shirt something that looks more cohesive. Or say wear pastels wear a wedding color. So if you can't afford to get outfits for the wedding day morning, specify to everybody to wear a certain color palette and then at least you'll look really cohesive in those wedding photos. Because again having your gallery look cohesive like it was very intentional, and everything was purposefully selected, looks so beautiful than if you've got a like weird set of colors bouncing throughout the day.
So that's just my super attention to detail. Pick a good space. Have cute outfits. Make sure you've got some good music on. Have food and drink in your room and pad your timeline as much as possible so that you will not run late for anything.