A comprehensive guide for the getting ready photos at your wedding

All of the girls together in one place preparing for the biggest day of your life. The smell of flowers fill the room, along with a huge supply of hair spray and shoes flying in all directions. Excitement, chaos and anticipation fills the air. Meanwhile, the groomsmen are reaching for their phones to search ‘how to tie a cravat’.

Why have getting ready shots?

There are a number of advantages for having a photographer cover this part of your wedding:
1) Your wedding photographs tell the story of your special day. By including the getting ready portion means we can present the full story from start to finish. This is particularly important if you are thinking of displaying your pictures in a photo book.
2) It can be beneficial if you haven’t had an engagement session or a pre-wedding consultation – it gives you a chance to get comfortable with your photographer before all eyes (and cameras) are on you at the ceremony.
3) This is a great time to get detail shots of all the smaller elements that make up your wedding. You have put a lot of time and thought into your dress, shoes, perfume choice, invitations, flowers etc, all of which deserve their own photographs.
4) You only do this once so make sure you don’t regret not having these pictures to look back on in the future. If you have any worries or concerns, for example not wanting any pictures before your make-up is all done, that is absolutely fine. Speak to your photographer beforehand so we can capture your day exactly as you wish.

Image of a bride getting her make up done on her wedding day
How much time to allow

We normally like to spend an hour with you in the final stages of you getting ready. This means that we can get some photographs of you getting your make-up done or set up some mock pictures of this, getting your dress on and then some portraits before the ceremony with your parents or bridesmaids. We need to leave about 30 minutes before the bride to get to the ceremony venue in time to get photos of the groom and the venue. Please bear this is mind when organising your schedule for the morning. If you would like your photographer to spend more time with you getting ready we can arrive whenever you would like.

What to expect

Natural, organic pictures are the best, so we don’t interfere too much with what is going on but rather observe and photograph the general activity and emotions. Sometimes we might ask that you get ready in a certain room or face a certain way to utilise the best light and space for your photographs. Some pictures may be posed after the fact if necessary to get a specific shot, for example putting make-up on, to give you a full selection of images.  If you are thinking, ‘there will already be too many people in the house let alone adding the photographer too’, then don’t worry. Amongst the chaos and excitement, we will remain calm, relaxed and help guide you through the process.

Close up image of a groom attaching his button hole

Groom getting ready

If you opt to have two photographers cover your getting ready pictures, one photographer will attend to the bride while the other will be with the groom. Normally, the men don’t take as long as the women to get ready but there is still a lot of activity to photograph and include in your story. Perhaps they are ironing their shirts, learning how to tie a cravat, having a drink and just general banter. Of course, once they are all made up and their hair is done, there is time for some fun portraits with the guys to let off some of that nervous energy. This is the time we can get some really great, natural shots of the groom and his entourage.

Helpful Ideas

  • To save time, have all of the details ready for us to photograph – dress, shoes, perfume, flowers, jewellery and anything else that has significance to you on your wedding day.
  • If you’re getting ready at home, choose to get ready in the biggest, brightest room for utilising the best natural light for the photographs.
  • Please make sure the room is tidy – it will inevitably get messy during the process but starting out with a non-cluttered room will help to create those timeless shots.

w: www.maephotography.co.uk           e: [email protected]            t: 01206 632200