The anticipation is never higher than while you’re getting ready for your wedding. Nerves, excitement, anxiety, joy, it’s all there. It may not seem like a big part of the story, but getting ready on your wedding day is a big moment of the day, the part where it feels like, whoa this is really happening! To help you get the most beautiful getting ready photographs (and have the smoothest morning ever), I’ve put together 10 wedding day getting ready tips.
1. Choose a spacious, light-filled location
The number one of all wedding day getting ready tips I can give you is to choose your location carefully. It may seem like a good idea to put your dress on at the church you’re having your ceremony at (it’s totally easier, right), but if they give you a tiny, windowless room with drop ceilings and yellow walls, not only does it feel like an underwhelming place to put on your wedding dress (hello big moment), but it’s also just not terribly good for photos.
Women usually spend a considerable amount of time getting ready on a wedding day, longer than a ceremony often! Choose your location wisely. When you choose a light-filled, spacious location, you’ll have room to move around, you’ll feel almost luxurious, and your makeup artists and photographers will thank you. It’s much easier to create the gorgeous Pinterest-worthy photos of getting ready you’re probably envisioning in your head in a space that makes everyone look incredible.
This doesn’t have to be a hotel (though many hotels offer amazing spaces and I recommend getting a suite if you’re planning on having 8 bridesmaids in the room at the same time). It can be someone’s home, an airbnb, perhaps a bridal suite at your venue. Make sure you visit the space or look at photos if you can! You want light-filled rooms, clutter-free backgrounds, and preferably neutral colors (yellow/red/orange rooms are generally tough to photograph or for makeup artists)
2. Choose a place that goes with your aesthetic
Obviously large, modern, spacious hotel rooms are great places to photograph inside and great places to hold many people. But I think it’s nice to think about your aesthetic and what you like to surround you during your wedding day. This may seem a little woo-woo, but I think spaces definitely can change an energy.
Historical homes, rustic airbnbs, large lofts, boutique hotels, and bed and breakfasts all have their own charms. It’s okay to infuse your day with your personality and do you!
3. Decide on your vibe
It’s okay to not want getting ready on your wedding day not to be a party. Maybe you’re more into spa, serene vibes. It’s okay to want getting ready to be a party. Maybe you’re into Beyonce dance parties.
It’s okay to tell your mom that no, your 15 aunts and 18 cousins cannot come spend the morning with you. Decide how YOU want to spend the morning rather than think about how you think you SHOULD spend the morning. It’s YOUR day.
4. Gather your details and accessories the night before
You’ve spent a lot of time choosing all of the elements of your wedding day. Though I do not put a large focus on accessories photography-wise, I think it is lovely to get photos of the special things you will wear or heirlooms you’ll carry, or your wedding invitation.
Whatever you have is fine and can include the following: jewelry, veil, wedding rings, invitations, ring boxes, perfume, flowers, cuff links, fun socks, shoes, family heirlooms, etc. To ensure nothing is forgotten and to save time, make sure to gather up all of these details and place in a box or bag the night before the wedding. Make sure to take off tags as well. Have a wedding party member or family member hand me the box upon entering the getting ready space so I can get to work on photographing them!
5. Check your clutter
If you’ve ever stood up in a wedding, you know that when you put 5, 6, 7 people in a room with all of their possessions, things start to look like something exploded. A major wedding day getting ready tip I have is before your photographer arrives, get a bridesmaid or groomsmen to tidy the main areas you’ll be using for photographs. It doesn’t have to be neat as a pin, but tidy. It saves time and looks much better.
6. Don’t go last for hair and makeup
If you are getting married, you should not go last for hair and makeup. It is much smarter to go somewhere in the middle in case everything is running behind. No one wants their makeup or hair rushed through on their wedding day and while the hair and makeup artists are finishing up, you can be getting dressed so things don’t run super behind!
7. Whoever is helping you get dressed should be dressed!
Whoever is helping you get dressed on your wedding day, whether it be a mom, dad, friend, or sibling, make sure they get dressed before you get dressed. It always looks nicer to have everyone in their nice clothes in photos rather than in old shirts and jeans.
8. Have snacks and/or food on hand
Feeding people can be a wedding day afterthought but I’ve seen a lot of wedding parties go hungry before the ceremony even starts. It’s a long day and even if you think you won’t want to eat due to nerves, everyone should be eating! Pack snacks, order in lunch, and make sure that both sides of the wedding party are well fed. It may seem like everyone just drinks mimosas on their wedding day but eating is important!
I recommend: bagels, fruit platters, Panera delivery, Jimmy John’s platters, pastries, muffins, and water!
9. Make a small emergency kit
Wedding day emergencies happen to everyone. A key wedding day getting ready tip: put together a little kit to make sure you’re prepared. This is a great job for a member of your wedding party to be responsible for and you can always gift it to someone else who is getting married if you don’t use it.
Things to include: stain removal, scissors, mini sewing kit, safety pins, bobby pins, granola bars, breath mints, band aids, deodorant, pain reliever, and tissues!
10. Slow down and enjoy it.
There have been many times where I’ve witnessed couples rush through the getting ready instead of savoring the moment. After your mom helps you into your dress, let her take a good look at you and give her a hug. Stop and check yourself out in the mirror. Shake your best man’s hand after he helps you with your tie. Toast the day with your wedding party. Timeline planning can help make sure the day goes smoothly but no matter what, it’s okay to take a beat and just let it all sink in!
Do you have other wedding day getting ready tips? Share them in the comments!