Getting ready is the perfect time to get those genuine pre-wedding shots. The bride and groom are usually at ease because they are surrounded by friends and family. As a photographer, I am able to document the anticipation, excitement, and even some tears. I can walk around the space unnoticed which is perfect for capturing authentic emotions. But sometimes the energy can be ruined by the overall aesthetic. A cluttered, messy, dark room can really overshadow genuine moments happening and the beauty of the morning. Here are some things I recommend for getting the most out of your getting ready photos...
Yes, you have a lot of bridesmaids with a lot of stuff. Even the coolest hippest spaces can be ruined by a mess. Your wedding party will come with clothes, bags, and make-up, but it will go a long way if you are able to keep the clutter hidden. If there is a closet, use it! If you have two rooms, you can make one the messy room and one the clean room. Even if you have everyone keep their clutter to one corner of the room, that will help!
Most couples wouldn't think about this, but it can be really difficult if you have blue-ish light coming in from the windows and yellow-ish light coming from the lamps in the room. This mixture of light is hard to correct in camera. My favorite light is a room flooded with natural light from the windows. If you can be intentional about your getting ready location, and choose a room with natural window light, your photographer will LOVE you!
If you are working with a hair and make-up artist, they will need as much light as possible. I suggest setting up for hair and makeup next to a window. This will make your Hair and Make-up artist happy as well as your photographer.
Finding a space
Typical hotel rooms can end up dark and crowded, and don't provide the best light or setting for wedding prep. Keep in mind that wall colors matter! Don't plan to get ready in house with dark red walls. all of that red will be reflected onto your face (no bueno)! Consider looking into other options like a friend's home that you love, or an AirBnB with lots of natural light. Here are a few I've found that are about the same cost as a hotel room, but come with more space and light!
- House in the Highlands with white space and a great deck!
- Carriage house with lots of space for getting ready
- Sunny Victorian in Old Louisville
- Light and airy 2 bedroom
- Modern city Loft with floor to ceiling windows
Putting on the wedding dress
This is one of those moments moms and daughters imagine from the time you are little. Make sure you think about who you want with you when you put on your dress and make sure they are present. Also, think about the room you are in. Do you really want a television or your a zebra print comforter from your high school bedroom in the background of all your photos? Clean and minimal spaces make for a great backdrop.
*pro tip* Want photos of the attire? Make sure you have nice hangers for the dresses and suits!
Wedding Day Details
As you pack your bags for your wedding day, put all of your details in one bag or box. When I say details, I am talking about anything you want photos of. These are things like your shoes, rings, jewelry, hair piece, something special from you grandmother, your invitation suite, etc. As soon as I arrive and greet everyone, the first thing I'll want to know is where to find your details. If you used any ribbon, fabric, or florals for your wedding decor keep a few scraps that I can use for styling your details!
Don’t forget about the groom!
Sometimes the groom gets left with the dark tiny room with artificial light. Even guys don't want to hang out all morning in the church nursery with mickey mouse murals. #JustSayin! The grooms is just as important. Just as you want to be intentional about the room you choose for the girls, do the same for the groomsmen. Their photos will look best in a well-lit room.