The pictures of a bride being primped and prepared for the wedding are some of my favorite images.  The day is full a whirlwind!  Documenting the early moments are precious and will be cherished wedding memories for years to come.

Wedding days are full of amazing moments to photograph and it almost certain that you will want coverage of the start of the festivities.  What marks the start?  To me that would be dressing and preparing the bride for her day.  It can also include the preparations of the groom and others in the bridal party. 

What It Looks Like
Typically we are arriving at the hotel or bridal suite to see the bride and her bridesmaids in the midst of hair and makeup finishing touches. I like to arrive near the end of hair when makeup is applied - the bride will look lovely in her shots when she is 90% prepped.  Girls are usually in their robes (check out Etsy for adorable monogrammed gifts) or button up shirts (watch that hair ladies!).

After a quick introduction, I am going to working to find the details of the bride's wardrobe.   This includes dress, shoes, jewelry, and any special items the bride is including into her day or her look. I will find myself arranging and documenting details - this process takes approximately 20 minutes.  

Once details are down I take a photojournalist approach to the girls getting ready.  Hair, Makeup, gifts, drinks, and good times are all documented.  I like to advise to have bridesmaids and mother or anyone dressing the bride get their dresses on at this time.  They will be ready and looking ready when we photograph the bride dressing.

As long as the groom is nearby I will pop over and check in on the boys.  We can document his process which often includes putting on vests, ties, boutonnieres, coats, etc. Those nervous fidgets get me every time.   Sometimes I will deliver the groom's letter or gift from the bride.  Getting ready shots including the groomsmen and their personalities are a must at this time.  In total it should not take more than 15 minutes.

Now we dress the bride!  I am a modest gal so I don't shoot any birthday suits, but nice tasteful images of bride getting into the dress (zip up, tie bows, etc.).  



Putting on shoes, jewelry, perfume - all photo moments here.  Oh, and don't forget the handkerchief for those happy tears!

So the day typically can look like this for a bride:

11:00 Hair
12:00 Make up
12:30 Photography service begins
1:00 Final makeup touches
1:00 Bridesmaids Dressed
1:15  Groom Getting ready
1:30 Dress bride
2:00 See Father for first look
2:10 First Look
2:20 Bridal Party Portraits
3:00 Couple Private time
3:30 Return to hide for Ceremony and touch ups
4:00 Ceremony ...

I love ensuring we get some amazing photos during the early parts of the day.  As much time as I can get I will take because there will be so many more distractions later in the day.  Also, bride will look perfect - documenting early is a good idea if we are fighting the elements or emotions (yep, happy tears!).

Planning ahead to get your getting ready timeline set is crucial to a relaxed pre-ceremony atmosphere.  I feel there is no such thing as being too prepared and it helps you enjoy your beautiful wedding day the way you always dreamed to! 

ENJOY your day, and if you need tips, feel free to ask your wedding vendors.  We are here to serve and help you make your day simply the best. 

Wedding Credit: Rayanne and Andrew