Before every wedding, we work with our clients to develop a custom photography timeline. This timeline includes all of the details, big and small, that they want to make sure are photographed on the wedding day. From a special heirloom borrowed from a grandparent to who is included in family portraits, we want to make sure that we have photographed all of the important people and things for our clients on their wedding day.
One of the times of the day that is most useful for this, and the one that our brides and grooms have started to become most prepared for, is the ‘getting ready’ portion of the day. We always recommend that our brides and grooms allow our coverage to start at least two hours, if not more, before their ceremony so that we have plenty of time to photograph all of the DETAILS of their day. This less-rushed time allows us to gather items that have been thought through months in advance, but could easily be forgotten without forethought. We also love to get a few photos of the bride and groom getting ready for their wedding, and if a first look will happen, this time of day is when we will photograph that as well!
Today, we’re spilling the beans on how to set your photographer up for success so that they can make the best use of the getting ready portion of your day! These items are often forgotten about, but if you can put a little thought into making sure they are prepared for your photographer when they arrive, you will save them from having to run around your venue and increase the amount of time they can actually photograph your memories!
Want to skip this and get the checklist so you don’t forget anything while getting ready for your wedding? Get it here! Bonus: we included some of our favorite accessories so that your getting ready detail photos are flawless!
The Dress + hanger
One of the most important things you can have ready for your photographer is the dress! Bonus points are awarded if you remember to have it hung up and out of the garment bag. We will find the perfect location to hang it!
Do you know the number one thing that brides forget when thinking about the dress shot? The HANGER! So many times, wedding dresses come hung on clear plastic hangers. While not the end of the world, this is your wedding dress, and we love when our brides are thoughtful enough to hang their dress on something that is just as beautiful. Want some gorgeous options? BHDLN usually carries some lovely carved or French market hangers.
Don’t forget your favorite girls! If your bridesmaids are getting ready with you, make sure their dresses are hung for us as well! The same thing goes for their hangers. A little extra thought here can go a long way! Etsy is a great option for these!
Often, the rings will be with a groomsman who will carry them down the aisle. But let’s wait till after we’re done with getting ready photos to hand them off! This is the number one item that is often not already in the bridal suite. Make sure you have all three (or more!) rings so that we can photograph them and then hand them off to a bridesmaid or groomsman! Want to make sure your ring shots are stunning and your rings are protected later? Invest in a ring box or dish! We absolutely love the Mrs. Box (you can even have it monogrammed) or this simple, classic ring dish from The Painted Press.
We love when a bride decides to bring along her signature scent, or try out a brand new one, for her wedding day. Smell is so strongly linked to memory, so having a special bottle of perfume on your wedding day is a great way to remember the day even better!
Another big thing that is forgotten is your wedding invitations and other paper products (program, etc.). You don’t really need these if you’re already at your own wedding! But, we love photographing them anyway. They are so often chosen with such love and care and we want to make sure you have memories of them as well.
Robes and Getting Ready Outfits
We understand if you already have these on, but sometimes we can sneak a photo of one! We love when that happens. The robe above was made by the bride herself (isn’t that amazing?!) but you can find more ideas for what to wear when getting ready here!
Bouquet + Loose Florals
One thing that is often not in the getting ready location is the bouquet. This might be because it hasn’t been delivered yet or is being held somewhere else entirely. While we can photograph bouquets with the bride and bridesmaid later, we love having at least some LOOSE FLORALS from the florist. Like in the photo of perfume above, we love incorporating loose florals that are in bloom at that time of year to photographs of other details. Asking your planner or florist to have these beforehand is so helpful to us!
This bride, along with her rings, chose to wear gorgeous dangling earrings and a sparkling clip in her hair. We love that she had these pieces ready for us to photograph. Are you going to be wearing a ‘something borrowed’ from your grandmother or a ‘something blue’ from your mother? Make sure you include it!
Wearing a brand new pair of shoes that you absolutely love? Why not make sure we have those photographed before they get dirty? Need some recommendations on our favorite wedding shoes? You can’t go wrong with a pair of Badgley Mischka heels (check out the backs on these!) and you can even make them your something blue if you want!
We love using the veil in photographs of details. Above, we used it in the bouquet photo! If you are planning on wearing a veil on your wedding day, have that ready for us to photograph with your dress!
Love Letters and Gifts
We love when our couples have gifts or letters for each other on their wedding days. Especially if you’re not doing a first look, this can be a sweet time to exchange reminders of your love for each other. If you are writing letters or exchanging gifts, we would love to photograph them. And, if you want to make your letters a little extra special, contact a calligrapher or hand letterer to help you! We love the work of Boho Ink, Manifest Calligraphy, and Alley and Co. And if you want your vows preserved and photographed in the most beautiful of ways, definitely invest in a vow book by Wedding Story Writer — we absolutely love them!
The bride’s details are certainly not all that matter! Having the groom’s details on hand can be helpful as well (and if they’re in the bridal suite for us, that’s even better — the groom usually doesn’t get ready as early as the girls do!). We love when cufflinks, ties, shoes, and socks are provided for us so that we can photograph them!
Need an easy checklist so that you don’t forget anything important when you’re getting ready for your wedding? Get it here! Bonus: we included some of our favorite accessories so that your getting ready detail photos are flawless!
Want more tips for planning your wedding? Head here to see more interviews and ideas!