I know there is so much planning that goes into your wedding day. There are so many little details to make decisions on that it is easy to overlook parts of the day that you might think are minimal but can actually make a huge impact on your wedding photography. And let’s be honest, if you are paying money for all the wedding hair, makeup, flowers, venue, etc. wouldn’t you want them to be photographed as beautifully as possible?
The getting ready room.
This room sets the tone for the rest of your wedding day. This is the room where you are being pampered and fluffed. This is where your mom is shedding her first tear as she closes each button down the back of your gown. Your closest friends are enjoying their mimosas as they watch you transform into a bride.
The first thing to think about when choosing the getting ready location is the light! If you hire a natural light photographer, the one thing they are going to need is natural light. Luckily, to achieve natural light, all you need is a window. Most houses come with those, right? The bigger the window the better. Natural light gives us the ability to flatter all of your features. It casts soft, even light across your face, eliminating any areas of hot spots or dark circles under your eyes or color-cast tones that can be created from artificial lighting. Just one window can take your getting ready images from good to fantastic.
The second thing to think about is the color of the walls. Ideally, I always look for walls with white or neutral colors. This creates a natural reflector allowing me to shoot clean, bright, timeless images. If you chose a room with dark colors, such as red, green, or blue, the images will appear dark and moody, which is totally fine if that is the style you are looking for from your photographer. Bright colors on the walls can also create a color cast on your face.
Lastly, think about clutter. If you chose a room with a lot of knick-knacks or picture frames on the walls, these items will be in your wedding images forever. The first thing I do when I walk into a getting ready room is see what I can easily adjust or move out of the frame to make the room appear clean and elegant. I will remove picture frames from the walls and push furniture aside if they are easily accessible that way I eliminate all distractions and keep all eyes on the most important thing, you! Now, I am not saying you have to clear an entire room. I suggest just clearing the space in front of the window. That is where we will be shooting anyway.
Now that we found a room with great natural light, bright walls and removed clutter, we are ready to create dreamy, elegant getting ready images!
I hear time and time again, I don’t think we will need that much time for bridal party photos, or I only want X amount of time for family photos. I send all of my brides a custom timeline based on my experience. For brides, this is their first time doing
this and I love each and every one of my couples so if I didn’t educate them on time frames, I feel like I would be doing them a disservice. After attending wedding after wedding, the one thing that I find to always be true are weddings are unpredictable! You never know what is going to happen. Your hair and makeup can run behind schedule pushing your entire timeline for the day out of order. A dress can use alterations, a bridesmaid can get sick, a groom can lose a shoe, literally nothing is off limits. So wouldn’t you rather a few extra minutes of wiggle room? I would much rather plan for the What If’s, rather than the Wish I Had’s. I send all of my brides my custom timeline based off experience. There have been so many times during family portraits that Uncle Joe went missing and Aunt Sally went to find him, but then Uncle Joe came back on his own and now we are missing Aunt Sally and family time runs way over. Of course, these are all just suggestions, but as a wedding photographer, I would much rather have too much time for bride and groom portraits than not enough.
Did you know that the best time for photography is called The Golden Hour, which happens right before sunrise or, as most prefer, sunset. This is the time of day when the sun is just about to drop below the horizon and everything starts to glow. This is when you see those dreamy, golden, beautiful back-lit images that everyone loves. This is also the time of day where all of the light is even and clean allowing us to get those beautiful grand landscape shots without having to worry about hot spots, dark shadows, or that yucky haze that tries to creep into our lens. I always encourage all of my brides to allow just 20 minutes for us to go outside at this time of day. You just spent the whole day being photographed and I know the last thing you want to do is leave your reception for more portraits, but I have never had a bride tell me, wow I really wish I didn’t have these extra glowy portraits. My timeline usually allows us to leave the reception during a low time, when no one even notices the bride and groom are missing. And if you chose your location based on the beautiful scenery, my guess is you want it to be in your images.
I know you have a lot to think about when it comes to planning your wedding. That is why I try to educate my brides as much as possible so they trust me to do the work for them. Because after all the planning is done, I want you to relax, enjoy your party, and have an amazing day with pictures you will never forget.