If you are getting married at a hotel or resort, I suggest getting ready in your honeymoon suite. So think about booking two nights instead of just one! There are so many advantages to this. You will be able to re- lax the night before your wedding and get a good night’s sleep. Everything you need for your wedding night and honeymoon will already be in your room. So you will not need to worry about packing, or need to travel in the morning of your wedding. You will be feeling less rushed, and of course you will have a gorgeous space for photos!
LET THERE BE LIGHT
Let us be honest. The dark room is only good to a film developer. Natural morning light (as opposed to artificial lighting) is probably the most important to your photographer.
When you are thinking about which room to book, look for a large or spacious suite. Prep photos are always enhanced when the background is clean and simple. Look for neutral walls and furniture that will compliment your photos and the overall feel of your wedding. Large windows are always a huge plus as well! I recommend booking a room with non-west facing windows. That way the light will be streaming through them in the morning!
If you are not getting ready at a hotel, a lot of the above suggestions still apply! A clean and simple space is always best, and natural light is a must! When deciding on your space always look for win- dows!
The groom’s room is not to be overlooked either. Sometimes the groom gets left with the tiny, dark room. He is just as important and his photos will look better in a well-lit space.
THE CLUTTER MATTER
Getting ready is such a beautiful time to get those genuine pre-wedding shots. But sometimes the energy is ruined by the aesthetic.
Try to keep the space around the largest window clean – water bottles, bags, and clutter will detract from your images! Asking your bridesmaids to keep their bags and belongings on one side of the room is super helpful!
GETTING READY + PREP
After I photograph the details, you will hopefully be done with your hair and make up. Remember to ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS schedule more time than you think you need for that portion of the day. I would say that this is one of the main reasons why a wedding can run late. Even if you have done a trial, add at least half an hour to that time. I have seen brides and maids of honor run over an hour late too many times! I would much rather have you sipping on some cham- pagne with your girls and relaxing because you were done early rather than starting to stress because your hair is still not done and you were supposed to be in your dress already. Wouldn’t you?!
Typically, I wiil not photograph you until your hair and makeup is done unless you really want me to and request otherwise. I will, however get some touch up shots to help tell the story of your day! If you are interested in a wedding day boudoir session, we will schedule it immediately following the shots with your girls. We will be needing an extra hour for this, so con- tact me if you are considering this and we can talk about your timeline in more detail!
If you and your girls are wearing cute robes/ tanks/ap- parel we will make sure to photograph you all in those! A quick side note on that: don’t get those big fuzzy robes – although they are super comfortable they will make you look bigger than you are in photos – instead, check out places like Plum Pretty Sugar ο r For Love and Lemons. They have gorgeous getting ready apparel and it makes great bridesmaid gifts! Etsy also has a plethora of stores that offer bridal robes, and some offer monograms!
CHANGING INTO YOUR DRESS
Next we will have your girls change into their dresses. Anyone that you want to be present while you put on your dress should also be completely ready at this time (mom, grandma, etc). Again, make sure to sched- ule their makeup and hair with plenty of time to spare. Once all the ladies are ready, you will slip on your dress (we will not start photographing until it is covering you – but unbuttoned/laced – unless other- wise requested). Make sure to use the restroom before you put on your dress! And if you are wearing spanx under your gown, get the kind with the opening- a tip picked up by bridal-wear professionals.
We will first get photos of your dress getting laced/ buttoned/zipped up by your mom or maid of honor. Then we will have all of your bridesmaids gather around you, fluffing your dress and loving on you. It makes for such great photos! We will then direct you while you put on your jewelry, garter, veil, and per- fume and give you a few minutes to take in the fact that you’re GETTING MARRIED!
DAD’S FIRST LOOK
I absolutely LOVE this part of the day and always rec- ommend it to my brides! Having a “first look” with your dad is such a sweet and tender moment. We will pick a place with the best lighting (usually outdoors), ask your dad to turn around, and have you walk up behind him. Once you are about 5-10 feet from him you can ask him to turn around! The reactions are al- ways so sweet and the photos are priceless!
Then we will find a spot with some beautiful light and go right into your bridal portraits! If you have decided on a first look, I will bring your groom out for your spe- cial moment together as soon as we are done. First looks will put you in the perfect state of mind for your bride and groom portraits. We will then take bridal party photos as well before the ceremony (both the entire party together and bride + girls/groom + guys separately). If you decide to not do a first look, after your bridals we will take photos of you and your girls.
At some point in the day, if your groom is getting ready in the same location as you, I will go hang out with the guys for a little while. Your groom should have his pants and shirt on when I arrive and the groomsmen should be completely dressed. I will pho- tograph some of your groom’s details first (socks, shoes, cuff links, belt, watch, tie, etc), and then direct him while he puts on his jacket, tie, and the rest of the details. It is always nice if his mom, dad, best friend or all three are there to help him with his boutonniere, jacket and tie. Once he is ready, we will take a few shots of him outside and then of him and his grooms- men if you have not decided on a first look.
Images taken during Arijana & Marvin’s amazing wedding in Athens last summer.
planning by Think Happy