10 Essential Tips for Gorgeous Getting Ready Photos on your Wedding Day

You'll laugh with your best friends. You’ll perfect your hair and makeup and be showered with love and praise. You'll slip into your gown and your best friends and family see you in it for the first time. You’ll smile from ear to ear. You'll hug those closest to you. You may even shed a few beautiful tears as the reality of what’s happening and the excitement for what’s to come settles upon you. These are all beautiful moments, and they deserve to be beautifully captured. Today, let’s chat about the getting ready portion of the day and how to make that part of your experience the best it can be.

The following are my top ten essential tips for gorgeous getting ready photos on your wedding day: 

1. I know it seems like a strange thing to worry about, but do think about what color the walls are in the space you'll be getting ready. The wall color will reflect back into your skin, so for example, if the walls are bright orange, your skin will also look very orange and very much like an oompa loompa. When in doubt, whites and tans are classic and neutrals always look great.

2. When several girls (each with their own set of styling tools, makeup, and clothing) are getting ready in the same space, it's completely natural that things get a bit messy. If precautions are not made, a clean and tidy room can quickly become a disaster of epic proportions, and suddenly your photographs look like a tornado of clutter has passed through. Instead, specify a closet or corner for personal belongings and work to put away everything you aren't using. A clean, distraction-free space really does make your photographs look infinitely more beautiful.

3. Lighting is important, and natural lighting is always best. I realize that sometimes your only option is to get ready in a window-less room, and we'll absolutely make it look beautiful, but know that the quality and dimension of the light will always be different in those situations. Obviously, lots of giant windows letting in tons of natural light is ideal, but if possible, try to find a space with at least one window to help illuminate the space.

4. Do consider what you and your bridesmaids will wear while you’re getting ready. You could be in the prettiest room in the world with the best light possible, but sweats and a baggy t-shirt will be distracting and throw off the entire feel of your photographs. Also, remember that you’ll want to wear something that either buttons up or ties closed (like a robe) as to not disturb your hair and makeup when you change into your dress. 

5. Ensure that the place you’re getting ready fits with the overall feel for your wedding day. For example, if your day has a classic and elegant feel, it doesn’t make sense to get ready in a rustic cabin. As you're looking through your images, this portion of your day will feel disjointed from the rest and will hinder the cohesiveness of your story.

6. Sometimes, as you're looking at the space, you may realize that the venue isn’t the best place for you to get ready. If it isn’t, don’t be afraid to get ready somewhere else. Hotel suites, private residences, and other off-site locations are great options. If that isn't possible, consider asking your photographer if you can complete your finishing touches (like buttoning your dress and the last little bit of makeup) outside for the best possible images. While I'm not a huge fan of staging photographs, I do love it when natural, authentic moments unfold in beautiful settings, and sometimes you need to relocate in order to create this space.

7. It’s always better to be over prepared, so don’t forget to bring an "emergency kit" to solve potential problems. Common items that are useful to have are tweezers, stain removal pens, scissors, mints, hot glue, extra shoes, bobby pins, band aids, tape, tissues, safety pins, and advil. Just in case.

8. Ask your hair and makeup artist if they would be willing to set up to work near a window. While sometimes it makes more sense to work in the bathroom with florescent lighting, the photographs from this portion of the day always looks best when created in natural light.

9. Make sure the space you're getting ready in is large enough to comfortably fit everyone who will be there. If you’re getting ready with eight people, you need room for each of them to spread out with all of their possessions, as well as space for the hair and makeup artists, parents, friends, and visitors that will be in the space as well.

10. Most importantly, always plan to give yourself at least an hour more than you think it will take to get ready. It depends on your situation, but I've found that it takes most girls at least three hours to get ready, so if that's the case, allow yourself four hours. Maybe even more. Because it's inevitable that something will go wrong, and you want to have time to deal with it without feeling stressed or rushed. And if everything goes smoothly and you end up having extra time, it just means that you'll have a few more minutes to relax and create more memories with your closest friends and family on your special day!

What do you think? Are there any tips or suggestions that you'd add to the list? If so,  join in the conversation by commenting below!