Tip Tuesday

Getting Ready Location

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You may have heard people say this before: other than the memories, the one thing from your wedding day that will truly last for the rest of your lives will be the photographs. Here's what you probably haven't heard before: your planning influences a huge aspect of the photos you'll end up with. There's a lot you can do to help make your photos turn out better. So let’s make your wedding photos beautiful!

Whether you don’t know where to start when picking a getting-ready location or you're wanting a few tips to ensure special moments captured with your loved ones, this is for you.

Let's dive straight into the photography perspective of planning the getting-ready portion of your day!

Don't let your pre-wedding space be a mere afterthought — you'll be spending a significant portion of your day getting primped and pampered there. The getting ready area should be a special place with plenty of space that makes everyone feel cozy and relaxed. It should also compliment your vision for the day. For example, if you're having an elegant ballroom wedding, perhaps a suite at an upscale historic hotel would be a nice fit.

We’ve put together our top five tips and two frequently asked questions for you here!

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1. Look for a space with big windows that let in lots of natural light.

When considering where to get ready, your home, a hotel, ceremony/reception venue's bridal suite are all equally wonderful locations. As for photography, we are only mostly concerned with one thing for the location, lighting. A space with large windows and lots of natural/daylight is the best option. Additionally, it is encouraged of the bride to direct the make-up artists to seat them near this light source if possible. This usually goes without saying however, as makeup artists also benefit from sitting the bride in lots of natural light. Note that we may turn off all of the other lights. This allows for us to work with the natural light to give you the dreamiest getting ready photos.

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2. Envision the people you'd like to have around while you get ready. Does the space fit all of them? Does it allow a natural flow in the room?

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3. Your photographs will turn out so much better with a clean space. Think about assigning a friend or family member to be in charge of keeping the getting-ready room clean and clear of clutter.

Don't trash it! We often arrive ready to shoot preparation photos and end up spending lots of valuable time cleaning up before we can even get started. Throw away trash, hang extra clothes in closets and hide suitcases under beds. If you keep things as organized as possible then we will have more time to work with you and the bridesmaids capturing the photos you want.

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4. Prepare your detail bag before your photographer arrives. This way your photographer doesn't have to bother you or your friends as you're getting ready.

Wedding detail photos should be obsessed over including the details of your bridal and groom detailing. These are such important details because they represent the thoughts, personalities, and planning of you both. Within the small details are what is remembered. Everyone catches a hint into the personal lives of the bride and groom. They are small pieces of your full wedding day story.

When we arrive to photograph your getting ready moments + details, it helps to have a Detail Bag assembled with all of the items that you would like us to style in your initial detail photographs.

This bag could contain any of the following items:
- Paper Suite (Invitation, Save the Date, Envelope, Stamps used, etc)
- Jewelry
- Shoes
- Swatches of Lace or Fabric that are important to your day (or you just like)
- Heirloom Pieces
- Any extra florals your florist provided
- Garter
- Rings (both bride and groom's)
- Any accessories such as hair pieces or veils

We love photographing the rings before the day gets started so once the ceremony is underway, the rings do not leave your finger for the remainder of the day!

It also helps to have your gown hanging from a non-plastic hanger with any pins or stuffing removed. If you would like bridesmaids’ dresses photographed as well, be sure to have them all hanging when we arrive. This gives us more time to find the perfect place to photograph your dress, rather than spending those precious moments unpinning and hanging.

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5. Don't forget about the groom.

While the prep photos of him and his guys aren't nearly as involved, they'll still need to follow a few basic rules. We always ask that the groomsmen be fully dressed, and for the groom to be dressed in his pants and unbuttoned shirt upon arrival. This allows us to take photos of the groom getting ready (buttoning his shirt, tying his tie, putting on his cufflinks, etc.) — then do some quick portraits of the groom alone and with his boys. Another quick tip: empty your pockets, gentlemen! Cell phones, keys and wallets make for bulging pockets that aren't flattering in the least. Leave them in the room or have someone else carry them for you.

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What will you guys be doing during this time?
When we arrive, Tia will first go into the bridesmaid’s room and get to know the bridesmaids. She will shoot a few getting ready shots. She will then grab your detail bag. If you have us there for at least an hour and a half of getting ready time, Tia will then leave with Cam and they will work on getting your details looking amazing. If you have us there for less time, Tia will stay with the bride and bridesmaids while Cam does the details. Cam will then bring back the details and join the groomsmen. Once all the hair and make is complete, Tia will get some fun shots of everyone before getting dressed. Then the bridesmaids will get dressed. After they are completely ready, the bride and her mother or MOH (or whoever she has selected) will help the bride put on her dress. Tia will walk you through this process. Then we will do a reveal of the bride in her dress to the bridemaids. Tia will typically get some classic portraits of the bride at this time as well. Then it will be time for a first look.

What will we need to be doing at this time?
Many bride and grooms always ask what is expected of them during this time. During this time we expect you to be relaxing, getting ready, preparing for the day, and having fun. That’s it. This part of the day is mostly very photojournalistic. We really want to capture real moments during this time, so don't sweat it. Just relax and enjoy this time, let us worry about the rest.

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