Wedding Day Getting Ready Photos & How To Make Them Awesome

You Will Look Awesome Getting Ready On Your Wedding Day

Wedding day getting ready photos are something couples often debate on skipping.  If you’ve never been involved in wedding day preparations before, it’s easy to miss what the big deal is about including your photographer while getting ready.

Skipping getting ready photos can result in skipping some of the most memorable and emotional moments from your wedding day.  There are personal details you want to record.  There are beautiful, natural moments that happen while you’re preparing for your wedding.  With a little planning there is also the opportunity to quickly create stunning portraits.  Here’s how getting ready photos work, and some tips to help you get the most from them.

keep your space organized for wedding day getting ready photos

Having quiet time preparing before a small backyard ceremony. I photographed this from outside the room.  Your photographer does not need to be right next to you while you get ready.

Keep your space organized

I arrive 30 minutes or more before you plan on getting fully dressed in your wedding clothes.  Arrival time depends on where you and your partner are getting ready in relation to the ceremony, and how long it will take you to be fully ready.   I start by saying hello to you, doing a quick sweep of the room to look at the available light, see who’s present, and see if I need to move anything out of the way for better photos.  My first tip for getting ready photos: keep your space organized the morning of your wedding.  This will help you be able to find everything and help me capture the action of the moment without needing to spend too much time moving things.

organize your details for wedding day getting ready photos

Photographs of your wedding jewelry will be meaningful years after your wedding day.

Keep your details in one place

I will photograph your details right away so we’re done with them before you need them.  This includes invitations, rings, jewelry, your veil, garter, cufflinks, socks, shoes, dress, suit, custom hangers, and any other special items you have with you the day of the wedding.  Shoeboxes work really well for storing small items, or reusable shopping bag.  Put small items together the night before and you’ll feel more organized too.

candid wedding day getting ready photos in chanhassen

Laughs and mimosas with your maid of honor in the morning is a candid moment you want photographed.

Candids are fantastic

After details shots are complete I will take candid pictures of the action.  This is usually the time where I catch people in emotional moments.  You might shed a tear of joy when you see your finished make up, unexpected guests might pop in to say hi and give you a hug.  Your partner could send someone over to surprise you with a pre-wedding gift.  These things are worth capturing.  Many people will plan matching robes or t-shirts for candid photos while getting ready.  This helps you look put together before you put on your wedding clothes.

Getting ready at the Rubies and Rust Farm House in Belle Plaine, MN

The moment you’re almost ready things get real

More emotional moments will happen while getting on your wedding clothes.  It all gets so real once you see yourself dressed for the day.  This is also a time we can quickly create a dramatic portrait that captures your anticipation as you get closer to the ceremony.  After you’re done getting dressed we will move on to either your first look, or straight to the ceremony if you’re not seeing each other before.

wedding day getting ready photos for a catholic ceremony

Light from an open door and a little bit of bounce flash made this simple and dramatic portrait at a Mankato wedding.

Wedding day getting ready photos are worth it

Preparing for wedding day getting ready photos is pretty simple.  Like a lot of your wedding, plan the important stuff in advance and savor your moments getting ready.   It will result in some very personal memories that add to the richness of your wedding story.


I’m a Minnesota wedding photographer located just south of Minneapolis in Belle Plaine.  I travel for weddings.

If you’re in need of a photographer, you can send me an email via my contact form here.

Read more on weddings and portraits here.

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