It’s no surprise I love to photograph your details during getting ready time on the wedding day. They are typically the first set of images I photograph and a great way to ease into the busy-ness of the day. Whether it’s one item or many, I build in time for detail photos for all full coverage weddings because it’s important we build anticipation of what’s to come and get your guests excited as they browse through your images. Here’s a brief look into what important details to bring to the getting ready suite on your wedding day.
Although some brides are heavily detail-oriented, not all items are necessary to bring to the getting ready suite. Some couples will make a special purchase (jewelry, perfume, bridesmaids gifts, custom embroidery, etc.) just for the wedding day and really want those items photographed. My rule of thumb is if you want the item to be remembered, definitely include it in your “box” of ready items for me when I arrive.
Here are the basic items I recommend every couple brings (no matter what!) to your getting ready suite:
If you’ve had custom invitations or other paper created by a designer or calligrapher, include them in your wedding day items! I often photograph the invitation suite first and like to incorporate smaller paper details like escort cards, handwritten letters, vow books, custom illustrated maps, and dinner menus into other curated setups. The more items I’m given, the more creative I can be in setting up your detail photos, so I ask you include at least 2 copies of your full invitation suite and 2-3 copies of other smaller paper items.
This is of course a given, but I have a few tips to offer in terms of preparing your dress for me to photograph when it’s time. A few days before your wedding or right after you arrive to your getting ready space, take a few minutes to remove all the cardboard shapers, stuffing, and pins on and/or inside the dress. This simple action ensures I’ll have at least 5-10 extra minutes of time to photograph your other details, instead of using up precious minutes unpinning and unstuffing the dress.
Next, remove the dress from its bag and carefully hang it on your custom hanger (if you brought one–if not, I’ve got you covered!) in the location where you would like it photographed. If your straps are delicate feel free to double up on the supports–that’s something I can easily adjust later. I always ask in the pre-wedding questionnaire if you’d like to forego a ‘dress hanging by itself’ photo, however if you’ve already done the work for me, it’s easy to take a quick snap before moving on.
Please set your shoes aside with your other details at the beginning of the day. I will only photograph the shoes you will wear, so any comfort shoes should be packed away for now. It’s important that your shoes can be distinguished from the bridesmaids’ shoes–keep everything together with your items! I have had instances where I’ve photographed a bridesmaid’s shoes because they were near the bride’s belongings.
Please include both wedding bands and the engagement ring, along with any other jewelry you’ll be wearing such as earrings, a bracelet, hairpiece or crown, and any heirloom jewels. If you’re not sure what you want to wear yet, include both options and we’ll decide before I begin shooting. This is also the time when you should gather any family heirlooms (grandma’s ring, pocket watch, etc.) for detail photos. I love to include those, as well!
Florals are the #1 thing my clients will forget to include in the getting ready space. They are important to your photo and video team because we are able to utilize them to add texture, color, and creativity to your imagery. I prefer to have all floral items already in the bridal suite at the time I arrive: bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets, boutonnieres, and extra loose blooms for styling. Don’t forget to notify your florist to deliver these items together and include a bag of extra loose blooms for use in photos!
Many couples like to give gifts to their wedding party during getting ready. The best time for the bridesmaids or groomsmen to open their gifts is right after we are done photographing them. This allows for troubleshooting if in case there are any issues removing the items from their packaging.
Don’t worry, we can’t forget about the groom! My second photographer is in charge of gathering and photographing the groom’s details. Be sure to communicate to your fiancé to have all items placed together in one area in the groom’s suite. Some items a groom typically has are: fitted suit ortuxedo, dress shoes, custom cufflinks, bow or neck tie, pocket square, cigar(s), groomsmen’s gifts, a note to the bride, etc. My second photographer will capture these details separately from the bride unless we’ve made special arrangements for me to visit the groom’s suite.
I hope this gives you a better idea of what details to bring to the getting ready suite on your wedding day. If you have items I didn’t mention, please always feel free to reach out to me and I’m happy to help! You can also leave a comment below with any questions and I’ll be sure to respond.
If you’re currently planning your own wedding, I’d love to know what details your are most excited to bring into the getting ready suite. Leave a comment below letting me know!
We chose dusty, muted tones for this winter wedding editorial at Great Marsh, styled by DC wedding planner Adriana Marie Events.
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