The sure way into my ‘most-memorable-clients’ list is when a bride tells me that one of the things she is looking forward to most on her wedding day are her weddings detail shots during the getting ready session!

Accordingly, the first part my full day wedding collection–and undoubtedly one of my most favourite parts–are the Getting Ready photos.

Getting-ready shots really sets the tone for the rest of the day, in my opinion.

This portion involves both shots of you getting ready (make-up, getting dressed, BTS during getting ready with your family and bridesmaids) and accessories/details in your bridal ensemble.

Great bridal details have the power to elevate the elegance of your day. You’d be surprised how beautiful your heirloom jewellery set can look if styled well.

Honestly, bridal details are so much more than capturing the photos of ‘the stuff’.

As a photographer I don’t just see them as your shoes, or your dress, or your jewelry, and I don’t just do it because it’s ‘one of those things’.

For me, it is carefully styling these together along with your entire wedding palette. I make sure it exudes the utmost elegance and captures all the hard work and thought you have put into achieving the perfect look for yourself.

The following are a few tips I love to give my brides in order to make the most of our time together.

MUAH: Beauty Concept by Shirley Wu (Jenny Wu and Shirley Wu)
Outfit: Zara Shahjahan | Makeup: Styled by Alx
MUAH: Saharz beauty Lounge

Budgeting the right amount of time

First off: ask your photographer how much time they need to capture this part of the day.

I always say that don’t expect your artists to produce magic for you when you don’t allot them their time.

It is usually best to use the last 1.5 hours of your makeup appointment for these getting-ready shots.

As I arrive, I typically find my brides still in the makeup chair, anxious and excited to see their look come together!

From L to R: Nilo Haq, Fancy Face, Shirley Wu

My brides are often thinking about the amazing journey they are getting ready to start with their new partner and family. These are the raw moments that I love to capture! 

MUAH: Nilo Haq | Outfit: Shiza Hasan | Henna: Fizza Tabish

The candid photos of the bride during this time are just something else. Brides will often remember what was going through their mind when a certain shot was captured.

Your bridal makeup is something very special and I adore getting to capture the process!

MUAH: Shirley Wu | Outfit: Republic Women’s Wear
MUAH: Jenny Wu | Outfit: Naz Fashion Bug

Highlighting the small, important details

Another very special part of getting ready for your wedding is photographing all the details you have carefully and thoughtfully planned out for all these months!

I am always so ecstatic to take photos of the beautiful accessories that complete your bridal ensemble.

From the dress, to the heirloom jewelry, to the shoes and the invitations — I just love styling those details carefully to create some lovely keepsake images. 

It is something I’ve gotten specialized training in and find it one of the most rewarding parts of a wedding shoot.

Styling up some beautiful wedding details. Photo creds to my lovely friend photography by Emma

It is important to me to capture these beautiful little treasures that you picked out of all the options you had.

Outfit Left to Right: Aisha Imran, Naz Fashion Bug

Brides spend months selecting the perfect jewelry and shoes and sometimes your guests won’t notice the careful prep that went into your accessories. But you will!

That is why these photos mean a lot to me and are really cherished by my brides. 

Pro tip: Try having your shoes, jewelry, and any other favourite outfit pieces in a small box, easily accessed by the photographer. 

This will allow me to get started without interrupting you.

A huge bonus is that I will also be able to spend more time getting pictures rather than scrambling to collect the details and wasting time!

Creating the Space + Natural Lighting

Outfit: Zara ShahJahan | Makeup: Styled by Alx

Pro tip:  Set up the bridal suite ahead of time

It is easiest to get the amazing photos if the room has minimal furniture.

I know it is not always realistically an option to remove the furniture in the makeup room. In those cases, I suggest moving a few pieces out of the way to create a more open set for your photos.

I also tell my brides that a room with tons of natural light always elevates the beautiful of any shots taken in the space.

I love to work with natural light because it makes a bride’s beauty pop on camera. No artificial light can do exactly what the sun can for your photos!

Naturally a daytime wedding fool-proofs that this doesn’t become a problem. This guarantees that despite how long we have until the wedding starts, we will still have some natural light to work with. 

Get ready early in the day

I always ask that brides get ready at least 4 hours before their event is set to begin.

If you are having a daytime wedding, getting ready early on in the morning can allow for you to have time to do some portraits before the ceremony in the afternoon!

This will also give us a chance to capture the sweet first looks, and do some portraits together; this will be the only time you two will spend together.

Getting ready combined with a first-look will give you a chance to enjoy each others company before the chaos of the day begins!

If you are having an evening event however, getting ready at least 4 hours ahead of time will ensure that we can do your portraits calmly before we are required to be at the venue at.

A checklist

I have made a checklist that will help you keep your things organized and in one place!

The following items are pretty essential for your getting ready:

For him:
Shoes & funky socks
Cuff links

For her:
Engagement rings
Invitation Suite
Jewelry (separated as you see best)
Family Heirlooms
Wedding vows

In summary…

A few tips to quickly help you plan the best getting ready session for your photographer:

  • Give your photographer the desired amount of time they need to get the shots.
  • Organize your accessories so they are quickly and easily accessed.
  • Get ready in a room full of natural light and minimal furniture.
  • Get ready at least 4 hours before your event is set to begin.
  • Create a checklist of items to keep with you.

Getting-ready photos are always an incredible place to start capturing your wedding memories.

It is one of my favourite parts of the wedding day and often sets the tone for what’s to come.

In the next blog post in the series I talk about a really hot topic: couple portrait tips!

September 28, 2020