Getting ready photos are all about PREPARATION! Getting ready on the morning of your wedding is such a memorable part of your big day, but it is SO often overlooked in the wedding planning process. Who can blame you?! You're busy thinking about venue, rings, food, drinks, music, dress, and I'm going to stop the list there because I might be stressing you out! Getting ready can easily become something you just do before your wedding day begins. Let's make sure that doesn't happen!


When you are getting ready in the morning your hair and makeup is fresh, you're glowing with the anticipation of seeing your husband-to-be, you're surrounded by your closest friends and family, and you're probably having a blast popping champagne, playing your favorite music, and having tons of laughs with your bridesmaids (and if you're not doing these things then you SHOULD be). I want to document it properly!


I have compiled a list of "Getting Ready Tips" below so you can easily get the MOST out of your getting ready photos. If you follow all the tips below, I'll bet your getting ready photos will be some of your favorites from the whole day. Let's go!

Getting Ready Tip #1: Pick your location carefully.


Find a space with a lot of windows. Natural light will ensure that your wedding day glow is accurately captured on camera! Indoor lighting can create an unattractive yellow tinge and is not ideal for photos. Look into renting an Airbnb instead of a hotel for more natural light and extra space. If you've already booked a hotel room, make sure you have a window available in the room for optimal lighting.


Find out if your venue has a bridal suite to get ready in. Make your day a bit easier and get ready where you are getting married! But first confirm that the suite has natural light!


Choose a tidy space to get ready. With all the hair and makeup supplies, accessories, drinks, clothes, extra people, etc. the space you get ready in can easily become cluttered! Try to reserve a well-lit area for your photos and keep it free of clutter and too many people. This will ensure there are no distractions in the background of your photos. Consider keeping most of your things in a separate room close by.

Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer

Getting Ready Tip #2: Be sure to get these shots with your loved ones!


A first look with your Dad. Do a surprise reveal with your Dad once you're all ready! The sweet reactions I've captured of fathers seeing their daughter for the first time just melts my heart, and you will be able to cherish this sweet memory forever.


A surprise reveal with your bridesmaids. I absolutely love capturing the emotional and often loud reactions of excited bridesmaids when they see the bride! Crying, shrieking, hugging, jumping. It all makes for incredibly authentic photos to add to your wedding album!


Mom doing up your dress. Have your mom all ready in her dress before you so that we can get special mother-daughter shots of her doing up your dress and spending a quiet moment with you.


Fun shots with the little ones. Don't forget the kiddos and the furry friends! I have captured some very sweet moments of little flower girls enjoying quality time with the bride and admiring the princess-esque process of getting the bride ready for her big day. I have also enjoyed the fun shots of brides with their beloved furry friends (see example below).

Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer

Getting Ready Tip #3: Prepare the details!


Wedding dress shots. Have your wedding dress hanging when I arrive so I can take the dress to where I would like to photograph it before you start putting it on.


Set aside your details in a box upon my arrival. Your jewelry, shoes, formal wedding invitations, save the dates, rings (engagement and wedding bands), florals, veil, garter, and any other items that you would like captured should be prepared in a box before I arrive. Your wedding shoe box is a good option!

Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer

Getting Ready Tip #4: Get creative with details!


Have a drink on hand for a toast. If champagne is your style then buy a bottle so we can pop it with your bridesmaids. If you and your ladies prefer coffee or tea, then have your mugs ready for a morning cheers to the bride. Either way, this is a super fun photo opportunity!


Matchy matchy robes or PJ sets. All of your getting ready photos will be taken to the NEXT LEVEL if you and your ladies are wearing matching robes or PJs! Find some great options on Etsy!


Bridesmaids gifts. You may decide to give your bridesmaids a gift when you first ask them to be in your wedding party, but another option is to present a gift during the morning of your wedding. I'll be there to capture the special moment! Find bridesmaid gift ideas here!


Letter from your fiance. A meaningful letter written by your fiance and read on the morning of your wedding is a really sweet detail that I would LOVE to capture.


The options are endless! Check out the weddings I've written about in my blog or browse Pinterest for endless inspiration on how to make the morning of your wedding perfect for you and your getting ready crew. I have seen too many beautiful and creative ideas to list them all here, but if you keep scrolling I included some extra getting ready shots at the bottom of this post to get you brainstorming!

Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer

Getting Ready Tip #5: Consult your photographer about your timeline.


It's important to communicate with your photographer about the timeline of your getting ready photos. If you've booked EMP, I send a recommended timeline to you. I typically like to devote 1-2 hours to your getting ready photos depending on the timeline for the rest of your wedding day.

Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer

Getting Ready Tip #6: Tips for the groom and his bros!


Prepare the groom details. Have your shoes, tie, tie clip, cufflinks, cologne, suit, and whatever else ready for my arrival so I can easily capture these details. As I already mentioned above, get creative with your details! See the photos below for some examples.


Get ready to "bro out" with your bros. When I'm capturing the groom and his groomsmen getting ready, I encourage you to act natural and have a laidback time with the guys. Have a drink together, play your favorite game, or do whatever you guys would normally do together to have fun! It will make for some awesome photos of bonding time with your guys.


Please have pants on when I arrive. There can be some confusion about how men should prepare for their getting ready photos and the answer is YES you can have your dress pants on when I arrive. I recommend this, as we take photos of you guys doing up your shirts and ties together. I've had it happen more than once where I arrive and the dudes are chilling in their boxers waiting for me to take getting ready photos.


Consider the groom timeline. I like to have about 1 hour with the guys (timeline dependent) so we are not rushed.


Consider the same location factors I listed for the bride. Choose a getting ready location with lots of natural light and very little clutter.

Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer

Still unsure about something?


I hope you enjoyed these getting ready tips! If you still have questions, feel free to message me here.


Before you go, keep scrolling for more "getting ready" inspiration!

Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer
Esther Moerman Photo Vancouver Wedding Photographer