Bridal preparation is one of my favorite parts of a wedding day. It’s where the story of the day begins and it’s a great opportunity to get shots of the bride with her girls and family before everything takes off. There’s a lot of emotion during this time (mostly good, but sometimes stressful) and what happens during bridal prep normally sets the tone for the rest of the day. I put together a list of tips to make sure you get the best bridal preparation photos on your wedding day.

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My first stop of the day is bridal prep and where I’m meeting a lot of people such as the bridesmaids and family for the first time. After introducing myself, I tell everyone to just keep doing what they’re doing and to kind of just pretend I’m not there. I love arriving to bridal prep as early as possible for a few reasons.

First, I like to get there when I know people will still be getting ready and use this opportunity to take some detail shots. Detail shots are a great way to help you remember your day. While shooting these, everyone gets used to the sound of the camera shutter so they become less aware and more comfortable with the photographer being present. Obviously if something happens during this time I step away from the details to capture the moment, so it’s not like it’s strictly for the details and nothing else.

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Second, I’m there to capture things as they happen so you’ll have the moments documented. Recreating moments like reading a letter from your fiancé, or mom buttoning your dress just doesn’t have the same effect as if it happened organically. Also, no one likes being rushed! Getting there as early as possible gives everyone more time to ease into the day.

Important things to have ready to go for when the photographer arrives:
All three rings (If you have a maid of honor, put her in charge of the rings. She can give the band to the best man right before the ceremony.)
Flowers (Just the women’s flowers. If the men have boutonniere’s they should be with them.)
Jewelry/Other Accessories
Bridal/Bridesmaid Gowns (Bring another hanger; preferably wooden. Dresses usually comes on an ugly plastic hanger which isn’t very photogenic.)
Shoes
Veil
Perfume
Gifts for bridesmaids, mom, etc.
Gifts/letter from the Groom
Any other special details you want captured

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Another great tip to have awesome bridal prep photos is to get ready in a room with great NATURAL light. You may not have complete control of the natural light of the room, but pick the room with the largest windows.  Just because there are a lot of lamps in the room doesn’t mean that’s the best light. Sunlight and lamps have different color temperatures and will cast mixed colored light around the room. Natural light gives the best look and will help ensure natural looking colors.

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Keep the room free of clutter. Ok, so when I get ready my room is an absolute mess and I’m only one person. It know it can be difficult to have lots of girls keep their stuff together, but remember that whatever is out will end up in the background of the photos.

Hopefully these tips will help when planning where you’re getting ready on your wedding day. If there’s anything you think I may have forgotten, please comment below!

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