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15 Must-Have Wedding Getting Ready Photos

wedding getting ready photos

After months of planning and preparing, the big day has finally arrived for the bride and groom. Before you shoot the ceremony, portraits, or the reception, you typically begin by capturing the wedding getting ready photos for both the bride and groom. Since this is a time they will spend apart, it will be exciting for them to see images of one another getting ready.

Wedding Getting Ready Photos

The photos you take start the beginning of their wedding story, so it is necessary for you to document every detail to tell a fluid story. Here are the 15 must-have getting ready wedding photos for you to capture while the bride and groom get ready for their big moment.

Tip: Don’t forget – If any parts of the getting ready photos cast harsh light or are in unfavorable locations, we can help fix those issues as a part of our photography edit services.

1. Having Her Hair and Makeup Done

The bride spent hours choosing the perfect look for her big day. While she gets her hair and makeup done, take before and after images to showcase her how she transformed into a bride.

bride getting ready hairspray

Image by TNK Photo

2. Photographing the Dress and Shoes

Though the bride will have various pictures in her wedding dress and shoes throughout the day, be sure to capture images of these items before she has them on. The wedding dress is one of the most important details of the wedding day and holds a sentimental value to the bride. Each bride has her own sense of style, and this can really be seen through the dress and shoes she picks.

Related: 4 Tips to Shoot the Wedding Dress

3. Putting the Wedding Dress On

As the moment arrives for the bride to get dressed, be sure to snap pictures of her Cinderella moment. Since her bridesmaids will likely help her with her dress, capture the candid moments between the girls. Providing the brides getting dressed pictures is an important part of the wedding getting ready photos.

bridesmaids helping with bride's dress

Image by Brian Hatton Photography

4. Highlighting Her Jewelry

You know the saying, “something old, something new…” – make sure the jewelry is a part of the wedding getting ready photos. The bride’s jewelry is just as important as her dress and her style. Have the bride hold her earrings in the palms of her hands so you can shoot close up and capture the details. Try placing the jewelry on the wedding dress to allow the pieces to stand out and create a beautiful shot.

bride jewelry wedding day

Image by ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, Ayres Photography

5. Documenting the Bouquet

When you take a photo of the bride’s bouquet, find a background that compliments the colors of the flowers to create a striking image. Be sure to include a separate shot of the bridesmaid’s bouquet to remind the bride of the beautiful choices she made.

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6. Standing Next to the Mirror

A classic picture of the bride in front of the mirror will allow you to capture her genuine expression as she sees herself for the first time as a bride. To create a beautiful and unique image, have the bride hold a hand-held antique mirror and take the picture.

7. Getting Ready with Bridesmaids

The bride specifically chose her bridesmaids to have a special role in the wedding, and it is important to capture her with her girls! As they get ready, look to see if they have any unique details – do they all have matching robes or shirts that say “bridesmaid” on them? Be sure to document these along with the candid moments that happen as they watch the lovely bride prep for the ceremony.

Related: Avoid bridal prep disasters with these helpful solutions!

8. Standing Next to the Window

Another classic shot to take while the bride is getting ready is by the open window. The natural lighting from will allow your bride to stand out in the image. If you are lucky, while you pose your bride at the window, her groom may walk by! Imagine the genuine emotion the bride will give you for that image.

bride next to window with dress

Image by ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, Lin and Jirsa Photography

9. Reflecting Before the Ceremony

As the bride and her bridesmaids get ready, look for moments that the bride takes for reflection. This will be one of the most genuine shots you get, as she is picturing the happiest moment of her life. From gazing down at her wedding ring or glancing at her bouquet, these moments will create stunning images.

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10. Capturing Her Veil

Since every bride has different tastes, her veil will represent her unique wedding style. The veil is the final addition to the bride’s attire for the day. Be sure to include the details of the veil, from the stitching or beading to the crystals or sparkles. Have the mother of the bride place the veil on her daughter’s head so you can capture the moment with your camera.

Related: How can you use off-camera flash to create dramatic getting ready images? Find out here!

11. Adding Last Minute Details

Before the bride is ready to go, she will make sure that everything is perfect – from her hair, to her makeup, and the jewelry she is wearing. Look for moments when she is fixing the straps on her shoes, or adjusting her dress in the mirror. You can take a close up picture of the bride putting on her own necklace, or a bridesmaid clasping a bracelet on the bride’s wrist. Many times, these items are unique and specific to the bride – they could be a family heirloom or have other sentimental values.

12. Showcasing Groom and Groomsmen Details

The groom and his groomsmen have spent time perfecting their looks for the big day. Ensure that you take shots of the guys in their tuxes – while they are helping one another fix their ties, as well as specific details that make the way they are dressed unique. The boutonniere is the equivalent to the bridesmaid’s bouquets, so take a picture of them lying on a complementary surface.

groom details getting ready

Image by ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, Salt and Pine Photography

Check to see if there are any other important details the groom has, such as engraved cufflinks. Adding groom getting ready shots creates a more complete story for the wedding day, so these are shots not to miss.

13. Placing His Jacket On

Before the groom leaves for the ceremony, he needs to add one final touch – putting on his jacket. Take advantage of this special moment by suggesting that the father of the groom help his son place his jacket on. You will find that both father and son will have genuine expressions as they share this moment together.

14. Leaving for the Ceremony

Once everyone is dressed and ready, the time has come to leave for the ceremony. This is a chance for you to capture the pure excitement on the faces of everyone involved in the ceremony. To start, take a picture of the bride leaving her dressing room. You can also get a photo of the bride and her bridesmaids in the car on the way to the ceremony. Finally, getting a shot of the groom and the groomsmen walking to the ceremony is sure to add some style to the story of the day and help add to the wedding photography must have shots.

15. Creating Memorable Photos of the Rings

Before the ceremony, take a few images of the bride and groom’s wedding rings. Be sure to take an individual picture of the bride’s engagement ring and wedding band, as well as a picture of the bride and groom’s rings together. Be creative with this shot – bring along props, such as a vintage ring box, to enhance the photos. Take a few images that you can surprise your bride and groom with for their wedding album!

By including these 15 wedding must have shots into your shooting schedule, you are ensuring that your images tell a detailed story of your couple’s wedding day. As you begin to plan for your next shoot, start thinking of new ways to create dynamic images through your unique shooting style. Learn more about poses you can include in your images with our Pro Photographer Lighting and Posing Guide! Click the banner below to get your copy today.

1 Comment

  1. Leanor

    That you so much for these freebies! The bride by the window that was always a must for me. But for what ever reason I stop doing that. Thank you for the reminder. Leanor

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