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 getting ready moments for both the bride and groom. Since this is a time that they will spend apart, it will be exciting for them to see images of one another getting ready for the ceremony. 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 shots for you to capture while the bride and groom get ready for their big moment!
1. Hair and Makeup
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.
2. 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!
3. Bride Putting the 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.
4. Her Jewelry
You know the saying, “something old, something new…” – make sure that the jewelry is a part of the getting ready shots. 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.
5. 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.
6. Bride in 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. With Her Bridesmaids
The bride specifically chose the 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.
8. Bride Next to 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.
Tip: If this casts a harsh light on the bride, ShootDotEdit can help with the wedding photography post processing!
9. Moment of Reflection
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, to glancing at her bouquet, these moments will create stunning images!
10. The 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.
11. 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. 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 complimentary surface. Check to see if there are any other important details the groom has, such as engraved cuff links.
13. Placing 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.
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 in their wedding album!
By including these 15 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!