My top tips for great prep photos

Bridal Preparations

one of my favourite parts of the day to photograph

I love bridal prep.

With all the excitement of the day building I find it one of the most emotional part of a wedding to capture. Usually the bride and bridesmaids have been together overnight so the fun has generally already started by the time I get there and it's always the case that the hairdresser and makeup crews are already there too. It's during this time I like to get some candid documentary style photos as well as some posed ones with friends and family.

Ideally I find it's best for the bride to leave at least half an hour between getting into her gown and leaving for the ceremony this way I can get some beautiful group portraits of her with her bridesmaids as well as some of her alone.

For more tips for good bridal prep photos be sure to read on ...

Be prepared!

a little bit of forward thinking will serve you well

One of my top tips for good bridal prep photos is to be prepared!

A little bit of forward thinking will help make sure you get the best bridal prep photos! The morning of the wedding is often so busy with people coming and going, phone calls from excited well wishers so I suggest getting everything together the night before.

Have a think about what pictures you would like captured. This is why I suggest you fill your "shot list" in beforehand. Keep it with you, it's good to have a memory jogger. I'll have mine with me so between us we should get all the photos you requested.

If you book me as your wedding photographer you can ask me on the day too if you just happen to think of a photograph you may want - it may be you getting a wedding day gift or message from your husband to be or it may be a special photo of you and your pet or a fun one with all the girls!

Buy matching robes

matching robes will link you all together

Most brides like to buy dressing gowns for herself and her bridesmaids. Matching dressing gowns link you all together and it makes for some really fab photos as you're all getting ready.They also make ideal keepsakes from the day. I also think that wearing a dressing gown during bridal preparation is better for practical reasons after all having spent ages in the chair having your hair and make up done the last thing you want is to ruin your look taking off a t-shirt!

Here's some inspo

Thea Elizabeth Studio

"The big reveal"

one of the most photographed moments - but one of the best

One of the must have photographs and the one that the bride normally insists on above all others from the preparations.

Some brides want the father of the bride big reveal others want their bridesmaids, either way they are photos that will be treasured for years to come.

Make sure your photographer is there to capture this moment and make sure there is enough time for them to do it in. Oh ... and make sure you have some tissues to hand because this moment is always a real tear jerker!

Get into your dress early

get into your dress early and allow time for photographs

Probably my biggest top tip for good bridal prep photos is don't leave it until the last minute and get into your dress early.

Getting ready 30 minutes before your photographer needs to leave will allow extra time for pictures prior to the ceremony.This is the perfect time to capture your bridesmaids reaction to seeing you in your dress for the first time!

I always love to get some lovely portraits of the bride with her family.

Getting into your dress early ensures you will arrive at the ceremony relaxed. Your photographer can capture the moment the bride steps out of the cars in all her glory. You can also have a few group photos before heading in to walk down the aisle.

Keep the room tidy !

nobody likes their wedding photos with clutter in the background

Probably my number one tip for good bridal prep photos!

Okay, keeping the place tidy may not be at the forefront of your mind on your wedding morning but doing so will ensure that you get the very best from your wedding photos.

Wedding photographers love clean and tidy backgrounds for their shots so they can focus on you! You don't have to be like Mrs Hinch but discarded clothes and carrier bags in the background can really spoil a beautiful photograph.

Hang your dress


Make sure you unpack and hang your dress early and try to hang your dress somewhere pretty before you are ready to put it on. That way I can get shots of you getting ready with the dress in the background. This is one of the best bridal prep photos and I can also get detail shots of your dress hung up.

It pays to buy some nice hangers for your dress and the bridesmaid's dresses too. They look so much better than the usual black plastic ones. You can buy personalised hangers and also personalised name tags for the bridesmaid's dresses - this is a nice touch and they can be given as keepsakes of your day. All this will save your photographer time which they can then spend taking awesome natural photos.

Here's some inspo

The Personalised Wedding Room

Don't forget the little details

they're an important inclusion in your story

I always love to have a mooch around early on in the bridal prep to look for any details I can shoot in order to help tell the story of your day. You'd hate it ( and so would I ) if I missed the shot of your dad's reaction to seeing you in your dress for the first time while I was photographing your flowers! Here's another tip for good bridal prep photos ...

Have these things ready for me!

* Bridal shoes

* Bridesmaids dresses

* Jewelry

* Hair accessories

*Engagement ring


* Invitations

Light, light and more light

the more light the better for your photographer and your hair & make up crew

I love to shoot photographs using natural light, they're so much more beautiful and it only helps in getting amazing pictures. Ask your hair and make up team to set up by the window (even if they bring their own lighting system) Most wedding venues choose big bright light rooms for their bridal suites. If you're getting ready at home make sure you choose a room with the most natural light as well as plenty of space.

Book a make up artist

sit back, relax & enjoy the celebrity style experience

Another of my top tips for good bridal prep photos it to book yourself a professional makeup artist (MUA).

These girls are an absolute god send, they have loads of experience in making brides look naturally awesome on the day, they work at venues all over the country and are familiar with lots of different lighting situations and so know just how much or how little make up to apply.

They know the tricks to give you cheekbones to die for without giving you brown streaks from your ears to your mouth topped with bright shiny stripes beneath your eyes and up to your temples!!! They know how to shade your nose and under your chin for the sleek look and they know just how to make your eyes smoulder without looking like you've gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson!

They also work their magic in an unhurried, calm way because they are the experts, leaving you to relax and enjoy the experience without the worry of having to get it perfect within the time constraints that a wedding imparts.

Here's some inspo

LouMac MUA

Ruby Landles Beauty

Relax and have fun

pop the fizz and have some fun

The most important thing to do on your wedding day is have fun so another tip would be to pop some fizz and enjoy all the preparations - it all adds to the excitement of your day.

Forget about me, I won't ask you to do anything you're not happy with, most of the time you won't know I'm there as I try to work as unobtrusively as possible. Just go with the flow.

I'm there to document the story of your day as it happens so I encourage you to relax and enjoy being with your besties.

Boys will be boys!

groom prep photos can be hilarious

Most couples want groom prep as well as bridal prep covering. This is possible to do with a single photographer if you're both getting ready at the same venue as your photographer can easily run from room to room.

In this instance I would do the boys first, that way I'm not going to miss the more important moments of the bridal preparation like the arrival of the flowers and the moment your bridesmaids see you in your dress for the first time.

If the groom prep is in another location then another tip for good prep photos I would really suggest is that you book a second photographer solely to cover the boys getting ready. Another bonus with having a second photographer is that you get more photographs of your day from different angles during the ceremony and speeches. Or to put it simply ~ More Bang For Your Buck!

You'd also have more of the candid documentary photos throughout the day.

Remember to buy gifts for your flower girls and page boys

photos of the little ones are awesome

There's no denying that pictures of little flower girls and page boys are the cutest and often the funniest.

Kids provide a whole host of memories of your day from the moment they're all dressed up in their finest to the time when they've given up being little angels and just get up to as much mischief as possible. Your wedding photographer will often capture some of the best photos of your wedding by photographing the kids ... being kids.

Make sure you set enough time aside for special photos of you and the children specially if you're giving them keepsakes.

Here's some inspo

Bespoke Gems

Glam & Co Gifts

follow the journey