The Secrets to Great Getting Ready Images
When I decided to get married, I never even gave the location of where I'd be getting ready a second thought. Of course we'd get ready at my parents house and head to the church immediately afterwards. It was a meaningful location, we'd be with my parents and it was a place that I felt most comfortable.
But looking back I REALLY wish that I had thought more about this portion of the day. My girls were cramped inside my parent's modest home, there was no room for my dress, and embarrassingly enough there were still remnants of my teenage days hanging about in my room. My dress was hung from the ceiling fan and the room was cluttered with all of our things.
Out of this "regret", this past spring I wrote a Wedding Love post with tips on how to make the most of this part of your day. You can check it out here. I wanted to encourage Brides to think about things like their Getting Ready location, their Getting Ready details such as the bouquet, dress and accessories, and of course leaving enough time to photograph it all.
Coming to the end of the season, I've spent quite a bit of time with my Brides this year! Some Getting Ready scenarios worked really well, and some were a little more challenging. I wanted to share just a few lovely ladies (and men!) and their images from the Getting Ready portion of the day, (What were the challenges? What made it successful?) in hopes that it can help future Brides envision what will be best for their wedding day!
Rachel and Rob both got ready at the Renaissance Hotel in South Boston for their September wedding. This was great as they selected suites for bridesmaids and groomsmen to get ready in. There was room to spread out, a separate room to store "clutter" such as bags and clothes and a huge bank of windows that allowed plenty of light into the room.I would say that the biggest challenge of this suite, even for all it's benefits, was that it was obviously a hotel room with no unique or defining features. Working around what we were given, we tried to "hide" the fact that we were in a hotel! Additionally, there was also no real place to hang the dress except on a hotel room door. BUT despite any challenges I would shoot in this room day in and day out, for it's size and ample supply of natural light!For Stephanie and Nick's August wedding, Stephanie chose the unique and quirky Hotel Marlowe to get ready. This Hotel offered so many lovely nooks and crannies for all of Stephanie's wedding details. For example, we found this great spot in the hotel lobby for her dress! I highly recommend looking for getting ready locations with personality and character.Stephanie got ready in an oversized hotel room. This was great for her girls and vendors as it allowed everyone to spread out. However, this meant that there was clutter EVERY where and no additional room to hide it away in. We moved a mirror and cleared a corner of the room to allow a simple and de-cluttered space for Stephanie to get dressed. Don't be afraid to move things around and "style" a portion of a room or area. You don't want anything to distract from a beautiful Bride, especially a stray hairspray bottle!For Pat and Liz's farm wedding, Liz got ready in the home of the farm's owners! We were given a VERY small room to work with, with hardly any natural light. Certainly a challenge for me as a photographer! I used the small window light to my advantage however and used the small directional light to give contrast and interest to her details. Once again we placed the Bride in a de-cluttered corner of the room. I wasn't afraid to move things around including the carpet to ensure that the Bride had a simple and pleasing background to get dressed. And while the room was small, it provided LOTS of character that fit right into the theme of Pat and Liz's wedding. For Diana and Jon's Church Landing wedding, Diana got ready in a suite with her bridesmaids. However, the suite was small and cramped with lunch, hair and makeup vendors and Bridesmaids getting dressed. So, we chose to have her Diana get into her dress in a separate area of the Inn that provided more light and space.I'm so glad we did! We had a beautiful bank of windows to work with and lots of room to spread the dress out!Finally for Jon and Emma's Ocean Edge Wedding they both decided to get ready on the venue's property. I've included this picture of Jon because I want to emphasize that all the things we have been talking about in regards to the Bride totally apply to the Groom! Look for an area with lots of natural light, space to spread out (and to hide clutter) and simple backgrounds for the Groom. My second shooter Coco, placed Jon near a window as he prepared his bowtie. There is beautiful light coming through the window, with a simple backdrop to emphasize Jon. While Jon was across the property, Emma got into her dress at her hotel room. To take advantage of the small amount of natural light coming through the deck window, I decided to actually step out onto the deck and shot into the room. This room certainly had it's challenges, but once again we placed the Bride in a small corner, removed any distractions and made it work! As you prepare to think about your Getting Ready images, remember location, location, location! Look for places with natural light, lots of space to spread out and environmental character to add interest to your images. Don't be afraid to remove distracting elements from the room or to style certain areas!