Boston & New England Wedding Photographer Deborah Zoe

Boston & North Shore Wedding Photographer creating timeless imagery for classic New England weddings with a fine art approach.

Wedding Love : Getting Ready

There is so much to think about when it comes to your wedding day! Here are my top tips to help you make the most of your wedding morning! Your getting ready time sets the stage for the day. These tips will help to ensure that you have a smooth and stress free time with your favorite ladies the morning of the big day. Enjoy! 1. Location, location, location.

The location of your where you'll be getting ready is so important. Often times brides want to get ready in their childhood homes because of sentimental reasons or they choose a hotel room because of convenience. And while these are great reasons to pick the location, you also need to think about the logistics while you'll be there.

If you are getting ready at home, it's best to pick one room of the house where you'll put your dress on and where you'll have your bridal portraits taken. Then have another room dedicated to all of your stuff; bridesmaids dresses, hair accessories, makeup, anything that you'll be using to get ready. That way when it's time to put on your dress, we don't have to scurry around to clear up the room.

Look around the room that you'll be dressing in. Is there any clutter, are their dated items that you'd like to take down or remove the day before (that Leo D poster from 1997 probably isn't going to be what you want to see in your album years from now;)) You want a clean, organized and de-cluttered room.

The same idea applies to brides getting ready at a hotel. Keep everything clean and off to one side. A great rule of thumb is letting your bridesmaids know exactly where their things can go, so they know you are trying to keep one space of the room free from clutter for your pictures. Nothing is worse than seeing a lone bra or pieces of makeup scattered on the floor when you are getting into your dress!

Also, if you're getting ready at a hotel, consider gettingget a suite. There will be lots of girls all trying to get ready in the same place. It gets crowded fast and leaves little to NO room to document the details, the dress, even the bride, if we are all cramped in a tiny hotel room. You'll also want to make sure that the hotel room has PLENTY of window light. Corner suites usually offer the most space and ample window light.

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2. Don't forget the Details

Don't forget your details! Since there is SO much to think about a day or two before the wedding, I recommend creating a little packet of all your wedding details a week or so before the wedding. These details include your stationary (save the dates, invitations, special cards etc) as well as all your getting ready details (shoes jewelry, perfume, garter, hair accessories etc). Keeping these items all together helps me work very quickly. I can quickly photograph the details together AND create a cohesive look to the images. Another recommendation is to bring left overs from your planning. Paper scraps, fabric remnants, etc, all help to reinforce a cohesive theme throughout your images. Whether its a napkin swatch from your reception, a piece of dress fabric, or scrap paper from your invitations, make sure to include it!

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3. Leave enough time.

Brides will often want me to come early to document the getting ready portion of the day. But what I all to often see happening is brides not allotting enough TIME to actually do this! The getting ready images are more than just a bride getting into her dress. I photograph all the details, the dress, the veil, the bouquet, the jewelry, the invitations and more. Setting these images up takes a lot of time (particularly the dress) and require delicate care. The last thing I want to be doing is rushing with the dress, or the bouquet or the shoes or the ring or any details for that matter. Planning at least two hours of getting ready time for photos is a good ballpark for your timeline. This allows me time to photograph the details, as well as capturing the bride getting into her dress, WITHOUT rushing her.

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When planning out your timeline, I often suggest to brides that they tell their hair and makeup stylist that they need to be finished a half an hour earlier than they actually do. Hair and makeup, always runs later than expected and it's good to be prepared for that now, than rushing on the wedding day. Hair and makeup stylists have their hands full working hard to get a group of girls beautified and out the door! That half an hour reduces your stress level and allows a buffer area for the stylist and makeup artist to make last minute changes to your look.

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4. Find a place for your dress! As soon as you arrive to your getting ready location, find a place to hang your dress and lay out your details. Remember to make sure that this area is "off limits" to your bridesmaids things and that they need to place their items elsewhere. This area is strictly for your dress and getting ready. Remember to make sure that your dress isn't in a closet or hidden away. Place it out where it can be photographed and documented! Also remove as much padding or packaging around the dress as possible. If you have a custom wedding dress hanger, that would be the time to place it on the dress (just make sure it is sturdy enough to hold for a length of time).

All of this prep work ensures that you'll have a smooth start to the day! The getting ready portion of the wedding day really sets the tone for the day in general. You want this to be a special time to hang out with your family and friends. Relaxation is the aim of the game! You can focus on your wedding vows and not on the clutter on the floor. Share this post with your bridesmaids and your mom. Enlist a friend to help you pull this all together. Get your bridal party on the same page and you can work as a team to ensure a smooth morning for you and your girls!

*And an added bonus: These same tips apply to the groom and groomsmen so share this post with him!

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