Are you worried you won’t be organised and end up stressed the morning of your wedding?
Here is my ‘Getting Ready Guide’ for your wedding day to help you be prepared. The guide includes;
- My photography top tips and hints.
- Timing outline for the morning.
- What to look for when choosing your getting ready venue.
- My list of favourite getting ready spots.
There is always lots going on the morning of your wedding day. Once your makeup & hair team arrives, it’s fair to say that the rest of the day goes by in a flash.
But the best thing about my job is that I get to capture the details and moments that you may not necessarily get the chance to fully take in the day of your wedding.
The behind the scenes, candid moments that will make you look back on your wedding day with feelings of nostalgia and excitement!
So here is a guide to help you with the ‘Getting Ready’ part of your wedding day.
CHOOSING THE LOCATION
Logistically, you want to be close to where all the action will take place on your wedding day. If possible for everything to be all in the same location is the best option, though if this is not possible with your chosen venues I recommended having no more than a 10 minute car drive between your getting ready location and your wedding ceremony.
Picking a location that is central to where everything is taking place that day is great as you won’t have to worry about traffic and making it to the alter on time!
If your hotel allows bridal parties to take pictures in the common areas (some don’t), selecting one that also has a pretty lobby with lots of photo ops makes for a great and (free) rain backup location.
The most important aspect when choosing your getting ready venue is the LIGHT.
You want your chosen getting ready place to be bright, pretty, uncluttered and large enough for everyone to fit.
Great lighting is just as important for your makeup artist as it is for your photographer. And while we can both bring lighting in, you don’t want that. You want your makeup to look amazing from outdoor portraits to your candle lit reception.
You also want your photographs for this portion of the day to look every bit like the “morning of” – bright and happy. Good natural window light is needed to achieve the look.
It is often lovely to get ready at your family home, though if the home is on the smaller side and dark is may not be the best option. Your photographer should be able to get beautiful photos anywhere but for wow factor and gorgeous backdrops have a think about using a room at your venue, the bridal suite or perhaps hiring or borrowing a cottage, holiday house or somewhere super special for amazing getting ready shots.
If you are having your wedding in the warmer months I definitely recommend a getting place with air conditioning so you are not sweltering whist getting ready for your big day.
Here are a few suggestions of my favourite hotels on the Central Coast, Hunter Valley and Newcastle regions. They rank high on my list because they are ideal backdrops for getting ready photos. Listed in no particular order:
Star of the Sea, Terrigal.
Crowne Plaza, Terrigal.
Magenta Shores, The Entrance.
Bells at Killcare.
Cypress Lakes, Pokolbin.
The Longhouse, Pokolbin.
Crowne Plaza, Lovedale.
Sebel Kirkton Park, Pokolbin.
Cooks Hill Chalet, Cooks Hill.
Crowne Plaza, Newcastle.
Raffertys Resort, Cams Wharf.
HAIR & MAKEUP
I HIGHLY recommend hiring professional hair and makeup artists that come to your location the morning of the wedding. This way you are able to relax, keep your pass on or special bridal robes, have a glass of champagne with your bridesmaids and relax. There is nothing worse than all of you having to rush back and forth to a salon and worry about traffic, timing etc.
Hire your professionals far enough in advance to do trials and have an opportunity to make changes if you don’t like the way you look, you want to feel fabulous and confident on your wedding day. I also always suggest brides try to use their trial for the engagement session so you can see how your makeup colouring shows in the photos.
Also having had your trials, your suppliers are likely to have told you how much time to budget for your prep and that of the rest of your bridal party. The larger your bridal party and the earlier your ceremony, the more likely you are to have a rudely early start time! If you’ve got separate hairdressers and make-up artists, ask them to coordinate their timings to maximise the efficiency of your wedding morning. The running order of your bridesmaids and Mum’s preparation as well as your own will be key.
Have a space for all your dresses to be hung… This is always best in front of a large full length window. Another thing is to have matching hangers not just the metal mismatched ones the dresses came with.
There are all sorts off pretty hangers you can buy or decorate yourself if you love to DIY. Search Pinterest for some great ideas to match your wedding theme.
It is a great idea to have one set room for all your accessories which are easily accessible for your photographer. Choose a bed or sideboard where you can have all of the jewellery, something old, borrowed, blue, all of your shoes and any other bit and bobs you would like captured.
Another thing to remember to have ready is your wedding invitation, as it is lovely to have this photographed also with the rest of your details.
Keep everyone’s personal items to a minimum. You don’t want your photographer to waste time cleaning up the room instead of taking photos just to carve out a little space for you to put your dress on. And you also don’t want the backdrop of these images (as out of focus as it may be) to show suitcases with everyone’s bras and underwear spilling out.
Ideally, this is your suite and only your personal belongings are here (in the closet). Everyone can hang out with you and get hair and makeup done here, but they should keep everything else in their respective rooms. This way they can just step out for 15 minutes to get dressed before you need to put the dress on.
How long will it take to get into your dress? It’s much easier in the shop when there are professionals on hand who are used to fiddly buttons and zippers, but it might be a different matter with overexcited bridesmaids, nervous hands or fake nails that lack precision!
If your dress is a zip up, you’ll be in it quicker but a corset or buttons up the back will take longer. Also allow time to put all your accessories on and don’t forget that last spritz of perfume!
Try on your dresses the week of the wedding. Get your bridesmaids to try on the dresses with the underwear they are planning to wear on the day.
I see it so many times the bra straps showing or the underwear cutting into skin in all the wrong places etc. Make sure your bridesmaids try it all out so they have time to buy a bra that works with the dress or have alterations on the dress. As when a problem is discovered on the day there will be very little time to fix it properly!
I notice a lot of the time that brides underestimate the time it takes for everyone to get dressed and ready! Here are a few of my tips to make this a little smoother on your day;
This is the typical schedule of how I capture for the morning of for the girls. Every photographer has a different way of working – this is just a rough guide of how I work.
10am- Hair and makeup professionals arrive. (this will depend of number of bridesmaids etc.)
12pm- Lunch time
1pm- We will arrive to capture final touch ups of hair and makeup prep.
1:15pm- We will capture details shots of dresses, shoes, jewellery, flowers and candids of preparation.
1:30pm- time for bridesmaids and parents to get dressed. (Before bride so they are ready to concentrate on helping the bride prepare and dress)
1:50pm- Bride to get dressed
2pm- We will capture the bride as well as photo with bridesmaids and immediate family.
2:30pm- I usually leave around 30 minutes before the bride to get to the venue and shoot guests arriving, find out the venue rules and shoot the groom, groomsman and parents. That means for brides, your wedding dress needs to go on at least an hour before you need to leave. (This is a nice time for you to have a breather, champagne with the girls and organise any last minute details for the day).
3pm- Time to leave for the ceremony.
I hope my hints and tips help you are getting ready on your wedding day!
Bonus Tip from Amanda:
Remember to talk to your photographer about any concerns or special requests you have before the day – for example, some brides really want the getting into the bridal gown photos just to be a special moment captured with their mum and not a room full of everyone, or maybe the special moment when a father sees his little girl for the first time... So sweet!
While I'm feeling the love, here is a photo of my dad and I on my wedding day...
Are you still looking for photographer to suit your wedding day?
I would love to have a chat about your wedding day to see if I can help you capture these very precious moments.