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B is for Bridal Prep {A-Z of wedding photography series}


Bridal prep, the period of time where you, as the bride is getting ready to walk down the aisle, usually surrounded by your bridal party (maid/man of honour, bridesmaids/bridesmen, mother(s) and sometimes grandmother(s). 

And today I wanted to share my top tips on how to make the most of your getting ready time and so you get those gorgeous bridal prep photos you’re after.   Some people wonder why you’d have the getting ready part of the day photographed, after all many people don’t like having their photo taken sans makeup!  But, as you’ll have heard me say before if you’re a frequent visitor, this is all part of your wedding story.  It’s not about capturing you with no makeup on, it’s about that connection you have with those you’ve chosen to have with you that morning along with those beautiful details all coming together to create your wedding look.

Don’t worry though guys, groom prep will be covered when we make it to “G” in our A-Z of wedding photography.

Bridal prep in a hotel in Cotswolds, images by London wedding photographer Amanda Karen Photography

Bridal Prep Photography Top Tips!

  • Timings – you need to work with your hair and makeup team to get a clear timeline as to how long everything will take, then add some additional time on because there always someone who nips out the room for a “quick errand” and puts the timings out! Allow 30 minutes at least to be getting into your dress, (this includes one last trip to the loo) and ideally you want to be dressed 30 minutes before it’s time to leave so that you can get those photos of your parents/bridal party seeing you all dressed up as well as some portraits of you before you leave.  It also gives you time to just breathe. In fact, the fabulous Maxine Wilson Hair and Makeup Artist has written a great post on working out the timings for your hair and makeup.
  • Gift exchanges – if you’re doing gift exchanges with your other half and/or with your bridal party, wait until your photographer has arrived as this is always such a lovely moment and met with lots of squeals as heartfelt gifts are unwrapped. As a rule of thumb we arrive to each of you 1.5-2 hours before you’re due to leave for the ceremony. 
  • All the details – one of the things I love taking photos of are your bridal details, from the dress and shoes through to stationery, jewellery and anything else with a sentimental value to you. So it’s best to have all of these things to one side so I can crack on quickly with styling and photographing them.  And for the dress shots, if you know the dress (yours and your bridesmaids) comes with a naff looking coat hanger, consider getting something a little more in keeping with your beautiful dresses.  Even plane wooden ones are better than mismatched plastic ones!
  • Strap marks – bras and socks are prone to leave elastic marks, so if shoulders and ankles are likely to be on show for you or your bridesmaids then consider removing these for the morning, a cute coordinating dressing gown will keep you modest
  • Stay hydrated – the bubbles often get popped, and whilst it’s not directly related to bridal prep photos, making sure you’re hydrated right from the start means you’re less likely to flag during the day. You may want to have some straws to hand as once you’ve got your lippy on you may want to keep that looking fab.  At least up until the part where they say “you may now kiss the bride”
Bridal prep room for a Hutton Hall wedding, images by Essex wedding photographer Amanda Karen Photography

So there we have it, my top tips on bridal prep photography for the letter “B”!  Who will you have by your side the morning of your wedding?

Until next time,

Amanda x

Bridal details for a Clissold House wedding, images by London wedding photographer Amanda Karen Photography