Your wedding day begins! You’re probably feeling all kinds of different emotions as you are about to put on your wedding dress and are literally getting ready to walk down the aisle to get married. Take a deep breath, it’s going to be the most beautiful day! Let me take you through the different parts of the Getting Ready, answer all your questions and share my best tips for a relaxing getting ready morning with you, so you can feel prepared and enjoy this fun start to your wedding day.
WHAT ALL HAPPENS DURING THE GETTING READY?
The Getting Ready typically includes you getting your hair and makeup done, hanging out with your bridesmaids in the bridal suite (all the snacks, champagne and matching pjs included) and putting on your wedding dress, shoes and accessories (same goes for your bridesmaids). A few other sweet things to do are reading letters or opening gifts from each other and doing a first look with your bridesmaids (or your dad/brothers).
WHAT ARE YOUR BEST FIVE TIPS FOR A RELAXED GETTING READY MORNING?
Diffuse some essential oils and let your bridesmaids create a fun playlist ahead of your day to sing (and dance) to while you’re getting ready for your day. Spa music or hard rock is also acceptable – whatever floats your boat!
2. Have a GENEROUS TIMELINE
that allows for lots of buffer time for extra bathroom breaks, finding those shoes that have vanished etc. A great way to save time is to get ready at your venue so you don’t have to change locations throughout the day.
3. Establish a MESSY CORNER
preferably in a different room than the one you’re getting ready in but any corner is fine. Getting ready in a neat room will help you feel more relaxed, will make it much easier to find things and will look great in your images.
4. Don’t forget the FOOD & DRINKS
Whether you have a fancy charcuterie spread or snack on chicken minis straight out of the bag – I don’t know about you but I’m not very relaxed when I’m hangry (hydration is equally important)
5. PREPARATION is key!
Hang up your dress, take out your shoes and everything else that you’ll actually be wearing as a bride as soon as you get to the bridal suite! You’ll catch immediately if you forgot anything and it’ll be easy to find things when it’s time to get dressed!
WHAT ARE SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING OUR GETTING READY LOCATION?
If your venue has a bridal suite, I highly recommend getting ready there. Venues with absolutely gorgeous bridal suites in the Triangle are the Bradford, the Merrimon-Wynne, the Barn of Chapel Hill and Carolina Grove, just to name a few! Not having to change locations saves time and nerves, your venue likely designed the space solely for this purpose (all the outlets!) and your gallery will have a consistent look.
If that is not an option, here are a few things to consider when choosing a place to get ready:
WHAT IS BEST TO WEAR DURING THE GETTING READY?
You should choose your Getting Ready outfit with two goals in mind: comfortability and practicality. It’s best to choose clothing that either buttons, wraps or has a wide neck so you don’t have to pull it over your head (and beautiful hair and makeup!). Some favorites I have seen include matching pjs, robes and oversized button down shirts. Here are three shops I recommend for cute getting ready outfits: Poppy & Co (they are local!), Birdy Grey and BHLDN.
Cozy slippers are also cute for pictures and a fun little gift for your bridesmaids to keep.
WHO HELPS ME PUT ON MY WEDDING DRESS AND HOW DO YOU PHOTOGRAPH THIS PART?
When it’s actually time to put on your wedding dress, I like to clear the room and make sure the only people left are you and the special person you chose to help you put on your dress – that can be your mom, grandma, sister, best friend… totally up to you! I typically wait outside to give you a few moments to slip into your dress and then come in as soon as it is on but not buttoned or zipped up yet. Your special person helping you get ready is a very sweet few minutes and it’s the moment that things become very real for a lot of my brides so I love to step back a little and let things naturally unfold. I sometimes have y’all redo a few things after to get a few more shots.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO DO A DRESS REVEAL WITH MY BRIDESMAIDS?
Since we have already sent everyone out of the room, we are already perfectly set up to have your bridesmaids come back in to see you for the first time with your dress and all accessories. I typically will put you in one corner of the room facing the wall, and then line up your girls across from you – eyes closed or covered. You can then turn around and tell them to look whenever you are ready – it’s always one of my very favorite moments to capture.
ANYTHING WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE GROOM GETTING READY?
We will of course cover the groom getting ready as well – though there are way less parts to it. Most guys just want to hang out with their groomsmen until it’s time to get dressed so it typically only takes about 10-15 minutes to capture a few candids as well as your groom getting dressed.
I hope this blog post was helpful to you as you are planning your wedding and are preparing for a relaxed and stress-free wedding day! On my Instagram, you can also find a reel with “Three ideas for cute getting ready pics with your bridesmaids” – you can check it out and save it for your wedding day here.
© Simone McAdams Photography