Bridal preparation is one of our favourite parts of the day to photograph. It’s really special to have all your closest friends together to support you on your wedding day. We love the excitement and making sure our brides have beautiful photos they will treasure forever. It’s a great time to take natural photos of everyone having fun as well as more posed shots. We advise our brides to allow for 30 minutes of photos when they are ready in their dress. This is the perfect time to take group photos with the girls and parents. Our bright and modern photography style will ensure your photos look amazing. We also have a few practical ideas for brides so they get the most out of their photo session. Getting the best bridal preparation pictures is easy with our top tips!
It’s all in the preparation
A little bit of planning will ensure that you get the best bridal preparation photos! On the morning of the wedding there is so much excitement and a lot going on so we suggest getting everything ready well in advance. Have a think about what pictures you would like captured. Our featured weddings are a great place to start. We have lots of images from real weddings to help you figure out what pictures are most important to you. If you book us as your wedding photographer then you can mention any special requests for photos you would like. This could be a picture of you receiving a card from your husband to be or making sure you capture a portrait of you and your mum.
Buy matching dressing gowns
This is one of the little things you might miss amid all the other wedding preparations, but it’s a great touch that looks brilliant in the pictures from your big day. Not only that, but they are a lovely thank you gift for your bridal party that they will be able to keep for years to come. Matching dressing gowns are a great way to get everyone feeling special! We also advise wearing a dressing gown during bridal preparation for practical reasons. After hair and make up the last thing you want is to ruin your look taking off a t-shirt! Dressing gowns are quick and easy to change out of and you won’t be left with a hair out of place.
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The ‘big reveal’
A must-have photo for bridal preparation is the father of the bride reaction! We have captured fantastic photos of proud dads seeing their daughter ready for her wedding day. These images are always treasured by our brides. Make sure to organise the morning so that your photographer will be there to capture these moments. These pictures will evoke fantastic memories from the day. Also these pictures will remind you exactly how you felt during this emotional and exciting time.
Buy gifts for your bridesmaids
It is traditional to purchase gifts for your bridal party as a thank you for their support on your big day. Lucky for you these also provide opportunities for some great wedding photos too! Jewellery or earrings are good ideas for the girls as they can wear these on the day. Your photographer will be able to take lovely shots of them getting ready. All gifts should be presented in a personalised box. These little touches are sure to make your bridal party feel special.
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Get into your dress early
So many brides get into their wedding dress just before they leave for the ceremony. If you can get ready 30 minutes before your photographer needs to leave this allows extra time for pictures prior to the ceremony – and gives you time to breathe in case anything doesn’t go quite to plan! This is also the perfect time to capture your bridesmaids and families reaction to seeing you ready in your dress for the first time! We love to also photograph beautiful portraits of the bride and pictures with the bridesmaids and family. Getting into your dress early ensures you will arrive at the ceremony relaxed and ready to tie the knot! Your photographer can capture photos of the bride and the bridal party getting out of the cars. You can also have a few group photos before heading in to meet the groom.
Keep the room tidy
While keeping the place tidy may be the furthest thing from your mind, doing so will ensure that you get the very best from your wedding photos. Wedding photographers love clean backgrounds for their shots so they can focus on you! Distractions in the background can ruin a beautiful photograph. It’s so much easier to move a carrier bag out of the way than taking it out in Photoshop afterwards. We can remove distractions with our advanced editing service but this is an additional charge. Keeping the room tidy will save any extra editing.
Hang your dress
Try to hang your dress somewhere nice before you are ready to put it on. That way your photographer can get shots of the bridal preparations with the dress in the background. This really helps to tell the story and gives context to the photos. Your photographer can also get detail shots of your dress hung up. These look great in your wedding album. Another top tip is to make sure you unpackage the wedding and bridesmaid dresses before your photographer arrives. You can also pop the dresses on beautiful personalised hangers. Don’t forget to take the tags off too! These little touches save your photographer time which they can then spend taking beautiful natural photos.
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The little details
Detail photos are best captured during the earlier stages of bridal preparation. You wouldn’t want to miss capturing your Dad’s reaction to seeing you in your dress just to get a picture of your shoes! Have the following ready for when your photographer arrives:
• Bridal Shoes
• Bridesmaid Dresses
• Engagement Ring
Consider the location
If you don’t want to get ready at home or your wedding venue has limited space, then consider booking a separate venue or hotel just for the morning preparations. For couples getting married in Manchester city centre booking a luxurious suite at The Lowry Hotel is an excellent choice. The rooms are really bright. View this Manchester Hall wedding where the bride and her bridesmaids got ready here.
Ask your photographer to arrive early
Many brides worry about being photographed with no make-up on and ask their photographer to only capture half an hour of the preparations. This isn’t long enough to get really beautiful pictures. Particularly if you want detail shots of your dress, shoes, rings and flowers. When photographing weddings we always like to arrive nice and early. That’s why our wedding photography packages include full day coverage as standard. Anything else is a compromise. Our style of photography is centred around capturing the story of the day. We like to focus on photographing natural moments which show the atmosphere and excitement of bridal preparation.
If you would like pictures of the groom getting ready then it’s best for your photographer to go to them first. This way we won’t miss important parts of bridal preparation. As the excitement builds, bouquets arrive and your friends and family see you in your dress for the first time that’s where you want your photographer to be. Or if possible you can both get ready at your wedding venue as that way your photographer can switch between rooms easily. Alternatively your photographer can meet the guys prior to the ceremony for a few photos. If you would like lots of groom preparation pictures or if the location is far from bridal preparation we really recommend booking a second photographer. This means you can have a dedicated photographer for both preparations. There are other benefits too, more images in the final gallery, images from different angles in the ceremony and more candid photos throughout the day.
Don’t forget the little ones!
Page boys and flower girls are the cutest. Make the most of having a professional photographer around and get amazing photos of the little ones for the family album. We love taking beautiful family pictures during bridal preparation. Parents love to have these natural images in their albums. Our relaxed style of photography is perfect for capturing spontaneous moments of the kids. It’s not often you have all the family together dressed up for a special occasion – make the most of it! Another top tip for getting the best photos is to give a small gift to the flower girls at bridal preparation. Their reactions are always priceless!
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Write Cards For Each Other
Most of our couples will leave a special note for their partner to read in the morning. Weddings are so much work to organise that often when the day gets here brides are thinking about everything but the important stuff. A nice handwritten card is a great way to bring the focus back to what the day is about. Make sure you open it when your photographer is around. This is a great moment to photograph!
Set up by a window
Light, light, light! One of the most important elements for amazing images is natural light. The best way to get natural light is by placing yourself near a light source. Ask your hair and makeup team to set up by a window and your pictures will be all the better for it. Choosing a dark corner to do your makeup won’t be ideal for the make up artist or your photographer. If you choose to get ready in your wedding venues bridal suite there should be a nice bright space for this. However if you choose to get ready at home think before hand which room has the most natural light as well as plenty of space.
Book a hair & makeup artist
You only get married once, treat yourself to professional hair and makeup. This is your chance to feel like a celebrity for the day. Plus the results are going to last a lot longer than if you did them yourself. You can also consider hiring hair and makeup for the whole day – not just the morning. Having your beauty team on hand for touch ups during the wedding makes a huge difference to your photos. Especially useful for windy or rainy wedding days. Over the years we have been lucky enough to work with some very talented individuals. Here are some of the fantastic people we recommend:
View our full list of recommended Manchester wedding suppliers for more advice.
By far the most important thing on your wedding day is to have fun! Get some bubbly flowing, enjoy getting pampered and look forward to the most special day of your life! Natural pictures are by far the best. Just relax and let the morning flow naturally. Our style of photography is unobtrusive we won’t order you around and make you do anything you don’t want to. Your wedding day is all about you are we are there to capture moments. We encourage all our couples to relax and spend their day having an amazing time with their family and friends.
Award Winning Wedding Photography
Shane and our team of photographers specialise in beautiful natural images. Taking beautiful bridal preparation photos is so important to us. It’s the start of an amazing day and we make sure all the special moments are captured. The ideas above are just a few suggestions to help brides plan their morning. Our studio manager Lexi is on hand in the run up to the wedding to help give advice and work out timings for preparation. We have years of experience working as Manchester and Cheshire wedding photographers and love to share our expertise with couples along the way. View some of our amazing bridal preparation photos in our wedding photography portfolio. Read our tips for getting the best wedding portraits for loads of helpful pieces of advice to make sure you feel confident about your wedding photos.
If you are getting married and like Shane and our team’s wedding photography style, it would be great to hear from you.