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I'm Alyssa, a NC based wedding and senior photographer who is crazy about storytelling (and my cat). Grab a snack and get comfy! It's time to check out my past work, photography education, and travel adventures!

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How to Have Beautiful Getting Ready Photos

Getting ready photos Raleigh NC Wedding photographer

You know all those gorgeous pictures of a bride getting ready? What you don’t always know is they are a little more staged then you might think (and not in a bad way!) You might be like whaaaa? But don’t worry, I’m going to share all of the tips I give my own brides with you! That way you can have beautiful getting ready pictures too.

Prepare the space

Getting ready wedding pictures

Before your photographer is scheduled to arrive (or right after they arrive) you will want to clear some of the extra unnecessary stuff from the area you are getting ready in. This will make it easy to get group pictures. This also makes sure there isn’t anything crazy going on in the background.

Have everyone (mostly) ready

Bridesmaids getting ready

If the bridesmaid’s hair and/or makeup is not before the photographer arrives, this can set things back quite a bit. Chances are it’ll be hard to get group photos in those cute robes you bought. (And let me tell you those photos are always so cute!)

You are paying your photographer by the hour, so you’ll want to use every hour wisely. Also, the more ready everyone is the more photos (and actual champagne drinking time) you’ll have.

Put all your details to the side

Wedding details flatlay

If you want beautiful photos of your details (which of course you do!) then this is a big one. You’ll want to have all of your details set aside in a box for your photographer.

This can include veil, shoes, wedding invitation suite, and any other personal accessories you want to be photographed. You and your fiance’s rings should both be ready as well.

For the guys…

Guys getting ready photos wedding day

For guys, this is all usually much easier. I personally send my second photographer over to the guys and have them do finishing touches with their outfits.

It takes almost no time at all (which is great for them!) Any details your groom wants to be photographed should also be set aside for the second photographer.

Leave time for any special moments

Gift giving on wedding day photo

You may want photos of you reading a love note from your fiance. Or photos of your father opening a gift you’ve given.

Just make sure that there is enough time for those moments in the timeline. Let everyone (photographer included) know that you want these moments captured. That was everyone knows they need to be ready with enough time to spare for these moments.

Ideally, all of this is done in enough time that we can then go outside and do portraits! (And hopefully a first look 😉) If you don’t know what a First Look is you can learn more about first looks here.

There you have it! This is how I make sure getting ready photos are beautiful while still capturing candids and authentic moments. It takes some direction and preparation, but it makes it all worth it in the end.

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Alyssa is an international wedding and portrait photographer based in North Carolina