The Ultimate Guide To Your Getting Ready Room

Toni's getting ready suite in Monterey
Toni’s getting ready suite in Monterey

Your big day is almost here! So exciting! We want to help you look and feel your best on your wedding day and one of the easiest spots to overlook is your getting ready room. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Just follow these simple tips to get great photographs as you are getting prepped for one of the biggest days of your life!



Cheers! Have a toast with your bridal party!

Don’t forget to pack these goodies! When we arrive, we begin by shooting all of your details. Everything from your accessories to shoes, we get it all! Before you leave for your bridal suite, make sure these items make it with you or someone else will be bringing them.

▢ Rings (Bride & Groom)

▢ Your wedding dress or outfit and a reception dress if you will be wearing one

▢ Cute outfit or robe to get ready in (same goes for your bridesmaids!)

▢ Florals (bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, etc. Ask your florist if they can give you a few loose petals or flowers. We will use them in your detail shots)

▢ Any and all wedding jewelry, shoes, veil/hair piece

▢ Special mementos that you want to incorporate in your wedding (Your mother’s pearl necklace, grandmother’s mirror)

▢ All wedding stationery (Save the dates, invites, escort cards, envelopes with calligraphy)

▢ Snacks & water (stay hydrated- especially if it’s a hot day)

▢ Pretty glasses and straws (straws won’t mess up your lipstick) No one wants plastic cups or red solo cups in their wedding photos.

▢ Don’t forget your emergency kit!



Claudia's sister and Mom helping her with her wedding dress and the finishing touches.
Claudia’s sister and Mom helping her with her wedding dress and the finishing touches.

When you arrive, grab a spot by a window or natural light to put on your makeup. It will make a world of difference if you have soft, natural light on you as you are getting ready.

Also, ask your girls to clear the room of clutter (any extra bags, clothes, etc) and move any distracting pictures off the wall or lamps from the room. Trust us, this will make YOU the center of the photos instead of the stuff! In just a few minutes of clearing the room will make a massive difference in the quality of your getting ready photos.



Groomsmen having some fun before the ceremony.
Groomsmen having some fun before the ceremony.

The groom & his guys have a little simpler schedule during the getting ready time. When you arrive at your getting ready room, make sure to clear the room of clutter and bring suits/tuxes, shoes, ties, and cufflinks with you. The gentlemen always get ready faster than the ladies so bring something fun to do while you wait. Video games, cards, games or a wedding project are a great way to pass the time and have some fun before the ceremony. At our wedding, our guys got to put up an enormous tarp in 40 mph wind so they were all set!

As with the ladies, remember to let your guys know your timeline and have a hard stop time for when you need to be ready. And don’t forget to have a toast with something yummy!


Lisa slipping into her lovely lace gown
Lisa slipping into her lovely lace gown

Keeping to a timeline can be stressful but we recommend allowing more time than you think you will need to get ready. It’s better to have more time than rushed! Make sure to let your bridesmaids and mom know the timeline ahead of time and have an exact time when you all have to be ready and dressed.

Day of coordinators are great at keeping things moving and keeping everyone on time but if you don’t have one, ask a friend or one of your most organized and responsible bridesmaids to help keep everyone on time.

Here’s a handy list of how much time to budget in:

3-4 Hours getting ready (hair, makeup, etc)

20-30 minutes for photographer to get details (depending on how many details)

15-20 minutes of fun getting ready photos with your girls

30-45 minutes of extra time after your hair and make-up are done

45-60 minutes for a First Look

Set aside extra time (about 30-45 minutes) where you will be putting on your dress, taking final photos with your girls, a special moment with mom and an extra moment to take a deep breath read through your vows and just enjoy the day!

Toni's black diamond ring and bridal bouquet
Toni’s black diamond ring is to die for!