How to get the best out of your bridal preps

Feb 14, 2018 | Weddings

How to get the best out of your bridal preps. This is a post for all you Scottish brides out there or those eloping to Scotland.

Bride, bridesmaids and mother of the bride on the wedding morning. Wearing wedding robes excited for the big day. Hair and makeup done for the wedding. Scotland Wedding Photographers

Using some of our favourite photos this post shall be full of our handy hints and tips.

How can I get the best out of my photographs on the morning of my wedding? Points we shall cover in more detail below:

  • How long before the ceremony do you arrive?
  • How can we fit in time to get a photo of all of us girls in our robes?
  • Where should I get ready to get the most out of our photos?
  • How many people should I have around on the wedding morning?
  • Should I let you know of any surprises taking place?
  • When should the bridesmaids & mother of the bride get into their dresses?
  • How many people should I have to help me into my dress?
  • When should I aim to be in my dress for in order to get some bridal portraits done?
  • How can we best organise the first look between my father and I and my bridesmaids?

So, sit back relax with a cuppa and have a read through hints and tips we have picked up over the years!

How long before the ceremony do you arrive?

We tend to arrive about 2 hours before the ceremony. This enables us to capture all the details as mentioned in our previous post on morning details. We tend to do 30 minutes on details, 60 minutes on preparations and 10 minutes on portraits.

If you would like shots of any stationary/invites, dress, suit, shoes, jewellery, perfume, any of these kind of details, have them looked out for us when we arrive, so we don’t have to bother you to find them.

We should have plenty of time to capture moments between everyone, makeup, hair shots and anything that goes on without rushing things too much. I am also a great person to have on hand to make sure everything does go to plan time wise to ensure you are not running too late.

Couple of peacocks wondering whats going on. Sitting under bunting on the morning of a wedding
Hairspray final touches to bridal prep. Looking glam
Bride and bridesmaids in robes on the morning of the wedding day. Hair and makeup done!

How can we fit in time to get a photo of all of us girls in our robes?

So, this is a shot a lot of our brides ask for. However, sometimes time does not allow for it. To make sure you have enough time for this shot you can either ask your makeup and hair team to arrive a little bit earlier OR what most brides opt for is stopping the preps for a few moments no matter if all the girls are ready or not just to get the shot. Please chat with your bridesmaids about this as sometimes the bridesmaid who is not ready does not feel comfortable about having her photo taken and this can eat into your time until she is. If this is the case I usually decide to not take this photo as to not delay things.

Bride, mum, bridesmaids and flowergirls all in robes. Hair and makeup done. Ready for a wedding.

Bride and bridesmaids in robes getting ready for a wedding.
Gran joining the girls to have some makeup applied he big wedding

Where should I get ready to get the most out of our photos?

To make the most of your bridal prep photos we would suggest a few options.

  • A great alternative to getting a hotel room is renting an Airbnb. Sometimes they are around the same price, plus, they have a lot more natural light, space and there is no yellow downlighting to be seen.
  • Wherever you are getting ready if it’s at home choose the spot with the most natural light for your makeup and hair. This will make for some great natural photos in the best light possible.

Bride getting her makeup done during bridal preparations
Bride using great window light for her morning preparations. Hairspray finishing touches.
Brides makeup being applied the morning of the big wedding
Brides hair being done in the conservatory at Dalduff Farm in Maybole
Bride looking flawless putting earrings on and we can see her amazing eyelashes with such details. Happy times getting hair done for getting marriedFlowergirl getting her hair done too. Sitting on a chair and stylist uses some hair straighteners.
A cool shot of the bride while she is getting her hair done. Framed nicely and complimentary colours.
Bridesmaids waiting, chatting and having a cup of tea before it all kicks off r ceremony time
Finish the details for the bride before she gets her dress onGood use of negative space during the bridal prepsBride giving her approval on makeup. Using a mirror to check.
Reflection of the bride while she gets her hair done and it's all going on around her
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How many people should I have around on the wedding morning?

It all depends on how you think you will feel on the day. You know yourself best. If you have a feeling that having too many people there will cause a lot of stress and anxiety then consider cutting down on who will be getting ready with you in the morning or get a bigger place to get ready in. If having loads of people there helps keeps those feelings at bay then heck go for it… but I would still suggest a bigger place. Having too many people in one space can make it feel very cramped and it does limit what we can capture.

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Should I let you know of any surprises taking place?

If you are going to give your bridesmaids and parents presents then do let us know so we can capture this. The hugs and happy faces make for such great emotional shots. Why not package them up prettily and have us photograph them beforehand as well.

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When should the bridesmaids & mother of the bride get into their dresses?

I always suggest they are in their dresses 45 minutes before you are about to leave. This way there is no last-minute scrambling at the end and the girls can be in their dresses to help you get into your wedding dress.

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TIP: Try and keep mobile phone usage to a minimum. It’s perfectly fine to take some snaps here and there but when someone is taking hundreds of photos then it stops us getting good shots, mobiles in hands doesn’t look as good and some end up wanting to have their own photoshoots.

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How many people should I have to help me into my dress?

I would always suggest a maximum of 3. It gets very crowded beyond this and it is a bit harder to get those lovely moments since there are too many people around you. So I would decide beforehand who is helping you get into your dress, let them know and they should be first up for getting their hair and makeup done.

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When should I aim to be in my dress for in order to get some bridal portraits done?

I would suggest being in your wedding dress at least 30 minutes before you are to leave for the ceremony. This will give us enough time to get some lovely shots of you looking perfect before the wind blows or you cry, photos of you and the girls and your parents. This will also give you enough time to have a last minute prosecco to hit the road if you wish to, and also make sure you have everything you need. You won’t regret leaving relaxed as opposed to in a frenzy.

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How can we best organise the first look between my father and I and my bridesmaids?

I would always chat with your dad or your bridesmaids to say that this is a shot you would really love. Let them know that I will chat with them about where it will take place and not come into the room until they are ready to be called in. This will prevent any of them seeing you by accident which can leave you feeling a bit down if you were keen on capturing their reaction. Preparation is key here.

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On top of all these handy tips here are a few more that we have picked up over the years.

  • Assign a bridesmaid to keep things as tidy as possible over the course of the morning. Sometimes it can get pretty messy if there are a lot of people in one space with a lot of stuff.
  • Have a chat with your bridesmaids about being on it for the day. A few in your group will be renown for being late and needing to do a few more touch-ups than actually needed making you all late. More often than not it is a bridesmaid who makes the bride late and this has a knock on effect for the rest of the day. Please bear in mind that it is the photo time that always takes a hit. Being super late means less time for photos and spending time with your guests.
  • Having your hair and make-up done is where your timings can hit its first snag, setting off a domino effect of tardiness for the rest of the day. Even if you’re a brush-my-hair-and-out-the-door kind of girl, don’t underestimate how long bridal beauty can take. Allow up to one hour and 45 minutes for your makeover. A long-lasting look requires thorough application and blending, which takes time.
  • Make sure you allow all hair and make-up to be done at least 45 minutes before you need to leave, just in case things run over. So, if you need to leave at 12.30 for a 1pm ceremony, make sure you’re done at 11.45am.
  • Got 4 bridesmaids? You’ll need to leave time for them all – or invest in multiple hair and make-up artists. Allow 30 minutes for each bridesmaid’s makeover, but from a timetable perspective you may want to add 15 minutes to this for extra flexibility in your schedule. If there’s ever a time to put yourself first it’s on your wedding day, so make sure you have your makeover before anyone else in your bridal party to minimise last-minute stress. And whatever you do, don’t put your dress on too late. It takes longer than you think to do up, and you need to get to your ceremony on time.
  • Don’t be afraid to tell your hairdresser/makeup if you are not happy with it.
  • Having an hour of preparation is ideal for our style. During this time, we are getting close ups of the makeup and hair being applied as well as the candid moments and the bridesmaids and groomsmen get ready for the day. Keep in mind that these are some of the most emotional and fun times of the day, so you don’t want to cut it short.
  • Why not ask your mom or dad to help you with your jewellery?
  • Don’t be late on the day! It really can have a knock on effect on the day and every moment is precious. Make sure you have enough time built into your schedule. 80% of your day happens between 1-5pm.

Taking all this into consideration these are only tips that we have picked up on to make the day start off smoothly in a relaxed and enjoyable way. Most of all have fun and have those special moments between your nearest and dearest. Hug, laugh and even have a wee cry together. It’s all part and parcel of a wedding day and makes for beautiful and emotional imagery.

To read more of our hints in and tips follow the links below.

Bridal details 

Groom Preps

Engagement Shoot

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