Bridal preparation photography tips

This article is all about bridal preparation photography tips, to get the absolute best from your wedding day photos. This is of course from my point of view, but as an experienced wedding photographer based in Lincolnshire, I know what makes my job easy! These are pointers. Some are more achievable than others, but all are intended to maximise the beauty in your surroundings.

Looking for the light on your wedding day

Light is your best friend when it comes to making your wedding photographs look as perfect as they can be.

Bride getting help into her wedding dress on the morning of her Lincolnshire wedding

In Lincolnshire, we are blessed with gorgeous northern sunlight that flows down from the skies above… Only joking, we spend most our year hiding behind a lovely cloud covering! No matter the weather, there will always be a source of natural light and this is generally a window. When picking where to have your makeup done or getting into your beautiful dress, pick a nice open and light space. Have a look through the house and find where would be best. Most commonly in front of the living room main window is best, the conservatory or maybe in front of the bedroom window?

Pro tip – make a fist with your hand and hold it up, which side is the lightest? Follow that direction and you will find your source of light!

Face this direction when having your makeup done and getting into your dress. Not only will this make for better photos, but it will help your makeup artist have a more accurate representation of how your makeup will look in natural daylight.

Window light will provide a nice diffused source of light making for much more flattering photographs. The main problem with artificial lights such as your main room light, is that it deepens the contours of your face with shadows. In some situations this can be a disaster! I have flashes and lights to compensate for this, but every chance I get I will look for the natural light as it cannot be beaten.

Bride having makeup applied on the morning of her wedding
Example of the perfect skin tones and colours that window light produces.

Plan with your wedding photographer

Before the wedding, I can meet with the bride at the location where they will be getting ready on the morning. I will have a look round (with their permission!) and recommend where I feel would be best to get ready. A great tip would be to send your photographer photos of the room if they can’t meet you there, they can then recommend which location would be suitable.

The basics – let’s keep it clean!

One thing that might not be on your mind on the morning of your wedding, is how tidy everything looks. I’ve been to many rooms to find everything ranging from last nights dressing gown, to offcuts of flowers laying on the floor. Are these things you want laying in the background of your photos? I’m pretty confident in saying the answer to that question is no. In advance of the big day, have a look around and anything you don’t want in the background of your wedding photos put it aside. Maybe in the cupboard, in another room, or back where it belongs. For my own wedding day we took everything into another room – some of it is still there!

Bride and her bridesmaids posing for a group photograph on the morning of the wedding
Helena had a gorgeous white room for her bridal preparations

Clutter free bridal preparation

Let’s say you are getting ready in your front room, but you usually have your salt and pepper shakers in the middle of the table. These can be put away beforehand. Take 5 minutes, step back and look around. Remove items from the room to make it look as simple as possible in the photographs. This way the focus is on you, where it should be!


beautiful pair of shoes posed on a clean backdrop Cleaning on an extreme level

I had a bride last year that took it to the next step and made sure everything had a fresh coat of paint. She even had new carpets fitted. That attention to detail meant she had the perfect back drop, although I don’t recommend a full interior design change, unless you really want to! It makes my job easier when you tell me that you’ve ensured there are no cobwebs in the background too! You could always treat yourself to a professional cleaner to spruce up all of your home just before the wedding? Any excuse to relax and save your nails.

Where to put things?

On the wedding morning, keep this dedicated space clear. Ensure that other activities are completed elsewhere to the main room. So flowers in the kitchen, storage of dresses and clothes in another bedroom. If you’re getting married in a hotel, ask your bridal party to keep control of their own things. 

Lastly, assign someone to help

You will have bridesmaids that are in the house or hotel, waiting to have their hair done. Assign them the job of making sure everything is tidy and cleared away. Call reception as soon as you’ve eaten to clear trays. Make a checklist for them to look out for? Ask them to make sure they’re mindful of rogue packaging, hair grips and any little ones! The most common thing I see left out is empty glasses or plates. These can be taken away in a few seconds. Let everyone know in advance your and it’s one less thing for you to worry about.

I hope these bridal preparation photography tips have given you food for thought and leaves you with crisp and clutter free photographs of your special day. As they say, by failing in bridal preparation you are bridal preparing to fail!

Why don’t you check out some of my weddings on my blog and see their bridal preparation photographs?