7 bridal preparation tips for beautiful photos

7 Pro Bridal Preparation Tips For Beautiful Wedding Photos

industry secrets for Bridal Preparation Perfection.

Luxury wedding photographer Wes Simpson shares industry secrets on the best Bridal Preparation Photography Tips for beautiful photos. Feel relaxed, comfortable and confident with these expert planning ideas...

Bridal preparation is often overlooked, but having photographed hundreds of weddings worldwide, I can tell you that capturing the transition from Miss to Mrs in photos is priceless.

These photos capture an aspect of the wedding that your partner does not see. They include the build-up, and the last-minute nerves and allow you to become accustomed to having your picture taken.

If you’re planning a wedding and are undecided about bridal preparation photos, worried about how to get the best results, or don’t know where to begin, here are some pointers to help you decide.

The best bridal preparation tips for a stress-free wedding morning…

Little girl look at wedding dress West Tower bridal suite

Expert bridal preparation advice

Preparing for your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The excitement, the butterflies, the can’t-stop-smiling anticipation. It’s a truly magical few hours.

As an award-winning documentary wedding photographer, I love capturing the bridal preparations. The excitement in the air and the beginning of your wedding story. 

These are the first photos you’ll see when you open your wedding album. They set the tone for the entire story, so you’ll want to make an effort to get them right.

The good news is that they are the easiest photos to perfect! Because you have control of everything.

By simply following these 7 tips, you will not only have one of the best mornings of your life, but you will also have the perfect wedding preparation photos.

Bride in window West Tower bridal suite

1) Select the best wedding preparation room

It is important to select the best room for your bridal preparation. So, if you have a choice of rooms, choose wisely! There are three important points to consider:

1 – You’re looking for as much space as possible.

The photos will appear much less cluttered. It gives your photographer more room to choose angles, hang up your gown, and capture details such as shoes and jewellery.

2 – If you’re getting ready at your wedding venue.

Ask if you can use the bridal suite on your wedding day. Or consider having multiple dressing rooms. One for hair and makeup, and the other for getting into your gown, and the bridal reveal.

3 – Consider how the room will fit in with the overall style of your day.

The bridal preparation is the beginning of your wedding story. And if you go from a luxury bridal prep hotel room to a boho-style wedding, the pictures won’t visually flow. 

If you’re not staying at the wedding venue, past brides have suggested finding an Airbnb close to the venue that matches the look and feel of the day. 

Getting ready at home or your parent’s house can make the experience very personal. Think about any touches that you might want to include, for example, family photos or artwork.

I had a bride whose father was not present, so we included a picture of his guitar along with her dress hanging up in the living room window of the family home.

A simple but personal and unique photograph.

Brides dress and fathers guitar in window

See the full wedding here.

Bonus tips for a stress-free wedding morning

Whatever option you choose. remember, it’s your wedding day! You want to be able to stretch out and relax in peace. Not squeezing past each other to get your champagne!

If you get ready at home, please factor in transportation costs to your church or venue.

Give yourself more than enough time to travel between venues.

Will you need to have umbrellas on standby? If so, plain white umbrellas without logos work best for wedding photos. They let in natural light and complement any colour theme.

Does your wedding car complement the overall style of your wedding?

Factor in more than enough time to get from the bridal preparations to the church or ceremony. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t cool to be ‘fashionably late’ for your wedding.

If you are late, you run the risk of the registrar not having enough time to marry you before the next wedding.

Bridesmaid putting lipstick on

2) Let there be light

Think about the lighting for your bridal preparation. Are you getting ready in a dark room with artificial light or a bright and airy room?

I know makeup artists love a “Ring Light,” but trust me! Natural light and wedding photography go hand in hand. 

Furthermore, natural window light enhances skin tones. Even shadows appear to be more appealing! If you must choose between space, style, and natural light, choose light.

But it’s even better if you can have all three.

Plus, your makeup might look perfect under a “ring light,” but you won’t be walking around all day under an artificial ring light.

Choose to have your hair and makeup done in natural light and ask your photographer to show you a few photos of the finished look on the back of the camera.

Eyelashes being applied during bridal preparations

3) Main character

If you only remember one thing from this list of bridal preparation photo tips, make it this. First and foremost, ensure that you are ready first. 

This allows you to enjoy the morning without worrying if you will be ready in time.

Consider this: if your wedding day were a Hollywood film, you would be the lead character. You are the star of the show. It’s your name on the poster, and you’ll get the most screen time.

As a result, you should look your best from the start.

One of the main struggles photographers have is that many MUAs insist on doing the bride’s makeup last. With the explanation that they want the bride’s makeup to look as fresh as possible. 

The best makeup artists use the best products, so your makeup should last an extra hour or so. Your photographer can photograph the ‘touch-ups’ upon arrival. Which looks so much better.

Makeup artist applying makeup to bride

4) Running order

Bridal preparation Running order is critical. Don’t worry about upsetting people. It’s not selfish; it’s necessary.

There’s no point in your bridesmaids being ready before you if your partner is waiting at the altar and your dress is still in the box due to the preparations running late.

If you are ready first, you can calmly make a few last-minute touch-ups to your makeup before you leave. Not yelling “That’ll do,” grabbing your bouquet, and bolting out the door.

I always recommend that the bride aim to be ready one hour before they leave for the ceremony (grooms, 45 minutes – 1 hour).

We can take some beautiful bridal portraits of you and enjoy that special ‘first look’ with your parents.

In the worst-case scenario, it’s windy and raining on the way to the ceremony or you cry during the ceremony. At the very least, you’ll have some picture-perfect photos already in the bag.

Bride having lipstick applied during bridal preparations on wedding day

5) Keep it real or keep it tidy?

If you want your morning bridal preparation photos to look their best, you must first make the room look its best. The simplest way to accomplish this is to keep it tidy. Or to have two rooms.

Get rid of all packaging, breakfast plates and luggage. 

Have one room for all hair and makeup and another room for pictures of the details such as dress and shoes. The second room can also be used for the bridal reveal if people are still getting ready.

Bridal preparation photo with dress and makeup

6) Let’s talk about your senses


Create a playlist: Because music can help set the mood, why not compile a Spotify bridal preparation music playlist of your favourite songs?


Make sure you have food and stay hydrated during the bridal preparation. If you have a travel time from bridal prep to the ceremony think about having a snack on the route. 


Something new! Why not choose a new perfume or aftershave? This new sent will be forever associated with the day and will trigger memories in years to come.

Designer shoes, wedding rings and lipstick

7) Buttons or Zip?

When it comes to bridal preparation most brides just think about hair and makeup, but what about your dress?

If you have a lace-up dress, try to put it on one hour before leaving.

Your torso will naturally breathe, and the dress will become loose. You can adjust and tighten the dress as needed if you put it on ahead of time. 

I’ve seen many brides pulling their gowns up all day because they didn’t take the time to settle into them on the morning of the wedding. 

If you have a zip dress, the story is different, requiring less time.

Prepping for your big day can be chaotic, but it’s all worth it when you see yourself looking stunning in your wedding photos. 

Bridal putting on Chanel perfume on wedding day


If you’re looking to capture the perfect bridal preparation photos, these are just a few tips to help you out.

First, make sure that you take your photos near a window with natural light. This will help to create a soft and flattering look. That is real.

Second, get ready in plenty of time. This will help you relax, feel comfortable and at ease with the camera and help you enjoy your time with family and friends before you say “I Do.” 

Finally, take some time to practice posing beforehand so that you know exactly how you want to look in your final photos. 

Last but not least, have fun and don’t sweat the small stuff. By following these simple bridal preparation tips, you will be confident to capture memories that will last a lifetime!

Mother helping bride into her dress during bridal preparations at a wedding in Tuscany

Bridal preparation photos

One of my favourite moments as a wedding photographer is capturing the transformation from Miss to Mrs. It’s priceless to see a nervous bride become calm and confident in her gown!

Photographing hundreds of weddings worldwide has given me many incredible opportunities to capture these special memories for couples. And I’d love to do the same for you. 

I hope you have enjoyed these top tips for bridal preparation photos. If there’s anything else, just ask. 

Useful links:

About Wes


What is the perfect wedding?

I hope you enjoyed those top bridal preparation tips. If you have a question or you are looking for a wedding photographer, give me a call.

Best regards,


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