I am often asked by my brides how much time a photographer needs for getting ready photos. Of course, every photographer is different, so I will mostly be speaking from my own experience. I encourage you to ask your photographer how much time they need. Some want two hours and others might only want 45 minutes.

How Much Time You Need for Getting Ready Photos for Your Wedding 

My Ideal Getting Ready Timeline

Even if you think you might not need getting ready photos, your photographer might very well need that time to get their creative juices flowing. This allows them to take their time with details and portraits without rushing. Here is what I ask for in the timeline for my weddings:

– I arrive one hour before hair and makeup is complete. I spend this time shooting bridal details and styling them beautifully.
– Right after hair and makeup is done, I love photographing the bride and her friends in their robes or with champagne.
– 30 minutes after hair and makeup are complete, I photograph the bride getting into her gown. I allot about 20 minutes from the time she begins getting into the gown until the first look happens.

In total, I request that I have nearly 2 hours in the bridal room before the first look. This gives me plenty of time to take gorgeous detail photos, candid moments, and fun portraits without rushing! See more details on each part of the timeline below.
Bridal party with turquoise silk robes and bride in white robe outside in front of palm trees on film, Wedding at Humphreys Half Moon Inn by Cavin Elizabeth Photography 

What I Shoot During Getting Ready Time

After arriving, I take detail shots of your ring, the dress, invitation suite, shoes, etc. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have the proper amount of time to do this. Styling beautiful flatlays takes time. I never want to rush these photos, especially since they are important to my brides as well as blogs and magazines I submit to.
Copper Willow white letterpress wedding invitation suite with green ink, Vibrant Winter Wedding at Omni Rancho Las Palmas, Cavin Elizabeth Photography
After I finish shooting details, I make sure to photograph key makeup shots or simply touch-ups if the bride is already done with her initial application. These little moments give the morning a sense of story. Once hair and makeup are complete, my brides love having robe shots with their bridesmaids. I’ll either shoot these in the getting ready room or another location if the hotel room lighting isn’t the best. Finally, the bride gets into her gown with the help of her mother and/or bridesmaids. During this time there are so many genuine moments and emotions that brides love seeing in their final gallery.
Bride getting into gown with help from sister, mom, and maid of honor wearing pale blue gowns shot on film, Del Mar Country Club Wedding by Cavin Elizabeth Photography

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