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Wedding Preparation Photos: How To Make Them Count

Updated: May 4

A Wedding Photographer's tips to start your photo album off right with beautiful preparation photos

Preparation photography during a wedding is a standard consideration. Chic images of the candid moments before the wedding abound on inspiration sites, but how can you make sure these images are what you hoped for in your own album? Anna Clark Photography provides her top tips for excellent getting ready photos for your wedding.

Wedding Preparation Photos: How To Make Them Count


As a photographer, I believe in choosing what makes sense for you two as a couple. My first question when considering whether wedding preparation photos make sense for you two? Consider what kind of visual story do you want to create.

For couples wanting to tell the story of the whole day, this is an essential start. These images create a wedding album that opens with your authentic anticipation. If you’ve curated a special group of loved ones to be near you while you are outfitting for your wedding, you will want to think through the following details.

It is worth saying that the things which make for beautiful images can also make for a calmer experience. As much as we’re wanting to prepare for beautiful photos, it is far more important that you are authentically enjoying the moment. Having thoughtfulness toward your environment and enlisting friends or family to help oversee protecting your space in these ways will go miles toward maintaining mindfulness and a stress free experience on your wedding day.

So here we go, my top tips for beautiful prep photos!


The first mistake of prep photos is the “stuff” bomb that can go off in preparation spaces. Nothing makes the moment feel and look chaotic like bags, clothing, food, and everything else scattered across a whole room. It gets into the background of your images and can make all of your refined details get lost.

Designate the areas of the room to be used for bridal/groom photography near the largest windows of the room. A request to your bridal party can be made to do a check of that area before the photographer arrives to make sure that clutter is minimized. This will also benefit your makeup, hair, and grooming artists. Generous clean space to arrange their tools and room to move freely around you as they work needs to be a considerate priority.

Set areas or utilize closets for garment bags and luggage. A great bridal party gift idea which keeps everyone conveniently equipped and tidy would be chic monogrammed makeup/toiletries travel bags. Bags like these are classic, gender-neutral, and come in a variety of color and customization options. These types of items will also be appreciated and utilized well after the wedding!


Your bridal or groom prep spaces should be nearest the largest windows of the room to utilize beautiful light. Open up the curtains and blinds as wide open as possible! Try to not rely on artificial lighting if you have the option. Natural light is generally more flattering and less spacially invasive.

This has benefits for makeup prep as well. The color of the natural light will match the environment you will be photographed in the most if your event or formal portraits are outdoors. This ensures accurate skin tones and a clearer idea of the depth needed in your darker shadow tones. Setting a beautiful chair facing into the light will achieve this and will make for stunning images.

Open windows will also give photographers the perfect setting for still-life and flatlay captures of your curated accessories and garments. This will honor the capturing of those details with a perfectly lit setting. When capturing these new or old heirlooms, open windows are my best friends if I can't find access outdoor spaces for detail capture.

Wedding Preparation Photos: How To Make Them Count


Who you have around you as you prepare for your wedding day can set the tone beautifully and make for moments of mindfulness, bringing it back to what matters. Make sure that anyone invited into the preparation space with you helps to create the energy that you most want on your wedding day. That might be the party starters who will pump the music and secure your first cocktail of the day, or the calming and attentive loved ones who have a knack for helping you feel centered when you need it.

The number of people matters as well if the preparation room is not large. If you find that your preparation space is small, consider requesting requesting that your bridal party arrive fully ready. It can look great to have your loved ones beautifully outfitted as they help apply your finishing touches.

If on-site makeup or grooming services are being provided, listen seriously to the advice of your beauty vendors about scheduling enough time to make sure that you aren’t in a hurry. Frantic energy in whatever size space you have leads to unnecessary stress and that will show in your photos.

Depending on the flow that you would most like, solo preparation might be the best solution. If you decide this feels the best for you, then you can choose when you’d like to have your preparation party join you for a toast, final-look reveal, impromptu dance party, or any way you’d like to start the group celebration!


This holds true to every part of the planning process – you should prioritize what will help you as individuals and as a couple feel at peace and the most like yourselves. While the logistical details above will help your photographer capture the moments at the start of the day beautifully, they will also give you the room to experience the start of your wedding day stress-free. Never feel tied to what you’ve seen done before, your wedding day is a unique experience and the only essential at the end of the day is that you choose what will be a joy for you two to experience and look at for the decades to come.


To learn more about Anna Clark Photography, please visit her bio. If you are ready to inquire about photography services, please contact us today.

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