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Should I Get Getting Ready Photos Taken on My Wedding Day?

The question of, “Should I get getting ready photos taken on my wedding day?” is asked of so many couples.  As wedding photographers, we hear this questions from about 50% of our couples.

First off, what are getting ready photos?  Getting ready photos on the wedding day are photos of the couple getting ready.  Yes, that’s the simple answer.  The more complex answer is this list:

– Hair and makeup photos
– Dressing photos
– Photos when you are in the wedding suite
– Photos of the wedding party with you prior to getting dressed formally

– Wedding party reactions to being dressed formally

There are probably some I’m not even remembering, but there’s a lot.  Typically, we do one and a half to two hours of getting ready photos.  That way, we can get other shots as well, such as the dresses/tuxes/suits before you put them on.

When we got married, we opted to do getting ready photos.  Why?  I never wear makeup.  Since I was going to be getting my hair and makeup done that day, I thought we should document it.  Also, we got married in 2007.  The iPhone came out the week after we got married.  So everyone wasn’t running around taking photos and video.  We had the wedding photographers to rely on. We then went to the church and the photographer got photos of me getting my dress tied (corset back) and Kyle getting his suit jacket and such put on.

I see both sides of the argument for getting ready photos, so I’ll do a pros and cons list:

Pros to Getting Ready Photos

– They complete the day.  When you look at your photos, you’ll see the day from when you started getting ready until the reception.  It’s the whole story.
– You can get photos of the dress or suits on their own.  You can’t do that once you’re dressed.
– Lots more candids for those that love them.  Nearly 90% of getting ready photos we shoot are candid.
– For those that have matching outfits for their wedding party (robes, pajamas, etc), you get professional photos in them.
– If you are getting ready in a beautiful suite, you get professional photos of you in it.

– You and your people get to spend more time with the photographer prior to the day starting.  This may sound funny, but they get to know us and are more comfortable with us when formal photos come around.

Cons to Getting Ready Photos

– They are an additional cost because it’s more time for your photographers.  That seems to be the number one reason why people don’t get them.
– If it’s a stressful morning, that stress will show up in your photos.  That has happened a few times with us due to family driving the couple crazy, things running late, etc. So the getting ready shots are not nearly as much fun.

– Some people are uncomfortable being seen without makeup.  There are always going to be more shots of people without makeup in getting ready photos and some people really don’t like that.

As photographers, we really like doing getting ready photos.  We like to tell an entire story of the day and we like to make people comfortable prior to really getting into the craziness of the day. Even being in a room with the wedding party and parents for an hour can make them so much more comfortable with us.  Not to mention the confidence that builds in both us and them.  It’s really easy to come in, introduce ourselves to everyone, and have fun while taking getting ready photos.

So when you ask yourself, “Should I get getting ready photos taken on my wedding day?” think about these things. Either way you choose to proceed is your choice and we’ll always love working with you!

Should I Get Getting Ready Photos on My Wedding Day?

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