The Getting Ready Moments

A few tips on making the most of your wedding day during the getting ready moments...

 A glance in the mirror before putting on her wedding gown.

A glance in the mirror before putting on her wedding gown.

Moment captured by Maring Visuals

The big day is ahead, and the nerves are knocking. You can picture it all in your mind, but you know not to get too caught up in perfection because you want to manage your expectations... We know the feeling because we have the same nerves knocking every weekend as we, the photographers, prepare for our weddings. We are excited to!

We've been chasing perfection for our couples for 25 years give or take, and that is why this advice is something to truly consider if you want to make the most of every part of your wedding day, right down to the getting ready moments.

Prepare for the best...

The time you spend prior to getting in your gown are often incredibly memorable, and this part of your day is interesting on so many levels. Details abound, and beauty photography is always in style.

In our experience this is a time of day that you should keep drama to a minimum. While you may have hours to prepare, time slips away quickly when everybody is trying to get organized. So, it is smart to plan well, have a good amount of space, and good light on your side.

 The bride gets a manicure during the getting ready moments at her wedding at the Ritz Carlton Sarasota.

The bride gets a manicure during the getting ready moments at her wedding at the Ritz Carlton Sarasota.

Moment captured by Maring Visuals

Hair, Make-up, & Beauty...

There are advantages to going to the Salon, and other advantages to having your Hair & Make-up team come to you. Either way, it's a good idea to find out if that team understands weddings and timelines well. 

We give this advice to all of our brides, and sometimes we catch flack from hair & makeup people, but we stand behind this advice as it's proven itself many times over... "Don't be last in the chair!" Most often when this advice isn't followed, brides end up stressed beyond belief and rushing, when they could instead be enjoying a toast, or getting some fun photographs created with a relaxed and happy smile.

You don't have to be first if you don't want to be early, but you should not push your time out past your bridesmaids. Get 95% ready with hair and make-up and do some touch ups at the end. If time is running behind you, the bride, shouldn't have to panic, and this is a sure fire way not to.

 Final help from mom as the bride get's ready for her wedding at The Ringling Museum in Sarasota Florida

Final help from mom as the bride get's ready for her wedding at The Ringling Museum in Sarasota Florida

Moment captured by Maring Visuals

Choosing a Room...

Where you will do hair & makeup, and/or slip on your dress is something to put some thought into. Whether you are getting ready at home, a hotel room, or anywhere else there are a couple of things to consider.

  1. The Lighting... 
    It is smart to find a room with interesting light, whether it be window light or lit with incandescent light bulbs and candles. Lighting with a sense of style gives your photographers and video artists something interesting to work with naturally. Rooms with large windows are often ideal because it gives both your photographer and your beauty stylists good light to work in.

  2. The Space... 
    As a bride it's nice to have some private space available if you choose to want to escape the drama of friends, siblings, or just the chaos of so many people getting ready at once. Make sure there is plenty of space to accommodate the number of girls and family members you plan to have at your side along with a little private space for your dress and details as well. If you are choosing a hotel consider getting a suite, and even visiting the hotel to learn more about the room options available. Having breathing room, along with a great place to hang your dress or display your details without the clutter of shoe boxes, shopping bags, paper, and left over room service trays is a good thing.

  3. Wherever you choose to get ready find a way to pre-hang your wedding dress as seen in the photograph here. It's not only a terrific photo opportunity, but it's gorgeous fashionable decor for all to enjoy. 

 The brides mother hangs the dress in the window as the bride gets ready for her wedding at Angel Orensanz in NYC.

The brides mother hangs the dress in the window as the bride gets ready for her wedding at Angel Orensanz in NYC.

Moment captured by Maring Visuals

Photography and Video

Consider having your photographer and video artist arrive to create an opening to the story of your day. Personally, I like to arrive 1.5 hours plus drive time to our events. Most likely you won't want to slip on your dress until 30-45 minutes prior to leaving for the ceremony. So this is ample time for an artist to capture details, final touchups, and the big moment. Although we do suggest you speak to your professional as well, as each artist has their own creative ideas and may require more time to execute their personal vision.

Charles Maring is a photographer and filmmaker at Maring Visuals, and a co-host / creator of the Together In Style talk show.