Today we are so, so excited to be continuing our Industry Pros blog series with one of our favorite photographers, Amanda Megan Miller.  You may recognize her from Kelli & John’s wedding this past fall, and you may already follower her!  Her social media and blog are right on point, and we are just thrilled to have her guest blogging on SG!  For those of you who have yet to e-meet Amanda, she is a Chicago based photographer (who also loves to travel!).  She believes the meaning of life can be found in love, laughter, and really good champagne… and we agree!  Read more below on wedding prep photo tips from Amanda Megan Miller…

The wedding preparation time of a wedding day is one of my absolute favorites! The anticipation, the excitement, the ‘buzz’ of good wedding juju in the air! That feeling of ‘It’s all happening….’ I live for those moments! And they can end up being some of the most fun and wonderfully emotional of a wedding day. Popping bottles of champagne. Laughing with your life long friends. Opening a sentimental wedding day gift from your love. Mom helping you into your dress and clasping the necklace around your neck. Your sister holding your hand as you step into your shoes. All of it! It’s wedding day magic if you ask me! Not to mention all of the pretty wedding details as far as the eye can see!

So, I wanted to share some tips on how to get beautiful wedding preparation photos on your wedding day for all the brides, grooms, and those in the to-be-wed pack out there! A little planning goes a long way to having beautiful, bright, and oh so memorable images from those getting ready moments leading up to your ‘I do’! Moments full of anticipation, excitement, and a whole lot of pretty details!

1. Allow ample time for wedding preparation photos!

Allow more time than you think you need! Personally, I recommend that I am there for at least an hour of your getting ready time, but even more is better if you ask me! So many fun moments happen during this time and I want to capture everything from your dress and shoes to you laughing with your girls over mimosas and mom helping into your dress. And, in general, giving yourself some cushion time throughout your day is always a good idea! You will be so happy you did when you are not rushing to get out the door!

2. Give yourself some space!

Choose a hotel room or house that is spacious enough for you and all of your getting ready crew. You don’t want to be trampling all over each other and your stuff as everyone scrambles to get ready in the same general area. And you want it to be comfortable for mom and whoever else is there enjoying those wedding prep moments with you, to be able to sit back, sip some mimosas, and not feel like they are getting in the way.

Shannon Gail Prep Photos with Amanda Megan Miller 4

3. Choose a wedding prep place that suits your taste!

The place in which you choose to get ready will set the stage for your wedding prep photos and the start of your wedding day, so pick one that suits you! Your photographer will not only be photographing you getting ready in this space, but will also be hanging your dress in this space and using the environment to style your wedding details, so pick a place that has a vibe you absolutely love. Choosing a wedding prep space with a look and feel that is consistent with the palette or decor of the entire wedding helps the story of your wedding day. And you can honestly never go wrong with a spacious hotel room with lots of windows and light colored walls!

4. Find the natural light!

When booking your wedding day hotel suite, be sure to ask if you can get a room with lots of windows and natural light. (Sometimes a corner suite is best!) Natural light is your very best friend for getting ready! Not just for your photographer, but also for your makeup artist, who often needs to set up next to a window with some good light. If you are getting ready at someone’s home, find the room with the most natural light and plan to get ready there. Sometimes this means moving a bit of furniture around to make space, but it is nothing that can’t easily be put back after the fact and it is always 110% worth it in the end!

5. Have your hair and makeup team come to you!

If you do nothing else to make your life easier on your wedding day, do this! Having to leave to go to a salon and come back to get ready always turns out to be a bigger hassle than you think it might be. And a total time suck. Choose a talented team of hair and makeup guru’s that you have already had a trial with and trust with your wedding look, then stay in your pretty little robe, pop the bubbly, and let them come to you! It makes your day so much easier and allows me to capture all the pretty finishing touches of hair and makeup.

Shannon Gail Prep Photos with Amanda Megan Miller 3

6. Have all your details collected and ready to go in one place!

When your photographer arrives to your room on your wedding day, they want to be able to get to work right away and not have to pull you away from the excitement and champagne drinking (or hair and makeup!), so collect up all of your wedding details in advance and set them aside for them to scoop up and dive into when they arrive. (And bringing your own beautiful hanger for your wedding dress is always a nice touch!) Wedding Details include: Your dress, veil, shoes, jewelry, THE RINGS, garter, clutch, any and all accessories, a clean copy of your invitation suite, your wedding day perfume bottle, and any sentimental items of the day!

Bonus: Have your flowers delivered early!

Having your bouquet(s) on hand allows your photographer to incorporate them into your beautiful detail photos and to capture them at the absolute peak of their pretty floral freshness!

7. Keep the room tidy!

Ask your wedding party to help pitch in and pick up the room throughout the morning or afternoon, so your wedding prep photos won’t have empty coffee cups and shopping bags littering the background. It might be helpful to designate a corner or side room for everyone to dump their stuff so the main getting ready space can remain as uncluttered and clean as possible.

8. Wear something that you would like to be photographed in!

You should absolutely feel fabulous while you prepare for your big day, so wear something that makes you feel special, it IS your wedding day, after all! You can never go wrong with a beautiful robe! It makes for pretty pictures and it is easy to take off without messing up your hair when it is time to get ready!

Shannon Gail_Prep Photos with Amanda Megan Miller 2

9. Have your getting ready crew get dressed first!

I always ask that mom and the wedding party are dressed and ready to go well before it is time for the bride to get dressed. They should get to look pretty in photos too! They will be helping you into your dress and admiring all your bridal gorgeousness in the background, so it makes for much prettier photos if they are all glammed up and good to go and not still in their pajamas. They will thank you later.

10. Pop the bubbly!

Slow down. Relax. Enjoy these moments. Your wedding day goes by in the blink of an eye and your photographer is there to capture it all, so just allow yourself to let go and be present in the day. You don’t want to miss this!

Amanda’s Headshot is by Genevieve Lauren Photography


Catch up with our Industry Pros:

Paper Products with owner of graphic design studio, Lauren Covington 

Public Speaking Tips with Toast Points founder, Emily Vandevender 

Wedding Planning Tips with Shannon

Engagement Etiquette with Shannon & Bridget