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Getting Ready Wedding Photos You Don’t Want to Miss

Updated: Jun 24

When it comes to your wedding day shot list, it’s likely that getting ready photos are the first part of your wedding day plans.


You may wonder why getting ready photos are part of traditional wedding timelines. It’s not actually about you getting ready—it’s about camaraderie, anticipation of what’s to come, and the genuine moments that occur right before you get hitched.


We love the ability to be there to support you from the other side of the camera and the memories made during this part of the day are some of our favorites. As you plan the photos that you’d like to have captured, here are the getting ready photos you don’t want to miss. And if you partner with a Joy photographer and videographer, we’ll make sure these priceless moments are documented.


The Best Getting Ready Photo Ideas: For the Groom

As grooms prepare for the wedding ceremony with their groomsmen, there are usually a lot of laughs. Since their attire is not typically as involved as those of the bride, it allows for some laid-back moments where the guys can just be…guys! Here are some photos to add to the shot list as the groom gets ready.

  • Saying cheers with beers Whatever your drink of choice, this is a fun photo to capture because it marks the start of the celebration!

  • Taking part in a fun activity There’s usually something that the guys do to help pass the time…from smoking cigars, to playing cards.

Wedding Getting Ready Photos You Don't Want to Miss
  • Hanging your tuxedo or suit Before you get dressed, make sure there’s a close up captured of your wedding attire. And if your photographer can figure out the logistics in the timeline, they should include the wedding dress, too!

  • Getting your hair done or shaving Day-of grooming looks different from one guy to the next, but there’s usually some sort of styling that gets done. Some get a clean cut or shave from a professional, while others do it themselves. These photos are a great idea because you can get some sweet moments of looking into the reflection in the mirror.

  • Having a first look with your mom or grandma The bridal first look with Dad often gets the spotlight, but this can be an incredibly special moment for the guy to share, too! It’s bound to lead to some emotional and frame-worthy shots.

  • Showing close ups of all of your accessories From the watch to the bow-tie, have the photographer get a few close up shots of your accessories.

  • Having your mom or grandma help with your accessories If you need help with an accessory, like a boutonniere, have Mom or Grandma join in!

  • Giving gifts to the groomsmen Giving gifts to your guys? While these might not seem like significant memories while you’re experiencing them, they are often special moments to look back on as you browse through your wedding photos in the future.

Groom getting ready on his wedding day, captured by Joy Photo and Video

  • Opening a gift from your significant other Not all couples do this, but it can be very sentimental. If you decide to exchange gifts or letters beforehand (via a member of the bridal party), this can lead to some awesome photos. This will be one of the first moments of the wedding day where you feel connected to the person you’re marrying, so emotions are usually in tow.

  • Shaking the hand of a groomsman (bonus points for a secret handshake) This is usually a guy-version of a hug, so make sure it gets documented!

  • Enjoying a moment of solitude Some of THE best portrait shots of the groom are captured when he is alone for a few minutes before the ceremony. You could be looking out a window, fixing your accessories, or simply enjoying some time on your own. There will be hope and anticipation in your eyes as you look towards the future.

  • Doing a first look with your significant other If you plan to do a first look, these will end up being some of the best photos from the big day. And don't worry...if a first look isn't what you want, there are alternatives. Consider a first touch, first letter, or even a first look without being in wedding attire. This will allow you to spend a few relaxed moments together without ruining the first moment down the aisle. You can still see each other but will be surprised once you see each other at the ceremony.


Wedding Day Getting Ready Photo Inspiration: For the Bride

There’s nothing better than a bride with her girls! The moments prior to the wedding ceremony will lead to some of the most cherished memories in your friendships. Here are the getting ready photos you don’t want to miss, ladies.

  • Popping champagne If you’re opening some bubbly to lighten the mood with mimosas, these are some of the best getting ready shots you don’t want to miss. There will be a dynamic movement to it, and you’re likely going to be laughing with your girls. Pop the bottle and then say “cheers”---just be careful with the cork!

  • Dancing to an upbeat playlist One of the most underrated wedding planning tips: make sure you have a playlist of good music to play while you’re getting ready! Since you’re likely working with different vendors (like hair and makeup) while you and your girls get ready, there will be some downtime. Fill the space with upbeat music that brings you joy, lightens the mood, and helps you to get focused on your relationship. Then dance away and feel your butterflies move into formation!

  • Being silly Let your photographer capture a fun moment of you and your girls doing an activity. Toss up balloons in the air. Throw some confetti. Or pose next to ‘bride’ themed signage.

  • Posing in your matching robes or other outfits This is one of our favorites. If you’re planning to get ready in outfits hand-selected for this day, this can make for a sweet photo.

  • Showing off your pedicure or manicure Have the camera get up close to your bridal mani and make sure to show off that ring!

Bridal manicure and engagement ring close up, and other wedding photo ideas

  • Getting your makeup and hair done This is the getting ready photo that you don’t want to miss! It’s not about the hair and makeup—the focus will be on the mirror which will reflect your emotion.

  • Showing close ups of all of your accessories You probably put a lot of thought into your accessories, and they might not show very well in your wedding photos. Take some time to set the accessories aside in a clean space in the corner of the room where you’re getting ready. Feature your accessories and then add things like your family heirloom, the wedding invitation, or a meaningful sign (like one with your new last name.)

Wedding Details Photo and Other Wedding Photo Ideas for Your Shot List

  • Giving gifts to the bridal party If you’re giving a gift to your bridesmaids or Maid of Honor, make sure this moment of exchange is documented!

  • Opening a gift from your significant other If your groom delivers a letter and/or gift to open, this moment will connect you with him and help lead to some sweet photographs.

  • Hanging of your wedding gown Why take this photo? Because your dress will make the spotlight in many of your photos, but it will capture different angles of it. Having a photo of your gown hanging on its own will help to put the spotlight on the dress in all of its glory. (And make sure it’s not on an ugly plastic hanger! Opt for a velvet or custom monogrammed hanger.) In the long run, this photo will be one that you can look back on fondly as you recall when you ‘said yes to the dress.’

  • Displaying your something old, borrowed, and blue If you’re following tradition by having these three things, set them aside for a quick photo so that you’ll always remember them.

  • Getting your girls to help with your dress Whether they’re helping to secure silk buttons or making sure that your layers fall just right, this is a classic photo. Don’t forget that you’ll probably need help with your shoes, too.

  • Having your mom or grandma help with your accessories Invite the special lady who helped raise you to take a few photos. One of the most natural moments will be Mom or Grandma putting on your earrings, clasping an heirloom necklace, or securing a special bracelet.

  • Sharing a sweet moment with your flower girl If a young girl is part of the bridal party (child, godchild, niece etc.) then pose with her and your wedding veil! Depending on the style of the veil, try wrapping it around her or place it on her head. Plan to get some photos of the both of you, as well as on her own. This will make for one of the best frame-worthy photos that you can give her on her wedding day in the future. This is legacy in the making.

Wedding photo ideas: the bride getting ready with her flower girl

  • Having a first look with your bridesmaids This is one of the best getting ready photos you don’t want to miss! Even though your bridesmaids have probably seen the dress, this is when it all comes together. Anticipation will be at a high and each of your girls will show a range of emotions for the camera.

  • Doing a first look with your dad or grandpa Once you’re ready, have your dad, grandpa, or other special guy (like a sibling) come to your bridal suite. The photographer will be able to capture a genuine reaction of pure joy once they see you for the first time.

  • Spending a few quiet moments alone Once your hair and makeup is in place and all your accessories are on, take a few moments to sit on your own. The photographer will be able to capture some portrait shots that show you in your last few minutes as a single woman.


We hope you enjoyed reading about the getting ready photos you don’t want to miss. We are here to help you with photography and videography tips that are helpful in your wedding planning experience!


If you’re still looking for a Texas wedding photographer or videographer for your big day, we have availability for 2022 and are actively booking for 2023. We have team members across the Lone Star state, including: Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston. If you choose to partner with us, we will help with your shot list and make sure that the VIPs on your list are captured. Get in touch with us today.


Choose Joy,

The Joy Team