10 Tips for Gorgeous “Getting Ready” Photos | Strip District in Pittsburgh Wedding

Becca and Riley tied the knot this past December at the Strip District in Pittsburgh. Their ceremony was held at the stunning Orchard Hill Church, which features a fresh modern aesthetic on the inside. They celebrated their vows with friends at The Art Room wedding venue in the Strip District. Their wedding day was nothing short of amazing. For this post, I want to feature their photos as a guide on how to get gorgeous “getting ready” photos because they nailed it!

Why You Should Prioritize Getting Ready Photos

Getting ready photos tell almost as much of the story of your wedding day as the ceremony itself. They’re full of emotion, and this is where we capture those sweet connections between your friends and family. So many of the small but extraordinary moments happen as you get ready, and more often than not, these are primarily the photos you will share and reminisce over again and again. So, I want to help you capture these moments to the fullest!

10 Tips for Taking Amazing “Getting Ready” Photos:

1. Designate a Space for Personal Items

First, delegate a bridal party member to have everyone put their belongings in a designated space to keep the bridal suite clear of clutter. Not that you can’t have a few items out here and there—no need to stress or obsess over it—but photos will come out better if it’s tidy. (Plus, you don’t want to have people tripping over bags, clothes, and wires as they get ready.)

2. Hire a Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist

Professional hair and makeup artists contribute to phenomenal getting ready photos even before they’ve worked their magic. Wedding professionals have a knack for considerately keeping everyone on schedule, so the entire process feels organized and stress-free. That carefree streamlined process translates to relaxed facial expressions and happy ladies! Plus, I can get some great shots of you and the rest of the party smiling as you get pampered. Cheers to the talented wedding hair and makeup artists who keep the flow flowing!

3. Set Up Near Natural Light

Hopefully your bridal suite or dressing area has a window where you can get ready. Go toward the light! Natural light is great for photos (we may move to the side to avoid direct or harsh light). We can also use frontal lights in the dressing room (the kind around the mirror) if your room doesn’t have a window.

If you’re getting ready in a larger space, like a house with several rooms, avoid getting ready in the central living space and opt instead for a perimeter space near windows.

4. Make a “Detail Shot” Box

Put the items you’d like photographed in a decorative photo box to give to your photographer. Bride and groom boxes (separate) might include items such as:

  • invitation suite/stationary
  • mementos
  • rings
  • handkerchiefs
  • handwritten letters
  • boutonniere
  • cuff links
  • jewelry
  • perfume
  • shoes
  • tie
  • socks
  • flower stems
  • décor items

5. Have Florals Ready

Have a few floral pieces or bouquets readily available to use in photos for detail shots and bridal portraits.

6. Use Photogenic Items & Supplies

This step isn’t necessary, but it can help elevate your photos if you’d like. Before you arrive (maybe a week or two before the wedding), consider swapping less-attractive supplies for more photogenic ones. For instance:

  • pretty hangers
  • remove tags
  • elegant bottle openers
  • custom bourbon glasses or champagne glasses
  • elegant perfume bottles
  • gift boxes and gift-wrapping supplies
  • decorative boxes & containers for storage
  • designer makeup kit or overnight bag

7. Minimize Wires

Here’s where your hair and makeup artists come in again. If they’re doing everyone’s hair and makeup, you’ll have fewer distracting wires to deal with from everyone’s personal accessories.

8. Have a Getting Ready Schedule

Make a schedule and distribute it among your party so people know where to be and when, and most of you are on the same page as you get ready (so we don’t have some in PJs and others completely ready for group shots).

9. Be Yourself & Don’t Think About the Camera

My biggest recommendation is to stay in the moment and smile naturally. Relax and roll with the emotions of the day. Instead of remaining stoic, you can be both silly and heartfelt as the moments come. Meanwhile, I’ll capture your best angle in each candid shot and help you pose for the more formal portraits.

10. Consider a First Look with Bridal Party

I saved this one for last because they’re a personal favorite of mine. Of course, I love a heart-tugging first look between bride and groom. But the photos between a bride and her closest friends is pretty priceless, too.

More Photos from Orchard Hill Church & The Art Room Wedding Venues

Strip District in Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors & Other Professionals

Venue | Orchard Hill Church, Strip District in Pittsburgh

Reception Venue | The Art Room in the Strip District in Pittsburgh

Photography | Rachel Wehan Photography, Portfolio

Dress Boutique | Blanc de Blanc

Cake | Lincoln Bakery

Band/DJ | Keystone Entertainment & Events

Hair/Makeup | GlamToGo

Florist | Flowerama







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