A Brides Getting Ready Guide & Tips

Updated: Mar 15

With so many getting ready options available for a bride, where does a bride start? It is my goal within this short guide to identify, and assist brides with one of the most important parts to their wedding day. Getting ready is one of the most enjoyable parts of a wedding day if a bride has the nohow.

Fast forward for a minute, your wedding day has arrived, and you have your closest girlfriends alongside you. Do you want it to be serious or fun and free-spirited? Do you want to laugh and smile till your face hurts? You have to make this happen if this is your dream, but how?

I love to laugh and enjoy life. I’ve found upon the whole people love to laugh and smile. Knowing how to pose in an unposed way allows for gorgeous photographs for brides to get ready. When you select your photographer, see if they make you laugh. Knowing the cost or average price of a wedding photographer is just the beginning. The difference takes place when you meet them in person on a Skype call.

How does that photographer make you feel? Does the photographer ask you questions that means something and connect with you? Or is the entire conversation about them and their awards.

One of the biggest tips that I can give you before you read this article about getting ready is to dig deep into the photographer and not just some website photographs. Your photographer is there all day long, and in many ways, you’ll see the photographer more than your future partner.

Your location to get ready will also affect your photographs. If you’re unsure about where to get married and are after the top mountain wedding venues or the best wedding venues in Calgary, make sure to pick a fabulous room to get ready in. Candid photographs materialize when you’re happy.

Okay, let us explore the best bride getting ready tips for your wedding day.

Plan in advance your getting ready experience

Analogy: If you head to the airport without a destination and ticket booked, where will you end up? Imagine heading to the ticket agent desk and saying I’d like a ticket to somewhere. Exactly! You’ll not reach a destination, and you’ll flop around without knowing where to go and what to do. Obviously, if you head to the airport knowing where you’ll be going, and you have your ticket, you will know the steps involved.

A wedding day is no different, if you don’t plan for success, you will stress out, and things will go wrong. I promise you; it will. I’ve seen it so many times as brides do not allow for many factors. I am a Calgary based photographer who wants to be a friend on your wedding day, so my door is always open for communication as I’m wanting your day to be successful and immensely happy. So, plan for your getting ready element to your day, and I promise you that you’ll have a fabulous time, plus it puts the rest of your day on a sound footing. The other person or company who has your best interests at heart are wedding planners. If you find planning your wedding day a bit overwhelming connect with a wedding planner to see what options they provide.

How much time to allow to get ready?

Time is one of those things in life that you cannot get back, so treat it wisely on your wedding day. The amount of time you allocate will depend on how many bridesmaids you have and how many hair and makeup artists you hire. If you allow one hour per person for hair and makeup, you’ll be doing great as a start. So, if you have one hair/makeup artist and there’s four of you in total, then you’ll need that hair/makeup artist for four hours. You can be super smart and hire two hair/makeup artists and half the getting ready time! Pretty cool, eh.

If you plan to have a first look at 1 pm and you have up to a 30-minute drive in Banff or Canmore for your first look, you should be finished with your hair/makeup by 11:30 am. I know right, I bet you’d never thought it would be this early right. In Lake Louise you needed drive at all, you can simply walk out of your hotel and meet your future husband. Point being, know how much time you’ll need to get into the vehicle, drive, and then walk to the first look location.

When to put on your wedding dress

Your hair/makeup is now complete at 11:30 am; you’ll have to eat a little; use the restroom before you put your dress on, but if all goes to plan, you’ll be putting your dress on for 11:45 am. Your dress can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 20 minutes, which brings us to 12:05 pm. Jewelry, shoes, hugs with family and it’s now it’s 12:20 pm. Your photographer has to depart now to meet your groom and prepare for your arrival. Does this help you? Let me know.

Hair and makeup trial run

Do it, don’t think twice about this, you should most definitely have a trial run. Furthermore, make sure that all of your bridal party and parents know how they’d like to look on your wedding day. Do not leave this to chance. Draw on Pinterest to make a Pinterest Board so that your hair/makeup knows precisely what you envision for you, leaving nothing to guesswork. My destination wedding clients always have a trial on arrival at their mountain wedding venue. You have to LOVE your hair/makeup, plus a trial run will allow you to understand how much time you’ll need on your wedding day.

Repair kit

Don’t forget the basic repair kit for your dress, tide vanish, or even a second pair of shoes. Don’t forget eyelash glue or a second set. Have a close friend know precisely how your veil goes in and how your hair looks in case something loosens. After all, you’re wearing your dress for hours, so it’s likely something will happen. Just be prepared.

Letter to the Groom

Put your heart out there. Share your thoughts with your future husband on paper; you can write your vows as you get ready. Or you can open a letter from your partner which he may have written ahead of time of during his getting ready portion of the day. The key is to allow emotions to run free.

Wedding dress hanger

As for the hanger, you have spent a ton of cash on your apparel, spend a little more on a lovely wedding dress hanger. If you’re not planning on having gorgeous photos taken of your dress, sure, save some cash and use a plastic hanger, but if you’re planning on having professional wedding photographs of your dress, purchase a stylish hanger.

You can get a pretty wood hanger, or you can get the classic bride hanger. Did you know you can have one made with the metal wire bent into any name?

Notes to the bridal party

Quite often people think about gifts for the wedding party, but it doesn’t always have to be a gift. Why not write a note to them all thanking them and telling them how much they mean to you?


Some bubbly, perhaps? Let’s crack a few bottles of champagne and enjoy getting ready. Laugh, tell stories, your day is about having fun. Plus such moments allows for awesome photographs

Dad first look and parent photos

I am a dad of two amazing boys, and I’m very proud of them. I love them so much, and I know every time I capture a bride and her father seeing her for the first time, it’s extraordinary. There’s so much love, and it’s so special. Follow this up with some family photos of your dad and mom or sibling. It’s an emotional time, and often it’s the best for immediate family shots.

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