Wedding Photography Tips Part 1 - Getting Ready

Leon&Lucy1808 - 1.jpg


Depending on how you have planned your wedding, I usually start the day by photographing the Groom. In Darwin, it is common for the Bride and Groom to get ready at two different venues considering how close most places are. There are also couples who book two or more rooms at a hotel or resort so that everyone can get ready at the same location and head off together.

When getting ready at two separate locations, it is always advisable to have a checklist of things that need to be done or brought. With so many items (like rings, flowers, boutonnieres, wedding attires etc) involved, it is quite easy to forget or misplace some of these items.

Darwin Weddings - Yianna and Troy


Weddings are filled with chaos. That is absolutely normal and it is important to learn how to embrace the chaos in some senses. It is common sight for me to enter a room that has a dozen things strewn all over the place. 8 (and sometimes more) people trying to get ready in a room meant for two is quite the norm although less than ideal (especially for the bride). But sometimes its this chaos that makes your wedding day even more special, bridesmaids laughing out joyously, people running around in panic, makeup, flowers, bags, shoes and sometimes even undergarments strewn all over the bed and chairs. Yes, its normal…

Where possible, it would be advisable to try as much as possible to reduce clutter. I usually help to tidy somethings up to create neater environments for capturing cleaner images. But hey! If you prefer me to capture everything as is, documentary style, please let me know and I will make it happen.

Darwin Weddings - Lucy and Leon, Skycity Darwin


Make-up and hair styling usually take up a considerable amount of time. If there is only one make-up artist for you and your bridesmaids, I strongly suggest that you, the bride, avoid being made-up last. Some brides prefer to get ready right at the end, allowing their bridesmaids to get made-up first. This would mean 2 things:

  • If we are behind time, the make-up artist would have to rush through the bride’s makeup

  • I will not have sufficient time to take bridal portraits of you in full grandeur.

It would be recommended that you get made-up before you bridesmaids. This way, while your bridesmaids are getting made-up, you can slip into your bridal gown for some photos. Once everyone is made-up, you can ask your make-up artist to do a quick touch-up if required.

Again, this is only required if you and your bridal party are all getting made-up by the same artist.

Darwin Weddings - Lucy and Leon, Skycity Darwin


Prepare any accessories that are important to you by putting them aside. These are usually the first things I photograph when I enter a room. This allows your and everyone in the room to carry on what you are doing as well as get used to me being in the room. Here’s a list of some accessories that come to my mind:


  • Bouquet

  • Shoes

  • Gown

  • Headbands or Hairpieces

  • Earrings

  • Necklaces

  • Rings

  • Perfume

  • Veil

  • Bridal Gown

  • Bracelet

  • Charm

  • Garter


  • Tie or Bowtie (Make sure you the groom or a groomsman is familiar with tying these)

  • Tiepin

  • Watch

  • Shoes

  • Cufflinks

  • Belt

  • Hat

  • Perfume

  • Rings

  • Braces/Suspenders

Darwin Weddings - Lucy and Leon


It is always best to get a room with lots of natural light coming in as this helps to create more engaging photos. I usually turn off some of the room lights depending on how it is lit and if there is sufficient natural lighting entering from windows.

  • Consider all types of accommodations when getting ready. Hotel rooms are nice but can only accommodate a small number of people. If you are going with a hotel room, try to limit the number of people to each room especially for the Bride.

  • Pay attention to the colour of a room. If a room has a bold colour, it tends to bounce the colour back onto you. So a room painted red will cast a red tint on your skin which is definitely not something we want. Even if a room is white, large objects like a mattress that has strong coloured sheets can contribute to a colour cast. A neutral coloured room with warm interior lighting and a lot of natural lighting seeping in, is usually the most suitable.