By Nicole Vance, Owner of Nicole Vance Photography

As you plan your wedding day, one thing to consider is the scope of your photography coverage. Over time, wedding photography has grown to include a wide variety of “getting ready” images that help to set the stage as your day finally comes together. Some brides don’t realize how many special images can be created during this portion of the day. Opting for a longer photography package so your photographer starts earlier will allow time to capture all the pieces of your day. And getting ready photos don’t just include you getting hair and makeup done…this portion includes so much more!

Here is a list of possible images that can be created during the getting ready portion of the day…after seeing all these photo ideas, how can you resist?

nicole vance photography must-have getting ready photo ideas richmond wedding
Nicole Vance Photography

For the Bride

  • Beautiful detail shots of the wedding gown hanging in the venue window.
  • Wedding gown with bridesmaid dresses hanging together.
  • Bride’s gorgeous bridal shoes.
  • Bright and beautiful bridal jewelry shots with up-close ones of the rings. (engagement and wedding bands)
  • Wedding veil and garter.
  • Bouquets, both the bride’s and bridesmaids’.
  • The invitation suite, including the save the date and other paper goods.
  • Bride’s something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.
  • Photos with the entire bridal party in their matching robes or monogrammed shirts.
  • Bridesmaids toasting the bride.
  • Bridesmaids receiving gifts from the bride.
  • Bride getting hair and makeup done.
  • Bridesmaids helping the bride put on her wedding gown.
nicole vance photography must-have getting ready photo ideas richmond wedding
Nicole Vance Photography
  • Bride putting on her perfume.
  • Mother/sister/maid of honor buttoning, zipping or lacing the back of the dress.
  • Bride looking in the mirror wearing her dress.
  • Bride opening a gift or letter from the groom prior to the ceremony.
  • Bridesmaids and bride praying together before the ceremony.
  • Candid moments with the bridal party.
  • “First Look” with Dad.
  • Dad’s face when he sees his little girl for the first time!

For the Groom

  • Groom’s suit, tie, shoes, and any other accessories.
  • Groom and groomsmen’s suits hanging together.
  • Groom’s cologne.
  • Groom tying the tie and putting on the suit jacket.
  • Groom looking in the mirror.
  • Dad/brother/best man helping with the groom’s tie.
  • Mom pinning on the boutonnière.
  • Groomsmen receiving gifts from the groom.
nicole vance photography must-have getting ready photo ideas richmond wedding
Nicole Vance Photography
  • Groomsmen toasting the groom.
  • Guys “killing time” playing pool, darts, poker, watching the game, etc.
  • Groom opening the gift or reading a letter from the bride before seeing each other for the first time.
  • Groom and groomsmen praying together before the ceremony.
  • Candid moments of the guys goofing off!

If you decide you want to have these photos done, it’s important to take into consideration the location where you are getting ready. Is it consistent with the look you want for these photos? (Getting ready in the church nursery looks very different than getting ready in a swanky hotel or a nice bed and breakfast!) Many venues have beautiful getting ready options already, but some have limited space for large groups to enjoy getting ready together.

Whether you’re nervous or just ready to get down the aisle, this getting ready time will be some of your last moments as a single person. It’s also a time where you’ll be surrounded by your closest friends. Ten years from now, you’ll love to look back and see this time, goofing off with your guys or getting glammed with your best girls! Capture the excitement!

Nicole Vance has been photographing weddings in Richmond and throughout Virginia for over 10 years. Her experience ensures she will beautifully capture amazing moments in any environment, and she is passionate about telling your story through photographs. You can find her at