A Bride’s Guide to Getting Ready | Getting Ready Must-Haves | Lehigh Valley Wedding Photographer


After the wedding day is over and I begin going through the thousands of images captured throughout the day, I always find myself gravitating to one section of images from the wedding day: Getting Ready.

I am so drawn to the bride’s carefully chosen details: the delicate invitations, the heirloom “borrowed” pieces, the beautiful shoes and sparkling jewelry. These little items tell so much about each bride’s personality.

I love the emotion in the images captured during this time, too. Getting Ready is the portion of day where emotions are running high and energy fills the room. There’s so much happening during this time that it’s very easy to forget some of the key items needed for those “must have” shots that every bride want to have on their wedding day.

I’ve put together a list of the top 5 most overlooked items that are absolute must-haves for every Hope & Stay Bride for you to ensure you’re prepared for your wedding day photography. Take a peek below!

Top 5 Must-Haves for Getting Ready:

Brides, I beg you, PLEASE invest in a pretty hanger for your dress shots. Your gorgeous wedding gown deserves more than an ugly plastic hanger to be displayed and photographed on. This is one purchase that is usually overlooked, though, can make all the difference when it comes to capturing fine art, editorial images of your wedding dress.

There are so many options available from simple white wooden hangers to fully customized options that you can coordinate with your wedding colors.

If you’re interested in having your bridesmaids dresses photographed alongside your wedding gown, I strongly urge you to invest in a set of hangers for your bridesmaid gowns, too!

Helpful hint: Make sure the top of your hanger swivels so we can hang it anywhere!


I typically begin wedding day coverage anywhere from 1.5-2 hours before my bride actually gets into her gown. Because of this, many of my brides opt to purchase beautiful robes for themselves and their bridesmaids for the Getting Ready portion of the day so everyone coordinates during those candid photographs I capture during this time. So many brides do this now that it has become a fun little tradition to get a “robe shot” of my brides and their bridesmaids together before everyone gets dressed.

(If you’re not a fancy robe kinda gal, a cute button-up shirt can be a great alternative!)


Having a letter/gift exchange with your groom can make for some beautiful and emotional memories on your wedding day. Imagine sitting in your bridal suite reading a love letter from your husband-to-be on your wedding day. These heartfelt and tender moments can be beautifully documented in your wedding images, but also provide a wonderful keepsake to have to share with your children and grandchildren some day.

Helpful hint: If you’re planning to do a gift or letter exchange, make sure your photographer knows about it in advance! This way, we can set aside a few extra minutes in the timeline to account for it.


Every bride knows she needs to bring her “detail items” to be photographed on her wedding day. Part of this collection of details is your invitation suite! Yes, the ENTIRE suite. This includes: the invitation itself, response card, reception card, outer envelope, direction card and stamps.

Your invitation suite often compliments the color scheme and theme of your wedding day. It’s an important element of your wedding that you took a lot of time selecting and deserves to be stylized and photographed beautifully. Brides, make sure the suite finds its way into your detail bag—you won’t regret it!


A velvet ring box is a great way to showcase your engagement ring and new wedding band in a stylized photograph. These velvet ring boxes come in every color imaginable and can easily be an element that takes the photos of your rings to the next level. My absolute favorite brand is The Mrs. Box.

Dec 5, 2018

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