Bridal Preparations

This section is only applicable if we're doing getting ready photos together.

It's all in the details! Each piece that you choose for your wedding day was specifically chosen by YOU; from your dress, to the groom's shoes to even the scent you wear on the day of. Everything has a meaning behind it and capturing those memories is so important to me. Take a moment to think about your getting ready photos and what you'd like to see out of them; is someone helping you into your dress? Is someone helping pin the groom’s boutonnière? What do you want captured?


Good lighting is crucial for these shots, especially for indoor bridal preparations. I can't emphasize the importance of ample natural light from windows to ensure each detail is captured perfectly. I use windows to light your wedding photos as much as possible so that you get a natural and true to life vibe. Regardless of your getting-ready location, be it your home, an Airbnb or a hotel*, a clutter-free space is essential. If possible, try to store any items you don't want in your images, such as duffel bags and shoe boxes, in a closet or another room.


Before slipping into your wedding dress, you'll want to look your best for these early photos. Whether it's a cute robe, matching rompers, PJ sets, or dress shirts for your bridesmaids, comfort and style are key. Make sure whatever you choose is appropriately long or pair it with leggings or matching shorts for a cohesive look. For accessory ideas, you can visit my VENDOR list for some awesome suggestions.


To ensure a smooth start to your day, please prepare the following items in a well-lit and tidy area for photography.


*Some hotels have card access only elevators so you'll need to let the front desk know that I'm coming or designate someone to let me in


As times have evolved, so have the traditions surrounding wedding parties. I recognize that not all wedding parties are divided strictly by gender, reflecting the beautiful diversity of relationships and friendships today. The following suggestions are based on general observations from past weddings and are meant to guide you in preparing items for photography, regardless of your wedding party's composition.


Ladies...


As you're applying the final touches to your hair and makeup, I'll be capturing the details such as invitations, rings, and more. Once those detail shots are complete, I'll move on to capturing you in your robe, enjoying some champagne, and then getting dressed!


Please have the following ready:

  • The bride's veil
  • The bride's outfit; if it's a dress, it may need to be steamed ahead of time
  • The bride's shoes
  • Your bridal bouquet, and don't hesitate to request extra loose florals from your florist for styling the detail shots
  • Bridesmaid dresses, ideally displayed on elegant hangers (I usually carry a plain white one on me in case you forget!)
  • Two sets of your wedding stationery, including envelopes. A beautifully addressed envelope earns extra style points!
  • Both wedding bands and the engagement ring, all shining bright
  • A personalized ring box or dish for your rings. While I do have some boxes available, a monogrammed one makes a beautiful keepsake
  • Any additional jewelry you'll be wearing
  • Handwritten vows or a vow book, if you have them, add an intimate touch
  • Ribbons and any other unique details you'll adorn throughout the day


As you're gathering all these items leading up to your wedding day, put them in a box. That way as soon as I arrive, I can just grab it and start capturing everything.


To avoid smartwatch tan lines, consider covering them with bracelets, using bronzer, or getting a spray tan. You can also cover it up with a traditional watch, or choose to just rock the smart watch.


Don’t limit yourself to this list, though! If you have any items that are meaningful to your relationship (such as love letters, keepsakes/tokens, souvenirs, etc..) those make wonderful additions to your detail photos. You can also think outside the box!


Gathering these items ensures we capture the essence of your day right from the start, adding those personal touches that make your wedding uniquely yours.

Bridal gown being laced up, with a focus on the delicate work and the hands tying the dress.
Close-up of bridal bouquet featuring delicate roses in soft pink hues with an elegant pendant nestled amongst the petals
Handwritten vows on a card against a vivid bouquet of blue and pink toned flowers.
Bride with a beaming smile holding a bouquet of pastel flowers by a window with soft light.

Men...


Please be showered and dressed (except for the following) and have the following items set out prior to our arrival! Basically, just please have pants on.



  • Shoes (make sure the stickers are off the bottom if they're new!)
  • Bowties/Ties
  • Cufflinks
  • Cologne
  • Boutonnières
  • Socks
  • Watches
  • Any further details you’d like photographed!


If you're going out to do an activity like golfing the morning of, don't forget to apply sunscreen diligently.

Groom's wedding attire arranged on patterned rug with leather shoes, tartan kilt, sporran, and cufflinks.
Groom in a blue suit fastening cufflink, with a red tie and boutonniere.
Brown leather groom's shoes with matching green bow tie and white rose boutonniere.

If you've come across any amazing bridal preparation photos online, I'd love for you to share them with me! Activities like bridesmaids popping confetti with champagne can add a playful touch to your photos. If you're planning something like this, just give me a heads-up so we can allocate a bit of time for cleanup afterward, such as removing confetti from your hair. Including moments like this can really elevate the joy and uniqueness in your gallery, so I encourage you to embrace any fun ideas!

Bride and bridesmaids in blue silk robes, toasting with champagne, sharing a joyful moment.

Fun fact while "bridal party" used to mean just the bride's squad, "wedding party" is the all-inclusive term for everyone rolling with the couple on their big day, from bridesmaids to groomsmen and everyone in between!

Farrah Sanjari Photography // Ottawa Wedding, Engagement & Portrait Photographer