The getting ready guide before your wedding ceremony

bride getting ready milton keynes wedding photographer

So you’ve meticulously planned every aspect of your wedding day – but have you considered the hours leading up to the ceremony? It’s important to carefully plan these too, and to schedule in plenty of time so you can enjoy your morning of pre-wedding rituals. Doing so will help you stay stress-free on your special day and give your photographer time to capture every precious moment. 

Do you need help planning your pre-wedding getting-ready routine? Then read on, because below you’ll find the ultimate guide, direct from a photographer. 

1. Arrange for an early morning wake-up

Unless you’ve decided on an evening ceremony, you’ll need to get up relatively early to fit everything in. Give yourself plenty of time to wake up so you can eat breakfast in a relaxed state. Even if you’re struggling with nerves, it’s important to try and eat something – you’ll need the energy to get through the long wedding day.

2. Allow for extra time in hair and makeup

Remember, hair and makeup will take up the majority of the time available to you in the morning. It’s best to allow for 30 to 45 minutes for each bridesmaid, 60 to 90 minutes for your hair, and 60 to 90 minutes on top of that for your makeup. Arrange for your photographer to arrive an hour or so before your make-up and hair is finished, so they can snap some of the behind-the-scenes magic.

3. It’s gift giving time! 

Thinking of giving gifts to your bridal party? Then make sure to

a) have enough time to enjoy the moment

b) prep your photographer so that the photographer is there to capture the emotion on their faces. This moment is one you’ll want to remember! 

4. The wedding dress reveal

This will be the first time your friends and family have seen your wedding outfit – and it’s the perfect photo opportunity, so make sure it features in your pre-ceremony schedule!

My top tip: while you dress, have your photographer ready and waiting for the big reveal. By standing behind you, he can immortalize the look on your bridal party and parents’ faces.

5. Allow for a quiet moment of love note reading

bride reading love note before wedding

Before leaving for the ceremony, you’ll want to find a quiet spot where you can sit and read any love notes given to you by your partner. This precious moment is a perfect photo opportunity, so make sure your photographer is present and camera-ready. It’s also a good time to take a breath and calm yourself before you head to your wedding venue and see your beloved. Make sure to allocate time for this in your schedule, even if it’s only 20 minutes. 

I hope this guide helps inspire and inform your getting-ready timeline! Need more advice? Get in touch with me and we can discuss your timeline together and make sure that I’ll be there to capture every wonderful moment. 

Jun Tan Weddings logo

Based in the UK, focusing on crafting beautiful memories of your wedding day.

Huge believer of documentary-style story telling and natural approaches to photography.



+44 7515 169 441

MiLTON KEYNES, Buckinghamshire,