Tips for the Bridal Suite

It’s no secret that the bride is the focal of a wedding day, and it all begins in the bridal suite. Whether your wedding is taking place at a huge venue with hundreds of guests or is a more intimate affair with only your closest friends and family, taking the time to photograph details in the bridal suite is a must! These are my stress-free tips for the bridal suite: 



It’s the morning of your wedding! Hopefully all of the little details are taken care of and you’re relaxing with your best friends while your hair is being done. If certain items haven’t been checked off of the to-do list, it’s time to hand them over to someone else. Delegation is a key part of a stress-free wedding day.  I know it’s hard to hand over the decorating duties and all of the last minute things that need to be done but it really is important to relax the morning of your wedding. The rest of the day is going to be fast paced and filled with a lot of emotions! Take advantage of this down time!

There are a few things to consider about the “getting ready” portion of the day.

  • Do you want to share a “first look” with your dad or any other man that plays a huge role in your life?
  • Will you and your groom be exchanging gifts during this time?
  • If so, who would you like to deliver them?
  • Are there certain women in your life that would appreciate seeing you get into your gown? Some brides want very few people around for this moment. Other brides love having aunts and grandmothers present! It’s totally up to you!

A few other things to consider:

  • As you get ready to put your dress on, refrain from putting any jewelry on.  I love shooting all of those final steps when you’re in your gown!
  • Always allow more time than you think you need to get ready! It’s better to be safe than RUSHED!


Make sure there is natural light in the room where the bride will be getting ready. This makes a WORLD of difference in your images! I promise! By having just one window in the bridal prep area, I am able to create beautiful portraits with soft light.  I prefer natural light, so the more windows, the better!



Keep the area near the window free of trash, bags, snacks, etc. This will be where the bride will be putting on her dress! We don’t need any water bottles in our bridal portraits.



This is one of my favorite parts of the wedding day because it allows me to prepare and get my creative side warmed up for the rest of the day! I photograph your details in a way that matches and accentuates the style of the entire wedding day.  So, in some ways, the details set the stage for the look of the whole wedding. I love having ample time to stylize and shoot everything from the dress, to the matching robes, and any sentimental items like grandma’s handkerchief!  I ask brides to gather any details they have before I arrive so that I can walk in, say hello, give you a huge hug and then begin with all the bridal details!  This will make the detail shots more efficient!


  • DRESS (I always carry a pretty “Bride” hanger for you to use) 

Side Note: Have the bouquets and boutonnieres delivered to the bride before the first look so that she can have her bouquet in her portraits. The bridal bouquet is a focal point when it comes to your photography, so I highly recommend getting your DREAM bouquet. If you need to recoup the cost, I advise investing less on the bridesmaids bouquets since they will not be photographed nearly as much.




I LOVE to take awesome shots for the groom on the best dressed day of his life. I ask that both the Groom and all of his groom’s men / father be ready or close to being fully dressed at our prearranged starting time. Also if there is a window in the groom’s getting ready room, please keep the clutter away from this area.  The groom tweaking the final touches to his outfit make for great photographs.  I particularly like capturing the Groom putting on his jacket, tie, cuff links, watch and shoes.




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About Leigh

Leigh Hayward

Leigh Hayward

Charleston Wedding & Engagement Photographer

I’m Leigh, a wedding & engagement photographer in Charleston, SC. I’ve been photographing great love stories for the past 13 years, and I LOVE what I do! It’s true: I love love, and I love telling love stories through photos even more!

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