When couples think of the getting ready portion of their day, they think of getting their hair and makeup done, spending some quality time hanging out, sipping on a cocktail (or two), and, of course, getting dressed for the big day!

And, not surprisingly, that’s pretty much how it goes.

But there a few ideas that I’ve seen couples do over the years that can really add a little something extra special on your wedding day.


One of the easiest and more sentimental gestures you can make to each other on your wedding day is to write each other letters and read them while you’re getting ready. It always results in some tears (both guys and girls!) and that makes for some really special moments to photograph.


Exchanging gifts is another great idea for getting ready. Like hand-written letters, gifts are a great way to express your feelings to one another before walking down the aisle. And, like letters, gifts usually end up tugging on the heart-strings a little bit. Something that us photographers love to capture!

Barber Club

Girls have the salon, guys have the Barber Club! Barber Clubs are great because not only can you get a clean shave and a fresh cut, but you can also hang out with your boys and play a little pool before your big day (betting optional!). If you are thinking of doing a barber club for your getting ready outing, check out Kennedy’s with locations throughout Connecticut. (photo courtesy of second shooter extraordinaire, Seshu Badrinath)


Who doesn’t love a good game of cards!? Not an unusual thing mind you. I mean guys have had their poker nights for years, but you don’t see it on wedding day that often. Pro Tip – It’s always nice to have some spirits and cigars on hand to help really bring home that casino feel. Just don’t overdo it – you want to be at your best for your nuptials … and your bridal portraits 🙂


Some of the best moments I’ve photographed on wedding day have been when mom and dad pay a visit to the bride while she’s getting ready. And, not surprisingly, it’s a very emotional moment. Of course, it’s a big day for the couple, but it’s also a big day for the parents. Seeing your little baby in a wedding dress!? Yea, get the tissues ready!


Arguably one of the best ideas I’ve seen for a getting ready gift was for Holly’s wedding when her bridesmaids all pitched in and created a memory book for her of all their memories over the years together. Even I got a little choked up watching Holly flip through the pages. PSA to all you bridesmaids – If you are looking for a truly unique and special gift to your BFF on wedding day, make a scrapbook. Not only will you make the bride happy, you’ll make her photographer happy too 🙂

Put some (or all!) of these ideas to use on your wedding day. You’ll have some amazing photo ops and some even more amazing, heartfelt memories to cherish from your big day!

Happy planning, everyone!