Wedding tips for brides | Prep time

My job as your photographer is to capture the story of your wedding day as it unfolds. This story begins not at the ceremony but the moment you start getting ready. Here are a few tips I always give my clients here in Monterey and Santa Cruz to ensure beautiful images of them as they prepare for their big day:

Keep The Rooms Clean

Keep both the bride's and the groom's room clean and have the room made by the hotel staff before the photo start time. This helps eliminate the possibility of having any obtrusive objects in the background or taking time away from my artistry to tidy up. Also, a freshly made bed allows me to use it for fun poses like the ones you see here.

Bride setting in a chair wearing a bath robe.

Have All the Details Ready

The bride should have all the details (dress, rings, shoes, etc.) in one spot. Having all of these items together allows me to easily photograph all of your important details in one place instead of having to gather the items from separate locations.

Wedding shoes on a windowsill with gorgeous Napa valley landscape outside.

Use a Nice Hanger

Have a nice hanger for the wedding dress so that your dress won't have to be displayed on a less-than-beautiful, default plastic hanger. Many nice hotels have wooden hangers for me to use, but some don't. It's always better to be prepared.

Wedding gown hanging on an open door with a beautiful landscape behind.

Keep the Number of People Low

Too many people in the room can add stress to the day. Besides bridesmaids, a few immediate family members, and your wedding vendors, everyone else should wait until later in the day to hang out with you.

Brides maid in a pink dress buttoning up the brides lace wedding dress.

Have Immediate Family Around

This is an excellent opportunity to get some intimate pictures with your parents or your siblings. This is also a great time to have a "first look" between the bride and her mother and father.

The brides mother seeing her hair and make up all done.


As you can see from my Ideal Wedding Timeline, I prefer to have around 1.5 hours for the details and prep.

Bride standing in front of an ivy covered wall holding onto her wedding dress.

Picturist photography is the premier wedding photographer in Monterey and San Francisco.