5 Tips for the Best Grooms Preparation Photos at your wedding!

Grooms Preparations Photos? It’s not only about the bride!

As you’ve been planning your wedding day you’ve probably seen countless bridal preparation photos, but what about the poor groom?! The Grooms preparations are often an overlooked part of the wedding day, but give some great opportunities for photos. In this article, we share our top 5 tips for getting the best groom preparation photos on your wedding day. From choosing the right location to getting the timings nailed, these tips will help you get the most out of your groom preparation photos.

1. Location Location Location
2. Who should I have at the grooms preparations?
3. Grooms Preparation Timings
4. Check you have everything you Need!
5. Relax & Enjoy it!

Location Location Location – Where should the groom get ready?

Choosing a good location is so important for getting great grooms preparation photos. It really can pay off to spend a little extra time and money choosing a great location for getting ready.
It doesn’t have to be the very best hotel suite or a grand manor but a well chosen location can also reduce stress and make the perfect backdrop for the wedding photography. 

Stay close to the wedding ceremony venue

First of all, it really helps to choose a location that isn’t too far away from the wedding ceremony venue. It can be really nice for the groom to get ready at a family home for sentimental reasons, but if it’s quite some way to the wedding ceremony location – say over 30 minutes plus it can add a little extra stress. Getting ready reasonably close to the wedding ceremony location means you don’t have to worry about unexpected delays due to traffic. It also means that your photographer and videographer may need to travel a little bit further too as they move between locations on the morning of the wedding…This isn’t usually a problem but if you only have a one photographer package, the more time they are travelling the less time they will be able to take photographs.

Top Tip: If you can’t find a great location to stay the night before to use for your pre-wedding preparations, consider asking your wedding venue if there is a room or area you can use before the wedding ceremony. This way you arrive in plenty of time, to a nice clean uncluttered room with lots of space that’s perfect for you and the groomsmen. It also works well if your wedding photographer is at the same venue for photographing the brides preparations as minimal time is used moving between the two scenes as they tell the story of your wedding day. 

You can see some photographs taken at one of our favourite wedding venues – Iscoyd Park, where the groomsmen got ready in an upstairs room with good light. You can also see photographs of the groom getting ready in the library at Iscoyd park which made for a fantastic location. 

father and groom getting ready before the wedding in the library at iscoyd park

Some venues have dedicate grooms preparation areas, or even a pool table / games room area which can make for a nice distraction on the morning of the wedding.

It’s all about the light. Choosing a good area photographically 

What makes a great area for grooms getting ready photos? As is often said, it’s all about the light. We love rooms with a big windows.
Lots of light gives more options for the photographer, allowing them to better capture natural, candid photographs.
If you are going for pre wedding drinks – choose a pub / area in the pub that has good natural light, that isn’t too small, maybe even one with an outdoor area. 

Declutter! Keep that room tidy! 

One of the biggest mistakes we see for grooms preparation photos is when we arrive to photograph the groom and there is clutter everywhere!Try to keep things tidy a little, or stuff that clutter out of sight, leaving a clear area for getting read.

If you are getting ready with several groomsmen we usually suggest they get showered etc before they come to your room/getting ready location. This way they can just bring their necessary things (suit /shirt / shoes etc) to change into. 

Who should I have at the grooms preparations?

On the morning of the wedding, the groom typically gets ready with his groomsmen and or close friends or family members. It can be really nice to invite your father, or the father of the bride if logistics allow too. The most important thing is for the groom to feel comfortable and relaxed as you get ready for his big day, so you should choose to be surrounded by people that put you at ease.
If you have a particularly large groomsmen party, consider just getting ready with a few, or the best men and then meeting the rest to put on the buttonholes and share a drink with.

A Groom and his father getting ready together

Grooms preparation timings

How long before the wedding should we start getting ready?

Perhaps one of the most important parts of planning a wedding is the schedule. We always suggest – Leave extra time for everything, but especially when it comes to grooms preparation photos! There is always one groomsman who shows up late, or forgets his cufflinks!
You don’t do this every day, unexpected things pop up, and if you feel rushed – you will feel more stressed. Just leaving that extra bit of time really helps.

Work Backwards when planning your wedding timings

We always find it helps to work backwards when planning your timings. Think about what time is the latest you would like to arrive at the wedding ceremony venue and go from there.  

If you are having a church wedding it is normal that the groom would arrive around 45 minutes before the ceremony to talk with the officiant and welcome guests. If you are having a civil ceremony, 30 minutes may be ample. Don’t forget to allow wiggle room for any travel.

Pre wedding drinks

We love it when the groom goes for a quick drink with his groomsmen on the morning of the wedding. Going for a drink can be a welcome distraction, helping to relax and calm any pre-wedding nerves! You normally find that there is pub close to the church too, so it can be great to ask guests to join around 60-90 mins pre ceremony.

Tip: Having 2 wedding photographers can really make sure this part of the wedding day is documented well, whilst the other photographer captures the Bridal Preparations.

Getting suited and booted

Allow enough time for not just you to get ready but your groomsmen too. It can be easy to underestimate how long it takes your best man to get his hair looking so good! 

If you are having bowties and they need to be tied, or cravats need folding think about who might be able to do this and allow time. We’ve seen this take considerable time as the qualified groomsmen worked his way through every tie or cravat one by one!

Allow at least 15 minutes for a few photographs before you leave with your groomsmen. This is the easiest time to take some photos of you and your groomsmen together. It means that less time can be spent on these photographs later on the wedding day.

If you have to transport and luggage or items for the wedding allow a little more extra time too.
This should help give you ideas of considerations to make when planning the timing of the getting ready part of the day.

Wedding Details

Triple check you have everything for the wedding with you!

There is nothing worse on the morning than realising you forgot something important! We’ve seen grooms forget shoes, shirts, belts, speeches, rings, you name it!  Have a checklist and double check you have everything in one place.

Grooms Wedding Detail Photos 

It will be really helpful to your wedding photographer if you have put to one side any items that you would really like them to photograph. The wedding rings, a watch, your cufflinks, your shoes, your suit and tie, a copy of the wedding invite etc.

Wedding Gifts for the groom

If you receive a card or a gift on the morning of your wedding, please wait until the photographer is there to open them. Some of our favourite photos of the grooms preparation are of these special moments and they really help to tell the story of the day as you can see from the photos below from this Iscoyd Park Wedding.

Relax and have fun during grooms preparations 

Getting great grooms preparations photos is largely about good planning and preparation. Don’t over think it on the day. Although it can sound strange to have a photographer come to document you putting your clothes on, don’t worry! It’s a very painless process! Just have fun on the morning of your wedding, enjoy being with your friends and it will show in your photos. If something doesn’t quite go to plan, just roll with it, everything will be fine and remember your groomsmen and the photographer are there to help. 

Grooms Preparation Wedding Photos 

Thank you for reading, I hope this article will be of use in planning the morning of your wedding. If you are looking for an experienced wedding photographer to put you at ease, and tell the story of your day with stunning photos please do contact us. Finally please enjoy more of our favourite grooms preparation photos below.

About the author

Tobiah is a professional Wedding Photographer based in Manchester & Cheshire, England. He has photographed over 375 weddings throughout the UK & Europe.

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