When should key players be dressed on my wedding day? | Wedding Planning

Happy Wednesday, friends! I wanted to use today’s blog post to answer a question that I get SO often during the timeline planning process: When should __Insert person here__ be ready?!

The complicated answer? It depends… if we are planning your wedding day timeline together and you still have specific questions after reading today’s post, send me an email! The simple answer? There are general timeframes and attire recommendations that I suggest for “key players” (AKA the people most important to you!) that I’m going to share with you today!

This blog post pertains to the “Getting Ready” portion of the day AKA when a wedding couple steps into their day-of attire!

Note: you may have other “Key Players” that will arrive to your wedding day later on, and these recommendations won’t apply to them.


I photograph the bride getting zipped into her dress, and this time is always marked on the timeline. About 10-15 minutes before a bride is set to step into her gown, I always suggest she grab a quick snack, use the bathroom one more time & puts on any undergarments she’ll be wearing. That way, she’ll be prepped and ready to go when it is time to step into the dress! No need to have any shoes or jewelry on yet… I always photograph a bride adding these “finishing touches” after she is in her dress!


The groom’s getting ready time is also marked on the timeline! About 10-15 minutes before my arrival or the arrival of my second photographer, I recommend that the groom gets dressed in his shirt/undershirt and pants and that he has his other details laid out and easily accessible (Think: boutonniere, tie, cologne, socks, shoes, cufflinks, watch, etc.). Once my second shooter or myself arrives to work with the guys, we’ll photograph him adjusting or tying his tie, putting on his shoes, getting into his jacket, and putting on his other wedding day items.

Bride’s Side of the Wedding Party

Once the bride knows who she would like to assist her as she steps into her dress (Typically, this is a mom or close family member, maid/matron of honor, sisters, a close friend, etc.), she should let them know that they should be fully ready to go 10-20 minutes before she steps into her gown. This includes hair, makeup & all wedding day attire. We want everyone looking their best as they help the bride zip into her gown and put on her jewelry in front of the camera!

Here’s where things get complicated: if you have two separate spaces and only a few people will be helping the bride get dressed, the rest of the group can begin to step into their wedding day attire as soon as the bride starts getting dressed. If everything is happening in one room, everyone should be dressed and ready to go 5-10 minutes before the bride steps into her dress.

Groom’s Side of the Wedding Party

About 10-15 minutes before my arrival or the arrival of my second photographer, I ask that the groom’s side of the wedding party be completely ready in their wedding attire, including all shirts, shoes, jackets, and ties! I always want the groom’s side ready before the groom so they look polished as they help the groom put on his wedding day attire in front of the camera. Plus, we typically do a few group photos at this time and having everyone ready to go makes this so easy!

Parents and Family

This is another case-by-case item, so I’m breaking this down and am offering suggestions based on what I see most often. Your wedding day may look a little different, and that’s absolutely okay!

  • Mother of the Bride
    • If a bride would like to have her mom present as she steps into her gown, I ask that Mom is fully ready in hair, makeup, and her wedding day attire approximately 10-20 minutes before the bride steps into her gown. We want her looking her best as she helps her sweet daughter prep for her wedding day!
  • Father of the Bride
    • I’ve had so many brides do a Dad/Daughter First Look! If you will be doing this, I recommend having Dad dressed and waiting 10-15 minutes before the Dad/Daughter First Look is scheduled to occur. He should be fully ready in his wedding day attire, including boutonniere if he is wearing one!
  • Parents of the Groom
    • It is so sweet when the parents of the groom want to help their son prep for his wedding day. I’ve seen moms help grooms pin their boutonnieres and dads help grooms with ties and suit jackets, just to name a few examples of how they can be involved. If a couple would like the groom’s parents to be involved in the getting ready process, I ask that they both be dressed and ready to go in the groom’s getting ready space 10-15 minutes before the arrival of a photographer.
  • Grandparents or other family members
    • If a couple desires their grandparents or other family members to be part of the getting ready process, they should be fully ready to go 10-15 minutes before the bride or groom is set to step into their wedding day attire.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like:




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *