I remember being engaged like it was yesterday… There’s no way it’s actually been a year!! So often, I found myself so overwhelmed with all the tips and tricks of wedding planning that I slammed my laptop in frustration. I promise I’m not crazy… Just a little dramatic. Now that I’m on the other, much less stressful side of wedding planning, I wish I had spent a little more time soaking in all the advice, which is why I love doing Wedding Wednesday posts! They say, “knowledge is power”, and as far as wedding planning is concerned, I would say, “knowledge is enjoyment”. The more you know, the better you can plan for whatever your wedding day will bring. There’s few things I love more than seeing a bride watch her planning come to life while ENOYING the wedding day, instead of stressing. :) And as a side note, I would also say “knowledge is better pictures”, especially as it relates to today’s Wedding Wednesday.
Getting ready. Aside from shooting the bride & groom’s portraits, this is my favorite part of the wedding day. I love the all energy, excitement, and anticipation. Gosh! It’s so great! Occasionally, I’ll get an inquiry from a bride who isn’t interested in having me present for her wedding day prep because she doesn’t see it as important. I could not disagree with this outlook more! If I don’t show up until the ceremony, I miss out on a CRUCIAL part of your wedding story. What happened before the ceremony? Did your groom send you a gift to open before you got your dress on? What did your dad’s face look like when he saw you for the first time? Did his mom cry when she pinned on his boutonniere? These are things I NEED to be there to capture if I truly want to capture the whole story from beginning to end.
Today, I wanted to give all of you brides some practical tips to make sure your getting ready pictures are the absolute best they can be.
1. LIGHT. I’m starting with light as #1 because it is the most important element to your wedding pictures. Have you ever stood in a dressing room and thought, “This is the worst I have ever looked in my life.” Maybe the pants you tried were a size too small, but I can promise you that the nasty, fluorescent lighting was not helping at all. In the same way, rooms that don’t have any windows but are only lit by fluorescent bulbs will cast that unflattering, yellow light on you & your bridesmaids. Obviously, no one wants this. My tip, pick a room with at least one window to get ready in, if you can. There really is nothing better than natural light… It creates a happier environment that can’t be duplicated.
2. Wear something adorable and bridal. As comfortable as your “Class of 2009: SO FINE!” t-shirt might be, it will only serve as a distraction in your pictures. Pick a feminine, white robe, a simple tank top, or a cute, monogrammed (with your new initials, of course!) button-up.
3. Give yourself LOTS of getting ready time. 2 hours might seem like enough time to get yourself ready and headed to the ceremony, but you also have to think about all of your bridesmaids being ready, eating something, and soaking in those last moments as a single woman. Trust me, you do NOT want this time to be rushed!
4. Make sure all of your mom and bridesmaids are dressed and ready by the time you are getting into your dress. Just like your old high school t-shirt would look distracting in pictures, so will they if they are dressed in all sorts of crazy colors and prints that don’t correlate with the wedding.
5. Have all of your details together at the getting ready location. This includes dress, veil, jewelry, shoes, rings (yours & his), invitations, etc. I’ll go into this in more detail on a later date, but having all of these things in one place will make me love you forever.
6. Eat something! This technically won’t affect your pictures, but it will probably make you happier, and happy brides are the best kinds to photograph. :)
7. On that note, don’t forget to smile! Even if things aren’t going according to plan, take a deep breath, and choose to laugh about it. Also, try to ignore me. I’m there to capture the moment as it’s happening, not to have you perfectly posed in every image.
8. Consider doing a first look with your family. Sounds weird, huh? This is one I really wish I had done, but because I got ready at home, my dad and brothers were buzzing around as I got ready. The moment where your dad, brother, grandmother, etc. sees you dressed and ready for the first time can be very special… Who wouldn’t want that captured?
9. Keep the room neat. This one is a nearly impossible feat, but if it’s accomplished, it makes a huge difference in your pictures! Often times, getting ready pictures can be littered with hot pink suitcases, empty water bottles, and 15 cans of hairspray. By designating someone to straighten things up, the images will look so much cleaner! Clutter = No bueno.
10. Be flexible! Maybe you just weren’t able to find a room with a window, so you’re fighting fluorescent lighting. That’s okay! Your images will still be beautiful, BUT I will look for a naturally-lit space to use for the final touches (getting your dress on, putting on jewelry, etc.). It’s my job as a photographer to see potential in spaces that most people would dismiss, so just trust me! :)
Hopefully, all of those tips are HELPFUL and not overwhelming! Past brides, are there any tips that you have that I didn’t think of? If so, please share!
Happy Wednesday! :)