Getting Ready Details
Happy Wednesday everyone! It's time for another Wedding Love and today I wanted to chat about the Getting Ready portion of the wedding day. And apologies to any gentlemen reading this, I'll only be tackling the Bride's getting ready time of the day! Yes, yes, I know you are SO disappointed :-P !
When I first started shooting weddings I would ALWAYS look to other photographers to see what they were doing and inevitably I always saw amazing pictures of the wedding dress, the veil, the shoes, the bouquet etc. And with great intention I would go into every wedding day with huge expectations that I would be able to capture these same types of images. But guess what happened? I'd show up and the Bride would be running 30 minutes late or we would only have 30 minutes to document the getting ready portion of the day which left next to no time to be able to photograph these important details. I would leave frustrated and stressed and with mediocre of the dress, the veil, the shoes, and sometimes no pictures of these things at all. NOT ACCEPTABLE.
After almost a year of the same situation at EVERY wedding I decided that something needed to change. How could I, the photographer, help to make this situation less stressful, more enjoyable and more productive for not only me BUT the Bride and her ladies as well? Clear communication.
Now, LONG before the wedding day, I sit down to talk with the Bride to chat about exactly how much time I need to have in order to photograph the day well and to avoid any stressful points that might arise. I also explain to her where she needs to be and when in order to make this all happen. For explain, I'll communicate to her that I need around 2 hours to be with the Bride and her ladies as they get ready. I explain that I need time to delicately place the dress, the bouquet, the veil, the shoes etc and I need time to photograph these things. I explain that getting into her dress might take quite a bit of time, more than she expected. By doing this we go into the wedding day with a timeline that allows me to photograph all of her important details, keeps this portion of the morning stress free (for the Bride!) and leaves us some wiggle room in case anything runs late!
In addition to giving clear timeline expectations I also send an email to each Bride about a week before their wedding day reminding them of what details I will be photographing the morning of the wedding and how to prepare them. This is especially helpful for Brides who might be traveling in for the wedding. Since many of my clients live out of state, giving them enough time to prepare these details and pack them appropriately is very important!
Here are the details that I will typically shoot on a Wedding morning:
-- The Dress
Obviously the dress is ONE detail that a Bride won't forget on her wedding day!! If you're a Bride, t's important to plan enough time for me to photograph the dress! Sometimes I like to move the dress to location with beautiful natural light and little to no distractions. This takes time and requires me to be slow and delicate with the dress. I never want to rush this part and I often have my second shooter or a Bridesmaid along with me to help out. And one last tip... ladies for the love all things beautiful, PLEASE have a sturdy and pretty hanger to put your dress on!! Your gorgeous dress deserves more than the plastic hanger that came from the shop!
-- The Veil and Hairpieces
Along with the dress brides will often have their veil but might have their hairpiece tucked away in a suitcase. Make sure to have all appropriate details OUT and READY to be photographed when I arrive! That way I don't have to bug you, the Bride, for anything when I arrive!
-- Heirlooms/Special Details
This applies to heirlooms and special details as well. If you have a family hankerchief or rosary or Bible etc, have those out and ready to be photographed!! And let me know BEFORE the wedding day that these are important and need to be photographed! That way I miss nothing!-- Invitations/Stationary
If there is one thing that Brides seem to always forget on their wedding day is their stationary! I often suggested that Brides pull together all of their stationary pieces into a file or bag and have it out and ready to be photographed come the morning of the wedding. -- Jewelry/Accessories
Wait to put your jewelry on!! I often incorporate the jewelry (necklaces, earrings, accessories) with pictures of the veil or the invitations etc. They add a little bit of bling to your images and help create a cohesive feel through all the pictures. -- Rings
I try to encourage all Brides to have her engagement ring, wedding ring and her husband to be's ring with her as she gets ready. I like to photograph all three rings TOGETHER and if the couple is having a First Look, a Bridesmaid can easily give the rings to the Best Man before the ceremony. -- Shoes
What girl doesn't love a fab pair of shoes? And what girl doesn't want an amazing picture of her fab shoes?! Even if you only wear this pair for a small portion of the day it's still an important detail that needs special attention! (Can you tell I love shoes?!)-- Bouquet/Florals
If you're having a First Look, you'll need to have your bouquet delivered to where you are getting ready and it's important to have it delivered with enough time to be photographed. Again this is not a detail I want to rush through and it often needs a little planning to find a good spot for the florals. Communicating this to your florist before the wedding day is very important. PLUS it gives me time to get a few pictures for the florist of all their beautiful work!-- Gifts
In the case below it was a gift for her Mom, but often Bride and Grooms will exchange cards or gifts. And of course you want those photographed!! So if you are exchanging gifts, let me know. Don't rush through opening it, have it beautifully documented to remember! For me this one of my favorite parts of our wedding day, seeing pictures of my husband open the card and present I sent to him while he got ready!-- Perfume
It may seem silly to photograph a bottle of perfume, but all these little details add up to one big picture from your wedding day! These "small" images help to create a big picture story from your day!There you have it, a little help to better plan and prepare for the Getting Ready portion of your wedding day! Here's a recap of all the things that I like to take time to document as you get ready!