WEDDING DAY DRESS & THE MESS
Most brides neglect to take into consideration exactly how much time and effort is really needed to slip into the wedding gown and get ready for the wedding day. Here are some great pointers (from a photographers perspective) on what can help your day run smoother and ensure that you’re getting ready photos are top-notch.
Getting Ready Location!
When planning your getting ready location take into consideration how much space you actually need for how many people you will have getting ready in that space. Great natural light is a fantastic bonus! If your hair and makeup will be done at the same place as where you and your bridesmaids will be getting ready- you should really consider how much room this will take up and plan accordingly. It’s a great idea to have trays of food available for the bridal party while getting ready- filling food such as cheese platters, wraps and sandwiches will ensure that your bridal party is energetic and happy all the way up to dinner hour. Being in a bridal party is hard work, and if your entourage is hungry and thirsty it will show in the photos (it will also help them manage their alcohol better)
- Ensure you have a large enough getting ready space
- Plan to have trays of food and water out while the bridal party gets ready – assign the task to one of your bridesmaids, mom or grandma. Many large grocery chains/deli counters will take orders ahead of time for such items that can then be picked up.
- Ask everyone to keep the space clutter free (leave those shoe boxes at home) – a messy space looks messy in photos and makes it very difficult to find anything (translation- delays)
- Hang your dress on a wooden or cloth hanger- those plastic hangers from the seamstress will not do much for your wedding dress photos. You can even buy one of those fancy custom hangers that say Mrs. or spell out your wedding date.
- Make sure your veil is hung or laid out flat
- Have all your jewelry, sash, shoes and garter laid out- taken out of their boxes (unless you want to designer’s name shown)- ready to be photographed – or at the very least all in the same place
- If you want your invitation photographed- have it handy and it the best condition possible. Be sure to provide a clean unused copy with all the pieces like RSVP Cards and Reception Info Cards.
- Keep the atmosphere as light and enjoyable as possible but keep everyone moving along
Getting Into Your Dress!
Make sure you have enough time to slip into your dress! A zippered dress will be fairly quick to get into, but a dress with loops or worse yet a corset with a ribbon could take up to a half hour to get into! It’s a great idea to bring your maid of honor or mom to the final fitting so she can practice helping you get into your dress and she can then figure out how to bustle your train.
- You should try and step into your dress rather than to have the dress be pulled over your head. The risk of makeup transfer to dress and last minute hair ooopsies is just not worth taking.
- Have someone else put your shoes and garter on you- you don’t want to risk wrinkles or worse yet fainting! Those dresses are just not meant to be super flexible.
- If your hairdresser has not already place your veil on – it should be the last item added to your outfit.
- Your train should be left open right up until the moment you walk into your reception- you want to make sure you get all your photos done with your dress in it’s full glory.
Supertip! And here is a little bonus tip to help things run smoother- tell your bridesmaids the exact time you want them all ready- and make that time at least a half an hour earlier then you think you will need them to be ready by. You can add even more time for larger bridal parties. If you get a late start to your day it will trickle down and your entire wedding day will be rushed and far more stressful than it needs to be. And a bunch of ladies getting ready can often be just the culprit.
Want Awesome Photos… Be A Photo Superstar!
A little extra cooperation from the bride and groom on the wedding day goes a long way in getting those awesome photos! Here are some things that came to mind:
- Time: We think it goes without saying that planning a nice amount of time with your photographer during your wedding day will give you the most variety and successful photos. While we can run faster than a speeding train while still carrying 50 lbs of equipment.. leaping over church pews and army crawling in the soggy grass at the Country Club [all to get the shot] we cannot (or we have not yet figured out how to) make time stop or better yet… grow time. If you have a bridal party of 24 and a huge family who all needs photos with you and all you’ve budgeted is 30 minutes for photos…. Well… lets just say that we might need a coffee IV after that’s done. It really doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for fun, romantic or “creative” photos- and were not saying were not up to the task but we’re just saying that you should know what is possible within the limitations of space, time and earth’s gravitational pull.
- Professional Hair & Make Up: Just do it… those ladies know what they’re doing with their little magic wands! Trust Us!
- Wedding Guests: Have a difficult family member or ‘friend’ – give us a heads up.
- First Kiss: Any couple who holds their first kiss for the count of three or even better – goes in for two consecutive first kisses gets extra brownie points!
- Food: Ask your caterer to feed us when you get fed, and preferable in the same room so we don’t miss anything. No bride & groom (or anyone for that matter) want a picture of themselves a chuck of prime-rib in their mouths. If we eat when you eat… that’s more time we have to take candids, dancing or table greeting shots. If we are served last, chances are we won’t get to eat since the festivities continue and we don’t want to chance missing anything. And it may sound petty, but food is an essential human need- without it all will to live starts to slip away and our legs start to buckle and our eyes start to cross. Trust us, wedding photography is an endurance sport- and fuel is necessary!
- Stick Together: Sounds basic right? But often couples drift apart during their reception only to reunite at the end of the night. This is your night! Share it with the one you love. And of course this gives us a chance to photograph you two together having fun!
- Closing Shot: We love ending the night with one final image of the two of you. It’s the best way to end your photos and it makes a stellar last image in your wedding album!