The getting ready part of a wedding day is one of our favourite parts of the day. While some photographers find it chaotic or even boring, we find it exhilarating and an opportunity for deeply meaning photographs if it is planned right.
That surprises people when we talk about “planning the wedding getting ready.” We really don’t think enough photographers talk to their couples about this, so here are some important things to consider.
The wedding getting ready part of the day is the time where we hope to capture meaningful moments like the look on a parent’s face as they help their child get ready to walk down the aisle, or two best friends sharing a meaningful look as they toast to the day.
They are powerful moments…if they happen. People believe they happen organically, and sometimes they do, but it’s a better bet for great photos if there is an opportunity for them to happen.
Here’s our number one piece of advice for the getting ready that makes all the difference: have your getting ready either very close or on-site to the location that you are getting married at.
From the inevitable delay at the salon to traffic, every single moment you can avoid going from one place to another that may cause delays will matter on a wedding day. Having everything on-site drastically reduces things running late, and emotions running askew because of things out of your control.
We can’t count how many times we have watched hurried bridesmaids and mothers of the bride frantically gathering up things as the bride is rushed out the door to the ceremony. Compare this to a moment where the bride and perhaps her father, sister, and besties who are taking in the wonder of this moment before she becomes Mrs. These photos are magical…but they can’t happen if your bridal party is busy shoving suitcases into their cars. While we haven’t lost a bridesmaid yet, it’s been close.
The first thing to go for many people when they are nervous is their appetite. This goes for the guys, too. Add in nerves, some champagne, and a warm day, and it’s a recipe for feeling faint during the ceremony. Making sure everyone eats on the wedding day is important, and having food on-site means it’s more accessible to everyone.
When we walk into the room of a well-controlled getting ready scene to start photographing, the feeling is electric. It’s almost indescribable, the delicious anticipation. The movements of getting a bride into her gown can be mystical and have a sense of centuries-old ritual.
With the guys, the feeling is more subtle, a silent brotherhood usually broken up with bad jokes and ribbing. Either way, these photos have layers and meaning that we think are critically important to tell the story of the day.
The getting ready also really sets the tone of the day. When it’s frantic and hurried, it’s difficult to live in the moment. When it’s enjoyed and cherished, everything seems a little shinier. Setting the scene with a little planning will make a massive difference in your photos!