There is so much to think about when planning a wedding and I know it can be overwhelming. However, if you’re a bride and you’ve invested in really high quality photography, you want the best pictures possible! And while a photographer should be able to make the most out of every situation, there are some things a bride can do to help the photography go more smoothly! Today I’m just focusing on getting ready on your wedding day. I love the moments when the dress is going on and the bridesmaids are squealing and mum starts tearing up. These are really incredible moments and they deserve some beautiful light too!
When I arrive on a wedding day, 90% of the time I arrive at the bride’s ‘Getting ready’ location first. This is usually a hotel or a bedroom at home. The best scenario is when a bride gets ready in a room with natural light. If the bride is getting her dress on in a small or badly lit room I often ask that she moves into a well lit room (often a living room or even outdoors!!) to have her bridesmaids finish doing up laces/buttons/etc on her dress and help her with jewellery. Light changes everything and makes a huge difference! My first piece of advice for pre-ceremony planning is:
1. Find a room with windows!
The bigger the windows, the better! This tip is also for the groom and his groomsmen! Here’s an example of what pre-ceremony portraits can look like in a room with natural light pouring in! There is a large sliding door behind me which provided so much light for Amelia’s bridal portraits at the Stamford Grand, Glenelg.
2. Allow time for the pre-ceremony portion of your day!
I love to take shots of the dress, shoes, bouquets, rings, etc. I get to work shooting the details as soon as I arrive while the bride and bridesmaids are finishing off their hair/makeup and recommend that my Brides schedule me to begin shooting at least an hour and a half before the bride leaves for the ceremony! That gives me time to get to know the bridal party, shoot some of the ‘getting ready’ process and shoot all of the bridal details before the dress goes on! Also, when your timeline has adequate time for pictures, you will have time to do a few bridal portraits. After the dress goes on, I love spending about 10 minutes shooting just the bride in her dress and getting some shots of her with her bridesmaids and parents! This almost serves as a “warm-up” before the portrait time later in the day. Here is a shot from the 5-minute bridal session with Jane who got ready at the gorgeous Colhurst House, Mount Gambier.
3. Gather the details!
Have all of your details together, or ask a bridesmaid to help out by placing all your things in one area for the photographer to access while you are still getting ready. This includes:
The Rings (All of them or just the E ring if the wedding rings are with the boys!)
The Invitation (It’s really fun to have a styled picture of the invitations!)
Any other details that are important to the bride! (Garter, grandma’s broach, etc)
4. Tidy the area around the window.
No one wants water bottles and hairspray in all of their portraits!
5. Have your bridesmaids in their dresses before you put your dress on.
You’ll notice that in all of these pictures below, the bridesmaids are dressed and that creates a unified look. This ultimately makes the album spread look more unified as well!