Hi all and welcome to post 40 here on the Rammell Photography Blog.
One of my intentions with this blog was always to make it a resource for you Brides & Grooms. A place where you can come and check out the latest wedding shoot I just did, get some tips and advice on your wedding day photography (and all things wedding for that matter) and generally just find out what I've been up to in the world of photography recently.
Today's post would fall under the category of 'Tips and Advice'. I really want to talk about something very dear in my own heart when it comes to a wedding day; a part of the day that is all too often overlooked & understated.
I'm talking about the morning preparation for Bride's & Groom's.
Why Is The Morning Preparation Overlooked?
It's easy to overlook the importance of the preparation time if truth be told. All of your planning over the past few months, possibly even years, has most likely been focused around the wedding ceremony & reception. Even your Hen Night (or Bachelorette party as they're known in the US) and Honey Moon may have received more thought. It's not a bad thing at all - those elements of your wedding are extremely important.
Just don't forget to give some thought to what you'll be doing in the hours and minutes leading up to you to you walking down the the aisle and saying "I do".
So you've booked your hair and makeup and you know what time your car is due to arrive, but have you left any time to breath, relax and enjoy the morning? What about photographs?
(Before I let you read on I should point out that ALL of the photographs you're going to see in this post were taken before the wedding ceremonies. They're all from the morning, before the bride has even left the house, or the room she was getting ready in)
What about Photographs? I don't want any taken whilst I'm getting ready!
Just recently I've had a few inquiries where people have asked me to just come and shoot from the ceremony to the first dance. Whilst this is every bride or grooms choice, and I respect that, I would say that by having me start at the ceremony rather than in the morning; you're missing out on some of the most beautiful photographs from on of the best parts of the day
I've eluded to it before, but a wedding photographers' time spent on shooting the wedding day itself is just a very small part of what actually goes into to making wonderful photographs. I personally would much rather I was there all day, especially in the morning.
If you're having a Wedding Album the morning becomes even more important. A wedding Album tells a story of the day, from start to finish - your day starts the minute you start getting ready! Don't let those moment's get lost:
Alex (left) and Paul were married at The Gate Street Barn in June 2013. I arrived hours before any guests or family members to photograph all of Alex's preparations.
(Click to enlarge photograph)
The special part of this morning was that Alex had some nerves but was seemingly keeping them under control. So when I moved Alex's chair closer to the window and re-positioned the mirror you can see in this shot (look closely) and then asked Alex in a calm voice "Alex, can you please just gently close your eyes for a minute and relax. You look wonderful" I captured this moment you can see here. Alex looks totally at peace. Serene.
No distractions, no family members running around trying to get photographs of their own, no wedding planners asking what to do with the guest book, just a chair, a mirror, a little bit of light from a window and some time to relax and breathe it all in.
This also helps to set the tone for the rest of the day.
Another benefit to having your photographer around early in the day is that it gives them a chance to photograph all those tiny little details. All those things you've invested your time and effort into can be photographed in fine detail. Things like flowers, rings, dresses and shoes. You've paid for those things, why should they not be photographed so that you can remember them?
(Click to enlarge each picture)
What's more, if you're getting ready at the venue itself, the photographer will have time to go shoot the place before the ceremony & celebrations begin. The decorations, favors & flowers will look their best that morning so that's the best time to shoot them:
Moments you probably don't realise the Importance of
Another consideration is actually how many important moments actually happen that morning. Remember: you're getting ready to get married. You're parents are entrusting you to another person. You'll have someone helping you into your wedding dress, which is the finishing touch to all the morning's preparations, so that's a huge moment. The role is an honour - tying that last bow in the lace or getting that last button done up. It's so important. Your Mum & Dad are going to see you come down the stairs with complete hair, makeup & dress for the first time too. You're going to climb into your wedding car and head for the church or your venue...there are so many key moments that can be missed if you choose NOT to have a photographer there with you throughout the preparation part of the day.
So, for now I'll leave you with one last photograph, but before I do I would just hope that at least now you know that there are some amazing photographs to be had whilst you're getting ready (even if you're getting ready at home! You don't have to be using the bridal suite at a stately home). So, please, invite your photographer to photograph whilst you're getting ready (if they like to do those shots).