Wedding planning is a huge undertaking. It’s no easy task, especially for a “first timer”. I see a couple dozen wedding days unfold every year and I think I can offer some advice about how to make the experience better and end up with even better photos.
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Where you get ready matters! Here’s some of my best advice. Feel free to take some, all or none of these tips and if you’re a client of mine this could be a springboard for some conversation as I help you arrange your wedding day to end up with the best photos.
1. Location, Location, Location
Do you want to get ready at your house, your parent’s house, a B&B, a hotel or the venue? All of them are fine choices, but they will play a part in “the look” of your wedding. We’ll spend at least an hour, maybe two hours photographing you, your family and friends preparing for the day. If you’ve carefully chosen your ceremony and reception location you’ll want to select this getting ready location with the same care.
- Make it easy on yourself and find a place close to the ceremony site. Less time driving (or potentially sitting in traffic) will make for a happier wedding day.
- Get the biggest, brightest, most clutter-free space possible to get ready.
2. Hanging the Dress
First thing I thinking about when I come into the room where the bride is getting ready, “Where will I hang the dress?”.
For a wedding at Gore Place this is the perfect place to hang a dress!
After the dress, I start thinking about the accessories, “How can I use the space I’m in to complement the accessories and the wedding day as a whole?”
The Lenox Hotel is in the heart of the Back Bay. The view of the tallest buildings in Boston was a perfect backdrop for a shoe shot.
Setting the bouquet on a this printed upholstered chair was fitting when the bridesmaids dresses were a similar shade of navy.
4. Be Photo-Ready
- Get the day started right and keep on schedule with your hair and makeup stylists. It’s one of the top reasons wedding days run behind [ not usually my weddings though
- Have all hair & makeup done before photography is scheduled to start. No one needs photos of themselves in curlers.
- Any touch ups can be done just before we leave to take photos or head to the ceremony.
- All family members & bridesmaids should get dressed before the bride. It’ll make the photos of everyone look more unified and put together.
5. Getting Dressed
This is the getting ready moment we’ve been waiting for!!
- Know how much time it’ll take to get into your dress. 10 seconds to zip it up, 10 minutes to lace up a corset, 20 minutes to button a few dozen buttons?
- Let’s pick the prettiest, brightest, neatest space to get into your dress.
- Surround yourself with your VIPs, but that doesn’t mean it has to be everyone in your bridal party.
- Leave some wiggle room time so you’re not dashing out the door right afterwards.
6. Enough time to Celebrate
The goal of getting done up, dressed, etc… as soon as possible? To get a little toast in before we leave!
Toasting, or laughing, some storytelling. This time before the ceremony is really important and you want to have a few extra minutes to enjoy it with your best friends.
7. Surrounding Yourself with Love
Have your favorite people by your side. Just make sure we have some elbow room to move around and get ready.
8. The “No Look” Moment
Not seeing each other before the ceremony? That’s cool. If you’re getting ready at the same place (lots of reasons this is a great “headache relieving” idea). Why not do a “no look” moment? We’ll have to talk about how to arrange it, but if you’d like to set it up we can figure it out.
9. Dad’s First Look
Not to be forgotten, Dad can have an emotional first look moment.
10. The Guys
And what the heck do the guys do before the ceremony? Anything they want.
Ben (husband and steady second shooter) tags along with the guys and gets them in their natural habitat….
Going swimming on a super hot wedding day
Playing with toy guns
So there’s a little snapshot of some advice about how to enjoy the beginning of your wedding day. The tip of an iceberg of conversation I’d have with you about your unique plans.