1 – 2 hours for the bride.
30 – 45 minutes for the groom.
Because my approach to capturing your day is truly in the likeness of a documentary, I always start from the very beginning – documenting the “getting ready.” Not only are the images from the beginning of your day so emotionally charged (you’ll be crying and laughing… maybe a little nervous, and even more so anxious), but it’s the last few hours of your life you are single. Solo. Independent. A big chapter is ending, just as an even better one is about to begin! We should probably get that on camera. Don’t you think?! The best part is that there is so much going on before a ceremony… You won’t even know I’m there. That’s why these moments are my favorites. They are raw, honest and filled to the brim with emotion. A true representation of you.
In most cases, photographing the bride takes longer simply for the fact that there are more details to photograph! And if I haven’t lectured you about this part already, here it comes… I strongly encourage you to get ready at a place that holds sentimental value to you. Whether it be your childhood home or the residence you currently reside in, pick a place that means something to you. And girl… Don’t tell me “The place we live in is really small… It’s not that pretty…” Because I will in turn tell you… The size of the space does not matter. Be proud of that space. You work hard to live there! More importantly… How rad will it be to look back at these images decades from now, and be able to revisit a place that holds so much meaning? Maybe you shared your first kiss there. Maybe it was the first place you guys rented together. Maybe that couch we’ll photograph your dress above is that same couch you spent countless nights watching Stranger Things on. If it’s your childhood home, how awesome will it be when you’re able to look back at these images decades from now, and remember exactly where you spent your youth?! Surround yourself with familiarity, and naturally, you’ll feel more comfortable.
Now, if you’re getting married out of town, these locations obviously won’t be possible. But do not worry, my friend! A bed and breakfast is a great place to capture these images as well. Or, consider renting a place on AirBNB! These quaint little homes usually give off great natural light (so important), the rooms are cozy, simple and already clean! And they are furnished giving me tons of options for photographing your details.
After I am finished capturing your preparation photos, I usually head over to where the groom is located (or have a second shooter visit him if we’re short for time). His photos are just as important as yours are, however he won’t have nearly as many items to photograph, nor will it take him that long to put on his attire.
GETTING READY TIPS
- Spray tan. I will get down on my hands and knees and beg you not to get one. I know tanning is a personal preference, but I’d encourage you to embrace your natural glow! Remember the umpa lumpas from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? These spray tans have a tendency to do just that in photographs.
- The hours before your ceremony will go by the fastest. To make the most of our time, I recommend gathering all your details and accessories the night before, and put them in one corner of the room where they won’t be in the way. I typically begin with these items when photographing the beginning of your story.
- Bridal accessories can include but are not limited to: wedding gown, shoes, floral crown, bridal bouquet, perfume, jewelry, something borrowed, something blue, paper goods such as invites (don’t forget to mail me one so I can bring it with!), programs, a love letter/gift to your dude, etc.
- Groom accessories can include but are not limited to: shoes, socks, cufflinks, tie, jacket, cologne, suspenders, wedding rings, a love letter/gift to your lady, etc.
- Consider swapping the plastic dress hangers for nicer wooden hangers. It can make a huge difference in that beautiful wedding gown shot.
- If bridesmaids, moms, etc., will accompany you while getting into your dress, it’s a good idea to have them in their wedding attire before you put yours on.
- If at all possible, avoid getting ready at a church. Churches are often dimly lit, and almost never have natural light in their dressing rooms. The moments spent getting ready are captured most exquisitely when lots of window light is available.
And now… Sit back and relax. Let’s be real for a second. No wedding goes exactly according to plan. Don’t stress about things that are beyond your control. Something will happen that isn’t planned, and guess what… No one else will notice. The most important part of your day is that the handsome guy standing next to you, will be standing next to you till death do you part. So while you’re surrounded by your favorite people, remember to embrace each moment!