Hi there, lovebugs! Happy Hump Day! I’m hoping everyone had a truly wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! We sure did, but man…is it taking a while to recuperate from such a great weekend! It was a half working weekend and a half relaxing weekend for us.
Friday evening, we met with a potential Bride & Groom over coffee & lots of converstation (ok…I admin…I talk too much!) Saturday we drove into Uptown Charlotte, had brunch and visited some camera stores and went shopping. Sunday we shot a wedding together up in Raleigh…and even though it was raining, it was still such a beautiful day for Katie+Evan (more on those two soon!) And then Monday, on actual Memorial Day, we had a lunch cookout with Phillip’s family, laid out for an hour by the pool and went out to eat later in the day with his Mom for her birthday. So I got to admit, while it was a great weekend, I felt like the only relaxing we did was by the pool for a little sliver of time on Monday…either way though, it was SO MUCH FUN!
Since it’s Wednesday, and I feel like I haven’t blogged in AGES…for today’s Wedding Wednesday, I’m going to share with y’all the three main ways my Brides tend to get dressed on their wedding days. I know, some of y’all are saying “what a strange topic to talk about…” but in all honesty, it’s one of the questions I get asked by my Brides a lot! SO! I’ve decided that it might just be a tad bit easier to prepare my Emma Loo Brides for one of the most exciting parts of their Big Days…getting dressed!!
I typically shoot the Bride getting dressed in the following ways…
Bride getting dressed with help from her Mom This is the SWEETEST way, in my opinion to get dressed. Depending on the set-up and the bridal suite, if there’s enough room (& enough light!) I’ll have the Bride and her Mom get dressed in another room separate from the rest of the Bridesmaids. This is such an intimate and sweet moment that is shared between Mother and Daughter…and it gives me chills each time I think about it. It slows down time for Mom to enjoy getting her daughter ready for her wedding day, and it’s a sweet moment to capture and cherish for many happy years to come. Brides often ask for their Grandma’s to help with this task as well, so it’s neat to see three generations getting dressed for the wedding all at once…now THAT is cool! Once the Bride is dressed and Mom has given her a kiss on her cheek, this leads me into the next way the Bride can get dressed…so here goes…
First Look with Bridesmaids It seems like I have some sort of love affair with First Looks…I really do though! But wouldn’t it be fun to SURPRISE your closest girlfriends by doing a First Look with them as well! For some of your Bridesmaids, it may be the first time they’ve actually seen you in your dress, so you’ll be sure to take their breath away! Normally, a First Look with the Bridesmaids is done right after the Bride gets ready with her Mom or with her Maid of Honor in a separate space. Meanwhile, the Bridesmaids get prepared to see the Bride by sitting on a nearby couch or huddling together in one area near the door or area where the Bride will make her grand entrance to show off her Bridal look to the Bridesmaids. It’s a fun way to get the Bridesmaids reactions to seeing the Bride for the very first time…and trust me, there will be many, many happy tears flowing!
Bridesmaids help get Bride dressed This is what I typically see at many of the weddings I photograph, so it’s not by chance that it’s one of my favorite ways to photograph the Bride getting dressed! Bridesmaids, who are already dressed and ready themselves will help the Bride get dressed as much as they can. Normally, I’ll have all of the Bridesmaids make a semi-circle around the Bride and if they are unsure of what to do or how to help, I’ll just simply say “Just love up on the Bride! Hold her hand…or smile at her!”…or something else really cheesy! There is only really one or two Bridesmaids who are needed to help fluff & puff the dress, and zip it up, so if you are having a large Bridal Party, make sure to divvy out those important jobs to a Bridesmaid or two beforehand so there’s not a million hands on you all at once!
Sister or Maid-of-Honor gets Bride dressed Getting ready is one of the most EXCITING parts of a wedding day for the Bride because it’s the moment when “it gets real”. When the dress is on…that means it’s “go time”. So when that moment is finally sinking in for the Bride…why not share that moment with your Sister/Maid-of-Honor?! Having the Bride’s Sister/MOH help get her dressed is SO sweet and definitely an exciting moment for not only the Bride but for the MOH as well! Plus, it’s a time for just the two of you to be together and soak in the excitement of the day!
Here are some things to think about before you get dressed on your Wedding Day…
Consider the light! Depending on the Bridal Suite…or wherever you are getting ready for your BIG DAY…consider the amount of natural light the room has. If it’s a dark room with only one small window, then it’s probably not the BEST place to get ready in because the images from getting ready in that room won’t be naturally lit with pretty lighting like you were wanting/expecting. Whenever I enter into Bridal Suites inside churches I usually cringe at the sight because it’s almost always tucked away in a windowless room with nothing but fluorescent lighting…and trust me ladies….it’s not going to photograph good. Usually on wedding day, I can find another space where we can get ready in, but by the time I get there you and your Bridesmaids have been getting ready & have all of your things in the room anyway and the thought of moving EVERYTHING is so stressful and so TIME CONSUMING. Think about those getting ready shots way ahead of time…if you know your venue offers a Bridal Suite, but it’s got no windows and no natural light (light coming from the sun!) then those pictures won’t look as natural and well lit like you tend to see on Pinterest and inside bridal magazines.
Be willing to move… If you’re okay with it…I may have us move to another room/space/location just to get you dressed. If I don’t feel like the area where you’re getting ready in looks good as far as lighting goes, then I might have you go to another room/space/location where the lighting is best…and the location is a little bit more simple and eye-pleasing! I once shot a Bride getting ready in a Kindergarten Sunday school room, and while she was GORGEOUS, the ABC’s and the bright colors were a bit distracting!
Go Au Naturel! It may be best to get dressed OUTSIDE! It may SOUND crazy, but trust me when I say that it doesn’t LOOK crazy! If you want natural light…THAT is where you’ll get it! And I don’t know about you…but I think getting dressed for one of the best days of your life underneath the shade of an old oak tree beats getting dressed in a small, messy, makeup-everywhere, disorganized, chaotic room any day! Don’t worry, nobody will see anything with your slue of Bridesmaids surrounding you and a huge dress going over your head…just wear a robe & drop it to the ground as soon as the dress covers up your bod! Then while you’re having your Bridesmaid love on you and your Mom button up the back of your dress, you can stand there in some gorgeous setting with the light shining through the trees…it’ll be beautiful!
Try it on BEFORE! Don’t skip out trying on your dress before your wedding day! I would try it on 7-10 days before the Big Day just to make sure it still fits! Lots of the time, Brides tend to loose weight before the big day just because of stress…so one thing you DON’T want to stress out about is the dress NOT fitting and being TOO BIG! Try it on ahead of time to make sure to leave some time to get any last minute alterations done if needed.
Don’t Worry! I don’t shoot ANYTHING until your dress is covering you FULLY! (Don’t worry! I won’t get any naked shots!) So that should be the LEAST of your worries! Unless you’ve told me ahead of time…I may be able to get a nice backless image, but again…it won’t be anything too risqué!…Remember, Grandma & Gramps like to look at your wedding album too! 😉 Tidy up! It’s always SO nice to have Brides and Bridesmaids who will make sure the Bridal Suite or wherever the Bride and Bridesmaids are getting ready in is tidied up BEFORE I arrive to start coverage! Trust me, you will appreciate a tidy room in the long run! When you see your images and see a simple and clean getting ready space versus a messy and things-thrown-everywhere look…you will understand! Making sure things are put up and out of the way, or at least out of sight makes those getting dressed shots simply beautiful! Plus, making sure that you keep your Bridal Suite clean and tidy means that I won’t have to tidy up a little bit when I get there, which will take some time from me…which ultimately might make me miss some great shots. So throw away any trash or empty cups, pack up bags and move them to an area where they won’t be distracting like in the corner or inside a closet, and also organize the dresses. Having all of the Bridesmaids dresses out of their plastic bags, already steamed and hanging on hangers is SO helpful…plus it will save your Bridesmaids time while they’re getting ready! If your Bridal Suite is totally a mess when I arrive…don’t fret! I will put some Bridesmaids on a little bit of clean up duty to clean up some of the things in the room, and if all else fails…I’ll make sure to have the Bridesmaids actually BLOCK the mess while they’re helping you get dressed!
Do it ALL! Getting dressed also means putting on your jewelry, your garter on (if you have one!), putting your shoes on, and your veil. Make sure that you have all of these things nearby so you’re not looking for these items frantically in your dress! If everything is laid out and prepared ahead of time, you’ll enjoy the moment so much more! I so hope this has helped some while you prepare for your Wedding Day! Thanks so much for reading! Happy Wednesday loves! XO!
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