Getting the best wedding photography starts in the bridal suite. Amazing photography is a little about having a great photographer and a lot about setting your photographer up for success. Have you heard the term, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but its still a pig.” #Truth Here are some of the tips and tricks I suggest to get those dreamy getting ready shots.
First, when I arrive, I’ve sipped my coffee and jammed out to my favorite tunes while commuting to you. I’m ready to go and full of nervous excitement– yes, even with over 200 weddings under my belt! If I come in “cameras a blazing,” your bridal party and you are going to go from 0 to 60 too quickly. Instead, I start with your “stuff.” Your shoes, your invites, your dress, and custom cookies? They aren’t camera shy.
When you see these perfectly styled… everything, do you wonder how it happens? Just assume its planned by the stationary designer? The truth is, most of the photos were created with help of the bride and groom. Prepping details like flower clippings, invites and special elements to your day help bring cohesion to your images and ultimately your album. Hello custom cookies!
Use these two downloads. They are checklists of items you should include in your preparation suites.
Details for the Brides: here
Details for the Groom: here
For the best photos, you want your whole invite suite. Include the envelopes, addressed, and with your special stamps and/ or wax seals. I come with a styling tray, but consider including fabric or patterns important to your day and flower clippings. Two words of advice. One, ask your florist to drop a bag off a of “clippings” to style with you invites. This bag should be in your suite when your photographer arrives. Secondly, to whom should the invite be addressed? Many of my couples love to secretly address the invites to their future children- fun and so-so sneaky!
Many couples forget to include a favor or other details important to the day. It takes a few minutes to set up a great styling session for your wedding day details, however, so you only want the set up to occur once– in your preparation suite. Then the rest of the day can focus on what is happening organically. Styled images pull an element out of a big event and pause what will happen during another part of the day. Below the invite is staged with a ribbon wand. The couple left a midday ceremony to a ribbon wand exit.
(Next photo– Invites: Studio Aorta)
Your wedding dress hanger. I don’t understand how couples spend thousands of dollars on a wedding dress, and dressmakers think it’s okay to send the dress home on the ugliest $1.57 hanger there is… but they do. I recommend purchasing a classic hanger. The hanger should have a swivel head and divots from which the dress straps hang. I purchased the hanger below from Bridesmaid Hangers.
Crotchet hooks. As you get into your dress, your mother will shake. Then, she has to close the zillions of buttons on the back of your dress. If she is anything like most moms, she won’t be able to see the little elastics without her glasses, be emotional about you being in your dress, and feel the weight of this important moment being on camera. Make the moment as comfortable for her as possible by Amazon Priming a crochet hook. Makes the process much easier.
Finally, natural light. Book a large suite so that your bridal party can stretch out, I can style all your pretty details, and your space won’t look cluttered. This can be a large suite at your hotel, or look into local VRBOs or Air BnBs. Window light is key to great photos and natural coloring.
There you have it! Many of my recommendations for getting great photos during your bridal preparation time. If you want the checklist of what to include in your bridal and groom preparation suites, see here for the bride and here for the groom.