In more cases than not and it’s always a surprise to me, that bridal preparation tends to be a fairly relaxed affair. It is not unusual to have a professional hairdresser and makeup artist in attendance and they play their part in relaxing the bride throughout the morning. However, hairdressers and makeup artist are not privy to your schedule and are probably working to their own timetable.
Therefore, left to their own devices hair and makeup have the potential to over-run and as a consequence could ruin your plans for those stunning morning shots. This can often be avoided by having a quick chat with the hairdresser and makeup artist and explaining your timetable.
Hair and makeup can and will take time but in my experience the biggest and most unexpected thief of time during bridal preparation is the putting on of the wedding dress. In more cases than not the previous fittings of the bridal dress were undertaken in the bridal shop with skilled and experienced assistants on hand to help. On the morning of the wedding it’s normally down to a willing bridesmaid or the mother of the bride to lend a hand, neither of which have probably put on a wedding dress themselves in a long while. So, factor in at least half an hour for the putting on of the dress and probably three quarters of an hour would not be unreasonable. This can really put you behind the clock if you under estimate how long this will take.
I like to take some shots of the bride and bridesmaids as they are getting ready – it goes without saying that any shots taken at this stage must be respectful and with the brides/bridesmaids knowledge and consent.
Most of my bridal preparation shots however are taken when the bride is completely ready. You will want to impose your own personality on the wedding day by developing your own photographic style and list of potential images. What I take and where I take my images vary according to conditions etc. from wedding to wedding – no two weddings or brides are ever the same and therefore you have to be a little bit careful about being too prescriptive about what you will and wont shoot but it is important to have a plan and some ideas for contingencies should that plan prove unworkable.
I like to take a selection of images inside the house, in the garden and with the car. In addition to the impromptu photographs taken during bridal preparation I like to include a number of informal but posed shots that will include the bride, the bridesmaids, the parents and a combination of the above.
I love the opportunity to be creative when shooting these ‘formal’ photographs but I am also aware that Mums and Grans often prefer the traditional wedding photographs. Therefore, it is probably safer to try and achieve a mix – this way you stand a better chance of keeping everyone happy