Every bride's morning before their wedding is different. Some brides are nervous and stressing, others are chilled out and relaxed. Sometimes things are manic and other times everything is calm. One thing that we always see at bride prep time is the excitement, not just of the bride, but everyone there getting ready. It is so lovely to be able to capture this time with the bride, together with her family and her girls (the bridesmaids). It is part of the story of the day, and makes a beautiful intro to the wedding album.
I love this time of the day. I love the excited girly chatter, the flower girl swirling round in her dress, the ooh's and aah's when then flowers arrive, the bride's father doing the crossword, practising his speech or pacing in the hallway while checking his watch. I get goosebumps when I see the bride in her dress, I have even cried! It is such a special and emotional time and I love being there to photograph it.
Here are a few of the things I might capture during bridal prep:
Details such as wedding dress, shoes, perfume, jewellery, flowers.
The bride's reaction to opening a gift or reading a letter from her husband to be.
Hair and make up being done.
Little details special to the day.
Drinks, toasts, champagne.
The flower girl all excited to be wearing her pretty dress.
Bridesmaids receiving a gift from the bride.
Bride's mother or bridesmaids fastening her dress.
The bridesmaids seeing the bride in her dress.
Father of the bride's reaction to seeing his daughter all ready.
The wedding car arriving.
The bride looking stunning.
That moment of thought before leaving to get married.
During bride prep I won't be posing you. Stopping what you are doing for a photo, or setting people up for shots, unless you ask me to. I am there just to capture things as they happen. I want you to look back at your photos and remember how you felt, and for the memories of that time to come flooding back to you.
Generally for bride prep I will arrive towards the end as most brides prefer the photos to be taken when their hair and make up is already done or almost finished. After introducing myself to everyone I will usually take all the detail shots first so that I don't hold you up getting dressed. When you get into your dress I will step out of the room to give you privacy, and wait to be called in to take photos of your dress being fastened up and final make up touches. Once you are all ready I might capture a few bride and family portraits depending on time and location. I will usually leave before you so that I can be ready for your arrival at the ceremony. (If you are getting ready at the venue the registrars may come to your room for your interview. In this case I have to leave the room whilst you are interviewed, but I will usually wait until you leave the room to walk to the ceremony, and will walk with you).
The time before the ceremony can be manic and fly by very quickly - here are a few tips for this time of your day:
Make time for something to eat and drink (not too much alcohol) it may be a while before the wedding breakfast.
Put your jewellery, shoes, perfume etc in one place (or ask one of your bridesmaids to do it) so that when I come to detail photos I don't have to trouble you to find out where each item is.
Go to the bathroom before putting your dress on. (If your dress has a train, use the toilet facing forward. It may seem weird but is much easier than scrunching up your dress behind you, or dropping it in the toilet!)
Remember that your dress will probably take longer to fasten up than it did in the shop so allow extra time so you are not rushing.
If you need a hook to fasten your dress make sure it is kept handy.
Dont forget your perfume.
Dont forget to take all the stickers and labels off clothing, jewellery shoes etc. it is much easier to do before the wedding than trying to do it on the day with manicured nails!
If bouquets are delivered in water allow time to dry the stems so they don't drip onto your dress.
If you are leaving from home, make sure someone is in charge of locking up and looking after the keys.
What about groom prep? Click here to read about photos of your groom and his men getting ready.