The beginning of your day. Getting Ready – a trend that’s increasingly making its way over to Europe as well, and working as a wedding photographer in both the U.S. and Europe, I think it’s just great! This moment is all about relaxing and taking a deep breath. Enjoy the moment, and allow yourself (and your girlfriends) to get pampered by your hair-and-makeup artist. This will give you time to savor the arrival of your big day! The totally most attractive Getting Ready wedding pictures are usually planned in advance and details are thought through, including the luxurious Mr. and Mrs. clothes hangers, as well as the place for taking photographs itself. No contest, spontaneity is the key to capturing pure emotions. To do justice to the details, though, here are a few considerations for making sure your photographer can take the best shots for you.
1. SELECT A LOCATION WITH PLENTY OF UNOBSTRUCTED SPACE
Do you value a harmonious wedding album? Then the following considerations will get your plans off to a good start. Select a room that has plenty of daylight and is in line with your tastes. A table by the window or, if possible, outside is ideal for the lighting situation. Also think about whether background colors (e.g. on the wall) might bother you later on, or rather, whether you like them and they match your wedding theme colors. You’ll be spending a long time here, enjoying some pampering and beginning your day with your friends and family. A hotel room would be ideal for perfect pictures, relaxation and morning fun.
Try to book a room or suite on a “corner”. By this I mean a space where light comes in from several sides. Your pictures will turn out evenly lit to the their best advantage as a result. If you can sit at one of the windows during your styling (the bigger the window is and the closer you can sit in front of it, the better), the result is going to look fabulous.
If you’re unsure about this and other matters, have confidence in your photographer’s suggestions. She will always be able to suggest the best solution on the spot. Where necessary, she will also bring your jewelry and other details to another area of the hotel for a few minutes, wherever the best background colors and the best light are to be found.
2. YOUR MOMENT – CELEBRATE IT IN GRAND, JOYOUS STYLE!
Celebrate with your best girlfriends and surround yourselves with luxurious touches. If this isn’t the day to do it, when is?! Flowery kimonos will make you and your girls look simply fabulous! This uniquely lovely, ready-styled pic of you all captures a scene that’s not soon to be repeated.
3. LESS IS MORE!
If possible, try to keep participant numbers in the hotel room to a minimum and remove all kinds of clutter. A little background music combined with champagne and snacks are refreshing and will also banish the last traces of tension from the room.
4. KEEP THE ROOM CLEAN
Try to have as little as possible lying about in the room and hide unwanted details. Sometimes I arrive in a hotel room and occasionally spend valuable time clearing clutter ‘out of the picture’ before I can start. Hang superfluous clothing in the closet and hide suitcases under the bed. Maybe you can ask someone for help with keeping the room organized beforehand so that you yourself can enjoy it all with peace of mind. Your photographer will then have enough time to capture the pictures of you, your friends, and the details you wish to have included.
5. GATHER TOGETHER ALL DETAILS YOU WANT TO HAVE PHOTOGRAPHED READY IN ONE SPOT
When your photographer arrives, she will be introduced to everybody and get a first impression of the space and the available light. Save time and energy by having all details ready gathered in one spot (bride and groom!). Now the styling and photographing can begin without delay. You can continue to celebrate and relax with your girlfriends while all the detail pictures are being taken in the background. Lay out a particular clothes hanger for having your dress photographed. Perhaps you can also ask one of your friends to take the dress out of the closet shortly before the photographer arrives and hang it up in a safe place? That way, a last-minute check can be made on the dress and remaining unwanted creases can be allowed to smooth out. Now all that needs to be done is to carry it to the right spot for taking photographs.
6. DON’T FORGET THE MEN
Pictures of the groom and his witnesses as they get ready need a little less time, but a few thoughts in advance are also required here. One possibility is to have the witnesses already fully dressed on the photographer’s arrival, the groom – apart from his still-open shirt – likewise. If the men are staying in a nearby room, portraits of the groom and witnesses (buttoning shirts, fastening cufflinks, drinks ;-) etc.) can be taken right after the bride and bridesmaids pics. A tip: Gentlemen, empty your pockets (cellphones, keys, wallets)! Pants creased up by fat pockets are possibly what you don’t want to see in the photos afterward. Leave everything behind in the room or hand in your things for a short time. Now the shared fun with the boys can commence!
7. DECLARATION OF LOVE AND LOVE GIFTS
If there are no lengthy speeches scheduled (and I myself have become a big fan of that), then now is the time for ‘gifts of love’. Another gesture that you’re sure to remember for a lifetime is a handwritten declaration of love for the love of your life. If the first look is planned after this, you can be sure that an unforgettable, emotions-packed moment (in pictures) will be the result.
8. SHARE YOUR VISION WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
Do the two of you have your own ideas for special Getting Ready pictures? Talk about them with your photographer beforehand! For example, one of my brides wished to have a photo of her father as he pinned on his boutonnière, which had a special meaning for both of them. Another bride wanted a picture with her grandmother, as unfortunately she was unable to spend the whole day with us for health reasons. Or maybe the special detail is a piece of your mothers wedding dress? Let your photographer know about these specificities in advance, so that these valuable moments can be safely included in your wedding album.
9. ENJOY THE MOMENTS
The detail shots are every bit as important as the authentic, joyful moments. Enjoy getting pampered, treat yourself to a glass of bubbly, listen to the music, have fun with girlfriends, friends and family and simply bathe in all the joy that you both feel in this peaceful part of your day.
Feel free to act almost like I’m not there. Everything is prepared and has been talked through. Now is the time for you and your husband. Time to have with your family and simply be together. It’s something to cherish! You can be sure that if your photographer needs anything from you, she’ll ask.
And finally: don’t be overwhelmed by current trends. Don’t feel obliged to incorporate things that don’t mean anything to you. It’s your day, your love, your story and entirely your way alone. I’m there as the photographer to make the photographic process as smooth as possible, share your joy, capture it all in beautiful pictures, support you, be at your side with practical advice and make your photography wishes come true.
10. A TIP FROM BRIDE TO BRIDE
Sandra was kind enough to write down a few thoughts about Getting Ready for you. She and André just recently celebrated their dream wedding:
“I would advise all brides to stay at a hotel the night before and definitely have someone come round to do hair and makeup. The men likewise. This meant I had no stress over getting the apartment spick-and-span for the photos and everything else. It was so relaxed and my friends dropped in by and by. We had fun and got ready – or rather, enjoyed getting styled. It was so easy-going. The letters we wrote to each other were also a very important moment. We each read them out loud in front of the camera. You don’t have to do that bit, but the words meant something very special to us.”
♥ Let’s create beautiful memories!
Getting Ready Locacion: The Kings Wardrobe
Wedding Location, Bridal Wing: West Manor Estate (Virginia)
Hair Stylists: Hailey Lorae Walker (Charlotte) & Christina Culmer
Bridal Makeup: Louise McGlamery
Getting Ready: private location (Ludwigsburg)
H&M: IrisGeiling (Ulm)
Rings: Cartier (Paris)