Are you engaged or going to be a part of a wedding this summer? I've been photographing weddings for over a decade and in those years, I've learned a few things about what works. A special time of day is the bride getting ready. It's a sweet combination of joy, nerves, excitement and preparations! Generally the bride is surrounded by close friends and family, getting ready to walk down the aisle. In my experience as the photographer, I wanted to share some ways that you can make the space great for both the bride and the photographs.
1. Have at least one window available for natural light: Natural light is usually the most flattering and is a great option for helping to light the portraits of the bride getting ready. As you choose the space for the bride to get dressed in, make sure it has at least one window!
2. Clear the clutter: I know getting ready time is hectic. Usually there are bridesmaids and moms and everyone else all prepping in the same space but when it's time to get the bride dressed, you don't want large amounts of stuff strewn across the room. It's hard for a photographer that has to both clean up the room and style/photograph the bride.
3. Make sure details are close by: Everything from flowers to rings to invitations need to be ready to go in the prep room. The reason for this is that the details are a huge part of the story of the wedding day and every photographer wants to make sure they're a part of the photographs. If all of these things are close by and ready to go, it makes the photography go smoothly, as well as the mood for the bride. There's nothing like realizing 5 minutes before bridal portraits that the shoes are missing or on one grabbed the bride's bouquet yet. These are important things to be ready with! (True story: 20 minutes before a wedding a bride realized her specific underwear for the dress was not in the dress bag like she thought it was. Talk about frantic and embarrassing to try to get someone to go retrieve that for you!)
4. Temperature: This is pretty self explanatory but especially on hot wedding days with lots of people in the room, everyone is going to feel better if it's not smoking hot in the room. If you can get there early and crank down the AC a few points, even better!
5. Great attitudes: Every wedding day has its drama whether it be personal or situational. The best way to keep the environment drama-free and a good vibe to leave that stuff at the door the best you can. It can be tricky with so many emotions at play, but it's important to surround the bride with positivity as she prepares for one of the biggest days of her life!