The cutest getting ready wedding pictures don't just create themselves! Oftentimes, there's been a lot of forethought and planning that go into every single detail, including those adorable Mr. and Mrs. hangers, and the actual space itself. While spontaneity is key to capturing the raw emotions of the day, here are seven things you can do before we, as your photographers, arrive to ensure that we get the best shots.
1. Pick a location that is spacious, full of light and reflects your aesthetic.
Don't let your pre-wedding space be a mere afterthought — you'll be spending a significant portion of your day getting primped and pampered there. The getting ready area should be a special place with plenty of space that makes everyone feel cozy and relaxed. It should also compliment your vision for the day. For example, if you're having an elegant ballroom wedding, perhaps a suite at an upscale historic hotel would be a nice fit. If possible, try to book a corner room. When light is coming in from more than one direction it envelopes you, creating a soft light that makes everyone look fabulous. If you aren't able to be choosey, trust our direction. We may bring your details out to another area of the venue to capture them in the best light.
2. Remember: Less is more.
We swear by the motto that less is always more. Keep the numbers down, as far as people in the prep suite go. And clean up all that clutter! A little background music and some champagne are a must, as is a sense of humor to disarm any tension in the room.
3. Keep the room clean.
I.e. don't trash it! As your wedding photographers, we often arrive ready to shoot preparation photos and end up spending lots of valuable time cleaning up before we can even get started. Throw away trash, hang extra clothes in closets and hide suitcases under beds. If you keep things as organized as possible then we will have more time to work with you and the bridesmaids, capturing the photos you want.
5. Don't forget the guys.
Speaking of grooms, while the prep photos of him and his guys aren't nearly as involved, they'll still need to follow a few basic rules. We always ask that the groomsmen be fully dressed, and for the groom to be dressed in his pants and unbuttoned shirt upon arrival. This allows us to take photos of the groom getting ready (buttoning his shirt, tying his tie, putting on his cufflinks, etc.) — then do some quick portraits of the groom alone and with his boys. Another quick tip: empty your pockets, gentlemen! Cell phones, keys and wallets make for bulging pockets that aren't flattering in the least, Leave them in the room or have someone else carry them for you.
6. Share your creative vision with your photographer.
Have ideas for specific getting ready shots? Let us know in advance. For instance, one of our brides asked for a photo of her husband-to-be holding a sentimental pocket watch. If you don't communicate your preferences with your wedding photographer, you may miss out on some special pictures in your wedding album.
7. Savor the moments.
The getting ready shots are just as much about the details as they are the candid moments. Relax, enjoy yourself, let us do our thing and try to pretend we aren't there. Feel the emotions of the moment and trust that if we need something from you, we'll ask.
Cathy & Jenn of CatsMac Photography, Peterborough, Ontario.