It’s the day of your wedding! The day you’ve been planning for months (maybe years) is finally here. You’ve got your best friends and family to help you calm the nerves, to get excited with, and to get ready for the biggest day of your life! As a photographer it’s my responsibility to capture those few hours before you say “I do”. I’m on the look-out for great moments between everyone as well as documenting the hair and make-up for the bride and bridesmaids.
Groomsmen are just as important! If at all possible I’ll try and capture some groomsmen prep on my way to the bride and bridesmaids. This sometimes is made easier if both parties are getting ready at the same location. Either a hotel near to the wedding venue or at the venue itself. Where this isn’t possible having a second photographer comes in really handy so that both stories are captured.
I’ve heard people say to me during those few hours prior to the ceremony “is it always this calm?” as many times as I’ve heard people say “is it always this chaotic?”. It really is a mixed bag… For some, those hours of getting ready are really calm. Strangely quiet. Contemplative. For others, its absolute mayhem. Bridesmaids, flower girls, family all busying about with final jobs. Cutting labels out of dresses. Sharing gifts. Flower arranging. On more than one occasion I’ve witnessed the bride or a bridesmaid suddenly realise they’ve not worn ear rings in a while and having to do some homemade ear piercing just moments before getting in their dress. Oh, and that time I walked into the bathroom of a bridal suite only to find a bridesmaid sitting on the loo!
I thrive on looking out for moments of emotion. The first look from the father of the bride, the mum helping her daughter into her dress. The bridesmaids seeing the bride in her wedding dress for the first time. The father of the bride making final adjustments to their speech. There is the gift giving, the card reading, the champagne drinking, the looking out for arriving guests, final group selfies, the high fives, and the group hugs.
As with most other parts of the day I don’t direct or set anything up during this time. I’ll work around the hairdressers and make-up artists. This usually means I’ll find myself in very awkward spaces to get the shots which I want to capture. Tucked into corners of windows balancing over flight cases like I’m doing some crazy yoga positions.
For groomsmen its usually a little less chaotic. However, it isn’t always without its drama. The last-minute dilemmas whether to shave – stubble or no stubble. The moments of horror when its discovered that a suit, shirt or tie is missing. On several occasions I’ve offered up my bow-tie for a groomsman to borrow. I’ve seen a Best Man open the packet of a new shirt, remove all of the labels and tags by brute force and completely rip the shirt in two. The consulting of YouTube to figure out the best way to fold a pocket square. The challenge of trying to put your button hole on a jacket.
I’ve had the absolute pleasure of working with some of the best hair dressers and make-up artists over the past few years. It really is amazing the work they do and under such pressure and time constraints. Shout out to the following top-notch hair and make-up artists that I’ve worked with over the past few years;
So below you’ll find a variety of photos taken during those last few hours before getting married. Hope you enjoy looking through them!