'Bridal preparation' , 'getting ready', 'behind-the-scenes with the bride'
All of these terms are used to describe the time before the wedding, when the bride is preparing herself for her day.
Arriving at a venue to begin the bridal preparation shots is my favourite time of the day. I never know what scene will greet me behind the closed doors. The hustle and bustle of getting ready for the day is always so exciting, and always different at every wedding.
You will want to get the very best shots at this time of the day- the challenge is perhaps wondering how this can be achieved in an (often) small space which is frequently in the home of the bride, or a relative, or in a hotel room.
The intention of this blog post is to enable you to create the very best environment for you and your photographer to work in, in order to guarantee those stunning bridal preparation shots.
This is not exclusive to brides, and many grooms may find elements of this blog post useful. I am using the term 'bridal' as it is the most frequently used- but please do not be excluded by my terminology.
1) Give your mirrors a little polish to ensure that the surfaces are clear for those reflective shots.
2) Where possible, use the lightest room at your venue/ in your home for your preparations. The natural light will provide a great benefit to both you and your photographer.
If you need to pull the curtains shut, this can make for a great silhouetted shot.
Try and keep room clutter to a minimum, but don't worry if this isn't possible as a good photographer will know ways to work around this, and a little clutter can add to the documentary style.
3) Keeping the room as light as possible is good for many reasons. It is better to position yourself near to natural daylight when you are having your hair and make-up done, as this will not only help the photographer to create stunning natural light shots, without the need for flash., it will also enable your hair and make-up artists to see what the end result will look like in natural light.
4) You will probably want your photographer to get some nice detail shots of things like your shoes, garter, jewellery and any other special touches. Make sure these are easily available to your photographer so they will not need to bother you during your preparations.
5) Make sure that your dress is also available to be photographed before you put it on. Your photographer may want to move your dress to the best location within the room/ house in order to capture it in the nicest possible light.
Putting on the dress makes some cracking shots, and it will be a great opportunity for some photographs of you looking your absolute best, with hair and make-up fresh- but the last thing you want is for your photographer to be running late to your ceremony, so aim to be realistic about timescales, and ensure that you have your dress on in good time for some photographs.
6) Relax, and remember to smile too! A good photographer will always put you at your ease, and photograph you from the most flattering angle- and at this point, you probably won't even particularly notice that they are taking photos.
Antonia & Steve live in Somerset and have over 20 years' photography experience between them.