Why do I need a – wedding photographer – during bridal preparation?

Floral images for site decor

Bridal preparation photography tips

Its not about having photos without makeup.

Bridal preparation photography is more about capturing the final moments before getting married, the anticipation, excitement and range of other emotions. Along with documenting details that you have spent months or years deciding upon. It’s important to get clean fresh images of the dress, shoes, jewellery and flowers, as well as gifts, and those special little moments shared by the bridal party.

All of these things are part of your story and not only do they help with creating an incredible album design, they trigger memories of those fleeting moments that are sometimes forgotten. The venue for bridal preparation does play a huge part in the look of the final images and the building the anticipation is half the fun.

Two bridesmaids laughing wearing team bride vests. Bouquets sitting on the windowsill.
Wedding rings sitting in a rustic wooden ring box. Engraved initials are burnt into the lid.

My top tip would be to make sure you leave a room clear with plenty of light that can be used as a base to photograph the details, of course a stunning hotel room never fails to look incredible.

In my experience the most difficult element of the preparation to photograph is the dress. Before the big day consider where the dress could be hung with a clean backdrop and lots of light.

At home a door way will never fail but a tree in the garden can look even better,  Hotels and barn venues often have incredible windows and door ways that can be used to make the ‘dress shot ‘ into a work of art.

3 bridesmaids dressed in peach look on and straighten the brides dress before she enters the ceremony.
Two images combined, the first showing a lace wedding dress and parasol hanging outdoors with lavender in the foreground, the second a hand written note with a pearl necklace and silver bracelets.

Time always flies so let makeup and hair artists know that you will need to be ready at least 15 – 20 mins before departure. The worst situation is when the final makeup touches are being done literally as the car is ready to go. It's such a shame to miss the emotional and beautiful photographs with father of bride and the bridesmaids. If you want to capture bridal portraits this is the best opportunity when everything is freshly adorned.

If you are tight on time, above all don’t panic! Im not opposed to setting these up later in the day.

Two images of a bride with dark hair and white lace wedding dress at Clearwell Castle.

Don’t forget groom prep, if you are in the same location it is possible for one photographer to rush over and capture the guys getting ready as well.

We all know they leave it to the last minute, but if you want to capture their story fully I would recommend adding a second shooter who can follow them to the ceremony as well.

When I'm on my own I do get to the ceremony as early as possible enabling me to capture a few shots of them looking pensive and of course I can photograph the rings before their final placement.

Two photos showing the groom putting on his coat and doing up cuff links. He is wearing a navy suit with pink rose button hole and cravat.
Two images combined showing Jo Malone perfume with box and bag and Kurt Geiger wedding shoes hanging within Llanerch vinyard

Bride and groom preperation are one of the most enjoyable parts so make sure you take your time

Stretch it out and enjoy the bubbles.

Charlies Top Tips.

Read more of My Top Tips

Charlie X

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