Advice for Brides and Bridesmaids
Advice for Brides – Essex wedding photographer James Thomas
If you are reading this it is likely that your wedding is not too far away. Having photographed many weddings over the years I have seen most things that can happen and have picked up a few tips from speaking to couples about how to make your wedding day run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. I have just created this advice for brides and bridesmaids as it may help you out, please feel free to give me a call before your wedding to discuss anything in far more detail and I’ll be happy to help in any way I can.
Many brides worry about everything coming together on their wedding day, this can result in people feeling tense but there is no need. You have an army of people around you to make sure everything goes to plan. Whatever happens, you will get married and there are very few things that can’t be fixed.
I find when people are calm and relaxed everything runs more smoothly and ultimately makes the day even nicer.
During Bridal Preparations
I would recommend asking a bridesmaid if they wouldn’t mind helping with these items, its not essential but certainly speeds things up and makes photographing the details easier.
- Make sure labels are removed from all the dresses.
- Remove dresses from packaging and hang them up ready to be photographed.
- Remove stickers and labels from shoes.
- Have all the jewellery, perfume bottles and any significant items you would like photographed together ready to be photographed.
Timeline and Having a Good Plan
One thing that I find at almost every wedding is bridal prep running late, this results in us having to rush to get some formal photographs at the last minute. Although this is not a problem and I’ll work under any conditions I come across, it is much better if you don’t have a manic rush just before the ceremony.
- Have a detailed timeline and make sure everyone sticks to it.
- Aim to be in your dresses no later than thirty minutes before the ceremony, this will allow plenty of time for formal photographs. If you are getting ready away from the venue then allow additional travel time.
- Make sure you tell the hairstylists and makeup artists what time you need to be ready by.
- If you are having formal groups shots of the bridal party before the ceremony, make sure all involved know they need to be in the bridal suite ready for this to happen.
During the Ceremony
- Walk slowly – When walking down the aisle walk slow, this allows more time for the photographer to capture you and the guest’s reactions and Its such an important moment why not slow down and savour it for that little bit longer.
- Don’t rush the first kiss – As above, if you slow down it gives the photographer more opportunities to get great shots. It’s nice to try and get a wide shot and a close-up shot which can mean switching cameras so that little bit of extra time is a great help.
Getting the Best from the Couple Photographs
- Bring some easy to walk in shoes (Assuming they will be covered by your dress), this makes walking around the grounds much easier.
- If it’s cold, have something to wrap around you to keep you warm in between photographs.
- If you have removed your veil, bring it back out so you will have the option to include it in your photographs. This is not essential but it can look great in a sunset shot.
A Few Tips to Help You Look Even More Amazing on Your Wedding Day
Below are a few tips for help you look your best for the photographs, don’t worry about remembering this as I will help you with it on the day but it helps to understand some of the techniques I use.
Keep a straight back – The absolute must to a great posture is having a straight back, if you just take one tip away from this its got to be this. Slouching or hunched shoulders do not look good in photographs. All you have to do is pull your back straight by making your self as tall as you can. Imagine there is a piece of string attached to the back of your head and it’s pulling you up towards the ceiling.
Roll your shoulders back and breath in – This will help with keeping your back straight and give you a more confident and assertive look.
Shift the weight to one leg – You want to avoid being flatfooted, it always looks better if you can try to shift most of your weight to one foot, usually the one furthest from the camera.
Avoid hands growing out of nowhere – It’s important when putting your arm around someone that you don’t have just fingers or a hand visible without being able to see where they are coming from. Great photographs of people have context, for example, if you can see a hand you should be able to see the arm it is attached to or at least some of it. Don’t worry about remembering this, I will correct it when I see it.
Hands – Hands should be touching, holding, resting on or pointing, this gives them context within a photograph. It’s also best not to show the palms of the hands to the camera, this has the feel of being defensive. For wedding photographs its usually best to have an inviting feel which can be achieved by showing the backs of the hands or the sides. You can visualise this by imagining you are using hand signals to get someone to come closer to you vs signalling them to stay back.