Top Tips For Pre Ceremony Preps!
Almost every Wedding I so includes pre ceremony coverage and one of the most frequently asked questions is scheduling the pre ceremony preps in regards to timing, what's happening, what to have ready, etc. I believe telling a story with your Wedding photos and more times than not, that includes coming to the Groom 1st then to the Bride before ending up at the ceremony. The 2nd most popular method is when I start at the Bride's prep location and then getting to the ceremony around 20 mins earlier to take shots of the Groom with his entourage and family. And finally for me, the least popular coverage option is not having pre ceremony coverage at all and it comes down to the type of Wedding you're having. For this article though, we'll discuss my Top Tips for Pre Ceremony Prep photos for both the Groom and the Bride.
I find most grooms super relaxed and not too fussed about getting photos, if at all! Being a guy myself and having been photographed at my own Wedding before the ceremony, I know too well the nerves and potential awkwardness of having someone sticking a camera in my face when I'm trying to get ready on the biggest day of my life!! Because of this, my approach is SUPER chill, as chill as I need to be depending on the character of the groom I'm photographing. So my Top Tips for the Groom's Prep are below;
- Get up early, at least 1.5 hours before I get there
- Have groomsmen, and include mates (at times I've done just family in the bridal party and usually it's great but I find a best mate or two can really bring some dynamics to the coverage
- If you're not having groomsmen then the same as above applies, have your brother/s or a couple of mates there to give you hand and more importantly, have a laugh with - these make for the best photos!
- Don't be fully ready! Just be fully groomed and in your pants and shirt (shoes on is optional) and we'll start the shots from there
- Have your accessories in one spot. I like to take shots of the rings, the cuff links, watch, tie, etc, before that get put on so if there all ready to go, I'll set them up and take the shots I need straight away.
- Try to have family there. Sometimes it's hard because Mum is getting her hair and makeup done elsewhere for example and that's fine too, I'll take the shots with her at the ceremony. But if at all possible, having all those family shots at home look really nice in the story.
- If alcohol is permitted, then definitely have your favourite bottle of Scotch and some glasses, these turn out to be the most popular shots.
- RELAX!! I won't make you do anything you don't want to and I don't pose you. I do direct though, and the amount of direction depends on you really. Why do I direct? Because more times than not, I arrive at the house and the guys are like 'so what do we do?' My job is to make sure everyone is comfortable, I then make a few suggestions and take it from there.
I cannot begin to explain the vibe at the Bride's place/hotel room in those few hours leading up to the Ceremony. Definitely up there as one of my favourite parts of the day, just for the sheer emotion, giggles, anticipation, etc! My very 1st thing I do when I arrive is see how you're going and where we're at - I have photographed HUNDREDS of Weddings and believe it or not, this part does not get old for me!! We set the tone for the rest of the coverage and pretty much the rest of the day. If you're comfortable and relaxed with me, then we're not going to have a problem, the photos are going to turn out the way you see them on my site and socials. My Top Tips are as follows;
- PLANNING! Following on from what I said earlier 'my very 1st thing I do when I arrive is see how you're going' is always helped by our Pre Wedding Planning. Now every Wedding is different, whether family or cultural things are happening, etc, we need to approach the planning individually. I will be in contact with you to discuss what needs to happen along with what you'd like to happen and we work out the schedule from there - and when you stick to this, everything usually runs smoothly from there.
- Details - I always capture your details when I get there, such as jewellery, bottle of perfume, Engagement ring, flowers, etc. Have these things in one spot and I'll set them up for the shoot.
- Robes - Lately, what I have found to be super popular is for you and the bridesmaids to be in robes when I get there, maybe with a bottle of champagne if permitted. These shots are always fun and a great way to start off the day.
- Hair + Make-up - I usually tell you to tell your artists to have you ready around 15 mins before I get there, just allowing for a bit of a buffer in case things are running a little late. A pic of the makeup artist applying some eyeliner looks cute too.
- As I mentioned with the Groom, having a bridal party is recommended and having girlfriends works out great. But if you're going solo, then have your sister/s or girlfriends there for some support and to be a part of the prep shots.
- Family - highly preferable to have the family there, I have been told these are some of the parent's favourite photos. I focus on immediates but some cultures like to have extra family there so on your request, I'll take a shot with them too.
- Leaving - make sure you have a plan for leaving, in regards to having your bags packed and an emergency bag if required.
Let me know if you'd like some help planning your pre ceremony coverage where I can offer suggestions and work out timing with you.
0425 724 312