Your wedding photos are memories that you will treasure forever, so it is really important to make sure that your photographer gets it right. While it’s easy to think about great shots at your venue or during the reception, great wedding photography tells the story of your big day so including your preparation is something you will want to think about.
Manchester-based wedding photographer Shane Webber has shot weddings across the North West, the UK and abroad and loves spending time with his couples documenting those final moments before heading down the aisle.
He said: “I love working with couple to capture the story of their wedding day and the bridal preparation shots are a huge part of that. They are the photos you look back on with your other half, friends and family and remember what you were talking about, how you felt; they are really special so getting them right is important.”
Shane has put together his seven top tips for getting the very best preparation pictures on your big day.
Matching dressing gowns
This is a really lovely touch for bridal parties and one that is really easy to miss. I love getting natural pictures of brides and their bridesmaids getting ready on the big day and matching dressing gowns are a really lovely touch.
You can also use the photographs as a keepsake for your bridesmaids to thank them afterwards. The same can also be said about gifts for your maids or groomsmen – not only can they enjoy them for years to come, but they can make great photo opportunities too.
Don’t leave it too late
There’s a lot to think about on the morning you get married, but I always recommend that brides get their dresses on in plenty of time. If you have half an hour before you need to leave that gives your photographer time to take a few final shots before you make your way down the aisle. Those ‘big reveal’ shots when friends and family see the bride for the first time are among my favourites. Having a few spare minutes also gives you some time in case anything doesn’t run quite to plan!
Hang the dress
Your wedding dress is the most special outfit you will probably ever wear and you will want to remember every detail. If there’s room wherever you are getting ready, hanging up your dress makes for great photos. Your bridal preparation shots can also have your stunning gown in the background, which feels really special when you look back on them after the big day.
The devil is in the detail
The little details can be easy to forget, but are important in telling the story of your big day. Whether it’s your shoes, top hats for the boys or your wedding rings, make sure to have them ready for your photographer. That way, you’re free to enjoy the build-up and the shots are done in plenty of time, leaving your photographer to capture those special moments.
Keep things tidy
Tidying up is likely to be the furthest thing on your mind on the morning of your wedding, but keeping things neat will mean great photos. A clean and tidy backdrop makes for the best wedding photographs and saves time editing later. Maybe task a trusted bridesmaid or family member with helping to keep things neat while you focus on getting ready.
Don’t forget the boys!
I always recommend getting the guys’ preparation photos done first, leaving your photographer free to capture those final exciting moments with the bridal party. If you are both getting ready in the same place, it makes the job much easier. If not, make sure to work with your photographer to plan the day. You can always ask your photographer to meet the boys before the ceremony.
A personal note
One of the things I really love about weddings is the couple leaving one another a special note to read beforehand. It’s so easy to get caught up in the organisation and forget what it’s all about – the two of you. Leaving a little note is a brilliant way to remind you why you’re here and makes for wonderful photos that you will cherish forever.
Shane added: “I have shot hundreds of weddings and have picked up a few things along the way, so hopefully these tips will help brides and grooms to get the very best from their preparation photos.
“The most important thing, however, is to make sure you enjoy it. Pop the prosecco and enjoy the build-up. Your wedding day is incredibly special and you will cherish the memories forever.”
Shane is a Manchester-based wedding photographer and specialises in beautiful natural images. He has eight years’ experience and has shot hundreds of weddings across the UK and abroad. If you are getting married and would like to find out more about Shane and his packages, please visit www.shanewebber.com.