Planning to get married can be stressful, with much of the focus centred around the Ceremony and Reception, but what about the time slot pre-ceremony? If you have never been a part of ‘the wedding party’ before, then you probably wouldn’t realise how amazing an opportunity the preparation phase of your wedding day is.
This is the quiet moment with your family, best friends, and of course your photographer, before the chaotic beauty of your wedding ceremony begins.
It is in these quieter more intimate moments that some of the best images of your wedding day will be taken. Prep time offers some of the best candid moments, but also some of the more touching memories. That moment your mother zips up your dress for the first time, or sitting back on a leather chair lighting a cigar while sipping whiskey with your best mates. The ‘makeup & ties’ moments of your wedding day will be filled with laughter, joy, and powerfully honest emotions.
Keep reading for our rundown of the best tips to get the most out of your prep shoot.
Put Your Phones & Tablets Away!
It’s no secret that as photographers we are not fans of phones popping up in your wedding photos. They really do distract viewers from the moment. However, there are deeper reasons to consider when asking guests to leave their phones to the side:
- Candid images will be abundant during your prep shoot, when your bridal party is sitting hunched over playing ‘Angry Birds’ it is challenging to capture those beautifully raw & real moments.
- The initial separation anxiety and naked feeling in your wedding party’s hands will be stressing, but it won’t last long. The quiet space that’s left will allow you and your wedding party to interact socially in a natural and unforced way. Those hidden moments usually missed while heads are buried in screens, replaced by poignant moments of raw unrepressed emotions.
- Phones document memories, but that sacrifices your ability to actually live and feel that memory. Free yourselves to be yourselves, and let your photographer document the moments for you.
Remove Distracting Background Objects
Televisions, clutter, backpacks, and general hoarding of random things makes taking phenomenal photos really difficult. We normally ask our couples to pick a location without screens, and free of excess clutter.
Screens are a big one, and as good as Netflix is when you are trying to fill in the boring moments it can often result in ugly backgrounds and zombie like wedding party members staring blankly at flashing tv images.
This leads us onto the next tip, location.
Location! Location! Location!
Picking the right place to prepare for your wedding day is so important, not only for the photos, it will set the mood for your entire day. As convenient as mum’s lounge room might be, it probably won’t result in the perfect images you are looking for. If your ceremony is booked through a hotel, or venue attached accomodation, the space will likely work well (just keep lighting in mind – plenty of natural light is important).
Another option is to rent an additional space for your prep. Air BnB makes this super easy, and is much cheaper than splashing out on another venue. When you sit down with your photographers to discuss photos, it can be a great opportunity to scroll through some potential options for your prep location.
Don’t Neglect Lighting
The availability of natural light at your prep location will result in incredible prep photos, or one’s that look “just ok.” Lighting means everything when it comes to photos, so it is important to consider the amount (and type) of lighting available. If you are looking for moodier shadow filled images, you might consider a location with less natural light.. maybe a window or two. If you want a more ‘light & bright’ feel to your images then glass will be your best friend!
Maybe, you want a bit of both. In that case, picking a location with that flexibility is important. It could be as simple as having blackout curtains as an option, or hidden spaces to snap up some moody & raw emotional moments.
Keep Your Space Looking Beautiful
It is very easy to turn a room upside down in the heat of an emotional moment. Hahaha and your wedding day will be filled with emotion! It is important to keep the prep space free from any clutter throughout the shoot, but you don’t have to be the one in charge of ‘rubbish duty.’ Something that we find works, is to allocate the task to one of your bridal party members. No need to feel bad, your friends will want to be involved in any way they can.
Everyone Needs To Be On Time
When you open your eyes to your wedding day, whatever the date, you should know that all your timings are set in stone – including your prep timings. Making sure that your friends, family, and contractors are well aware of what time you need them on site will result in a stress free prep shoot to kickstart a relaxed mood for the rest of your day. Timing, especially at the start of the day, is super important for your photographers and gives them the creative space to capture all those magical candid moments.
A few extra tips: Consider the theme of your wedding, try to find a prep location that flows nicely into the theme of your ceremony & reception. This will be something your photographers can help you with.
What your bridal party wears during prep goes hand in hand with your theme, consider outfits that suit the style of photos you are wanting to have captured.
Our tips will help you get the photos you want for your prep shoot, if you have any other questions about your wedding day just leave a comment below.