Tuesday, July 7, 2009

If I had to do it all over again I'd... Get Pretty in a Pretty Place

I love going to weddings. I always have and always will. And it's a good thing, too, because, well, it is my job :). When I was little, I used to get so excited every time we'd get invited to a wedding... partly because I used to (and, ok, still do) crave wedding cake like none other, but mostly because I couldn't wait to see the beautiful bride. Just like most little girls, I would waiting impatiently for the doors to open and once they did, I'd watch every step the bride took down the aisle, all the while imagining what my own wedding day would be like.

So when I got engaged to my Jon, I started planning my wedding right away. It was fantastic. I really loved planning the event, but honestly, I was much more excited about marrying the man I couldn't stand to be without. So when it was all over, I was still happy as a lark because although my wedding day was over, I had Jon. And that's pretty much the whole reason for getting married in the first place :).

But, since I became a wedding photographer, I've been to about a gazillion weddings, and I've seen some really wonderful ideas, and if I could do my entire wedding over again armed with the knowledge I have now... wow, that would be some wedding! But I don't plan on having another wedding anytime soon (or ever). So all these great wedding ideas I've seen are stored up in my head, and I'm about to bust. Seriously. Every now and then randomly I throw in a wedding tip during dinner, prayer, and "The Bachelorette."

Ok, not really, but I could.

So all my wedding ideas and tips and observances are about to find a new home in a new section of my blog called "If I had to do it all over again, I'd..." Enjoy!

As I was editing a recent wedding this evening, I was noticing how beautiful the photos of the bride and bridesmaids getting ready turned out. True, the bride and her ladies were stunning, so that definitely helped, but what set the stage was a really beautiful setting. The bride's house, which oozed her modern vintage style, was full of windows and soft, natural light, creating an ideal setting for photos. When I stepped in the house, I let an elated giggle slip through my lips because I knew this was going to be good.

Of course, when you plan your wedding and where photos will be taken, it's pretty obvious that beautiful locations are a must-have for the ceremony and reception site, but the location where the bride and bridesmaids are getting ready is often overlooked. Think about the location and decide what you really want in the background of your getting-ready photos... a set of metal bathroom stalls or a large window with beautiful, soft natural light. If your house has great windows, consider getting ready there. Or if a hotel is more your style, make sure you choose a larger room so you can get ready amidst the beautiful decor, rather than in the bathroom. Of course, whatever location you choose will yield beautiful photos because what's more beautiful than an engaged woman becoming a bride... but the a beautiful location really takes it up a notch. Or three.

Wow, someone needs a thesaurus. Can I say "beautiful" any more times? Anyway, here's a great example of a bride that had a lovely (and beautiful :)) home for her wedding day prep.

This large window was an ideal setting for getting prettified... for the bride, as well as the make-up artist and photographer. A big window with soft light provides an opportunity for backlit shots like this
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And lots of soft light also provides an even glow on this bride's lovely face
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Colorful curtains can also provide a great background
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I really loved the grouping of mirrors hanging in the living room, so when the bride decided to touch up her make-up there, I was pumped
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Before the bride puts on her dress, I oftentimes scout out a good location in the house or hotel that would lend itself to naturally-lit photos. In this home, the bride's bedroom was lined with windows and had bright white walls... just what I was looking for :)
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Checking out her train.
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The dining room table was simple and modern and the surrounded by windows (have you noticed a theme here with the windows...).
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More from this wedding soon!
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