Brides often ask me how we get such cool sunset shots for wedding pictures. There isn't usually enough time worked into the wedding day schedule to get photos like this:
So the answer? Formals. Groomals. Some people call it a pre-shoot. Or as one of my favorite clients called it (We took a poll about two years ago), the Prenuptial Vanity Session. She said, “You could always be brutally honest: “Prenuptual Vanity Shots: I wanna have lots of ammo when I show my exes and frenemies how hot my man is and how good I looked in that dress. BONUS! After you’ve had five children, you’ll have proof that you once did, in fact, wear a size 2.” But whatever you call it, it is the answer for everything. It is a bridal session where the groom comes along. You get beautiful wedding photos without trying to cram it all into your wedding day.
Then the second question is often "But that means he sees me in my dress before the wedding. People actually do that?" The answer is, well, yes they do. The tradition behind not seeing each other before the wedding is not as commonly followed. I've heard it was originally a way to prevent the groom from backing out in arranged marriages, but it doesn't matter the reason, some cultures hold on to it much more closely. So here's our compromise: The First Look.
At the beginning of the "pre-nuptial vanity session", we stage a moment before they've seen each other in wedding attire - The groom stands with his back to the bride as she walks up, turns him around, and they take a few minutes in their own little world.
...Then, when they are ready to move on, they let me know and we get started with the rest of the shoot.
Kara and Chris at La Caille:
Kandis and Greg at Sleepy Ridge (Sometimes, especially with LDS brides, we show the bride and groom exchanging rings as part of the first look):
Kirra and Brandon at the Capitol Building:
One of my biggest regrets from my own wedding is that we did an entire session of bridal photos instead of a formals session. Really, over a hundred photos of just me! It's wonderful for some people, but I'd rather have more photos with my husband to choose from to hang in my house. (Though in reality those of you who know me know that I have photos of my clients up instead.) We have photos from our wedding day, but if only someone had told me that Thomas could be part of the bridals...