One of the big decisions for pretty much all the couples I’ve taken photographs of has been whether or not to do a “first look” – where we take posed photos after everyone’s all dressed, but before the ceremony – or to do a portrait session after the ceremony so there’s a big moment of surprise when the bride appears. Personally, I’m a fan of do what works for you as a couple and don’t worry about the photo schedule – it will all work out.
But, I’d like to let you all know that I think there’s a cool third option — getting ready together, which is what we did for my own wedding. Since we were going to City Hall, there wasn’t going to be any “surprise” moment as we planned to go there together (had we taken separate cars, I think the “surprise” might have ended up “oh no, I’m stuck in traffic”) and we both wanted to get ready at our home. I asked Shana to come over early to do my hair and makeup, and Mark went to the gym for a while while this was happening (lucky men and their “just need a shower” approach) but once he got back, we were able to hang out and just relax and talk while we got ready. It made the day feel special longer – we spent quality time together and have some fun memories of that morning as well as the ceremony. One of our witnesses, Eric, took a few photos of us at the tail end of getting ready so we could remember that time, and of course, I had to pick up the camera for a minute to capture a couple of things, like my bouquet, dress and Mark’s clothes. So, if you’re looking to really break tradition further, I recommend getting ready together.
Some additional good advice – Sarah Darcy of Classic Bride recommended finding something pretty to get ready in, like a classic peignoir set, and I found one on Etsy that fit the bill. As a photographer, I totally agree that wearing something pretty while you get ready makes for better photos and as a bride, I felt dressed up a little sooner.