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The Bridal Suite

Wedding mornings are full of energy, nerves, excitement and a million and 1 things going on... especially in a bridal suite where hair and makeup, dresses, accessories, shoes, flowers and lots and lots of bags are being unpacked! (it always amuses me how many bags there are). There is much to get done and indeed it's a very busy time, but those in the wedding industry are here to lend a hand. It's our job to have you looking your absolute best, be as unflustered as possible and capture those beautiful candid (sometimes slightly choreographed) "getting ready" shots...

First looks, raw emotions, precious hugs, tears of joy, fine details and everything else in between...

Of course there are a few things to consider and plan for your wedding morning to ensure all of the above runs smoothly, photos are not too cluttered and no points are missed. Where a venue visit is possible, this is a great time to communicate your photographic desires and expectations.

The Bridal Suite

To me this is a typical scene: Make-up stations, champagne being poured, little ones running around excited... Yes it can be a little hectic, but those in the industry have some tips for you. Keep reading to learn more!

Windows & Table space...

There's always a lot of kit that follows with MUA's and Hair stylists, so having a suite with ample surface space is a big bonus. Natural light is also your best friend. Typically your MAU (Make Up Artist) will sit you next to a window so that your makeup looks flawless once they are finished...

Most venues have a dresser and or table for this purpose, and some "getting ready" rooms have a whole bar for plugging in appliances and spreading out beautiful products. The below image is a great example at Crowcombe Court in Somerset.

Timeline & Planning...

I would say the morning of your wedding is one of the most crucial time sensitive aspects of your day. As a wedding photographer here are some points I ask in my client questionnaire and reasons why they are important.

- Getting ready location / room / suite details for party 1 & party 2 :

In most cases I will be flitting between party 1 and party 2 (unless the locations are completely different in which case a second shooter may be considered). It's important to consider sticking to these arrangements and locations because any changes on the day will not have been accounted for and may severely impact the photography time slots, as well as whats possible to capture.

- MUA / HAIR arrival time and estimated bride's makeup start time:

I know some MUA's who have started their day at 6am completing 5 bridesmaids makeup before moving on to the bride. After checking in with your booked MUA so that we are all on the same page, I generally look to arrive 1 hour prior to the brides makeup starting. This gives me ample time for detail shots, candids, dress shots and some time with party 2. Of course every wedding is different and times are calculated and adjusted depending on the requirements from each party.

- Getting dressed:

Have you discussed with your boutique and practiced with your bridesmaids how long it takes to get you in your dress? This one is very important as not leaving enough time can leave everyone, not to mention the bride, feeling flustered and rushed. Want those first look and beautiful bridal portrait images? Then you ideally want to be in your dress at least 1 hour before ceremony time. Don't forget you'll have your meeting with the registrars 20-15 mins prior to the ceremony.

One last tip!

Does your dress have lot of buttons? Get yourself a crochet hook! As you can see in the below images this makes it far easier and more precise in doing up delicate buttons. With ribbon lacing I have seen people use a large plastic sewing needle to help threat the ribbon on the back of a dress more effectively.

I hope these tips and points helped and please if you have any more for me, add them in the comments section below.

Many Thanks

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