Most of us have been to a wedding as a guest at some point but what actually happens before we turn and watch the bride walking towards the person she is declaring her love for and pledging the rest of her life to? What happens behind the scenes and what are the things to look out for during the wedding preparation?
Mrs Angelic has been a photographer at many different weddings over the years and although each wedding is as unique as each bride and groom most English weddings follow a general “order” from the preparation through to the party at the end of the evening. She has picked up tips along the way and often uses them to try and keep the stress levels for all involved down to a minimum. So what happens on a tradition-based wedding morning through the eyes of a wedding photographer?
Traditionally the bride and groom will spend the evening before the wedding separate from each other as it is believed to be unlucky to see each other before they meet at the ceremony. This comes from the days when a marriage was more of a business arrangement between the families rather than marrying for love. The worry was that, if the groom saw his bride-to-be before the day he may decide he doesn’t like her and call off the wedding! We have done the odd wedding where the couple have thrown caution to the wind but the majority of the time the couple get ready apart from each other.
For the Groom his preparation generally includes the best man, any ushers and occasionally the odd page boy (dependent on age normally). There are checks to make such as are the rings and the speech safe? Have the buttonholes been handed out to all who need them and are they all being worn the same way?
Mr Angelic generally goes to cover the groom’s preparation so Mrs Angelic is a bit vague about what happens but she normally describes it, at wedding fairs, as “Full English, Full Pint, XBox”.
She knows there is obviously a lot more to it but her forte is the bridal preparations so she will skip merrily past to there……
The Bride’s preparation is often bustling with activity with hair being fluffed, make-up being applied, dresses, shoes, underwear, jewellery, perfume plus lots more. Often there are bodies galore with bridesmaids, flower girls, parents, make up and hair artists, photographers (that’s us 😀 ), flowers are dropped off and handed out, sometimes presents are given to the bridesmaids and cars arrive.
The Photographers (us)
As wedding photographers our aim is to capture the hustle and bustle of the morning’s activity whilst using all our guile to maintain calm. We have certainly honed those skills over the years.
Over the course of our time photographing weddings we have zipped, laced and buttoned wedding gowns, sewn a bridesmaid into hers when the zip broke, fetched, carried and summoned people, found lost car keys, encouraged children to join in a photo, chauffeured bride’s mums and children to and from the ceremony, unwrapped, untagged and undone many a dress in readiness for its wearer. At one wedding (maybe two, thinking about it) we’ve been seen sewing the actual bride’s dress back together literally minutes before the service (not necessarily down to cheap dresses, but accidents certainly do happen).
We have pinned button holes, fixed button holes, gently guided people out off a room when they were adding to an already highly stressed bride’s stress levels, managed to convince a granny that the jewellery that she had suddenly handed to a very surprised and not so keen bride would detract in the photos thus giving the bride a gentle reason to say thanks but no thanks and, on one occasion, even helped the bride when she needed to visit the ladies’!!! We didn’t take the cameras in with us though!!!
We believe that a bride will automatically step up a stress gear as she reaches the back of the aisle and prepares to take her first steps toward married life. We will do everything we can to keep our brides as calm as possible so that when she does take that first step she is in a good place ready to say her vows. This is simply the minimum we can do…..oh and capture it all in good photographs.