Bridal Details | For Brides Mini Series | Why I Think They Are So Important

Today's blog post is a fun one, the second post in the four-part mini series for brides! Like I mentioned in my last post, this series will provide tips and advice on how to get the most out of your wedding pictures and maximize your wedding photography experience! For today's post, I will be talking about another one of my FAVORITE things - bridal details. Bridal details are often overlooked when planning your wedding timeline, but I believe that they are so important for several reasons.

Willow & Stone Photography | Bridal Details | Fine Art Wedding Photography | Madison, Wisconsin

First and foremost, bridal details help to tell the story of your day. If you're anything like me, you have probably exhausted several hours and lost sleep on more than one occasion thinking about things like your dress, shoes, accessories, and so on. These things have meaning to you...maybe your veil was handed down to you from your mother or your pearl necklace is an heirloom from your great-grandmother. Heck, I drove to over ten different boutiques and bridal stores before finding the perfect pair of earrings to compliment my dress. Regardless of their background or where they came from, these items represent you and your special day, and they deserve to be remembered.

I'll let you in on a little secret...when I'm shooting a wedding day, I am always thinking about shooting from the perspective of album design. I learned this trick early on from another photographer, and it's such a great piece of advice because album design is really all about telling your whole story, all of the little details and emotions that naturally occur, as well as the colors, the lighting, the sense of place.  That's really what I am there to do is tell your entire story, not just take portraits of your families and the wedding party. If you think of an album like a book, there's a beginning, a middle, and an end. If I don't capture the bridal details, then I'm leaving out a big piece of information and your story won't be complete. 

Second, bridal details are like a warm-up period for me. I really take this time to get comfortable with the lighting and how it affects my camera settings. I also use this time to push my creativity to try different things when styling your items. When I have enough time to comfortably get all the bridal details and be creative while doing it, I start the day with more confidence, and confidence can be a GAME-CHANGER people! Think about it...you wouldn't expect Taylor Swift to do a show without at least some practice beforehand. If she didn't, she may not feel as confident for the rest of the concert, and it will show in her performance. Or let's say Aaron Rodgers (shout out to all my Packers fans out there!) doesn't throw a single ball before a big game. Sure, he's still an amazing quarterback, but he may make a few more mistakes that could cost him the game. The same idea applies to a wedding day...if I don't have some time to warm up and "practice", then it will probably affect my confidence and it may show in your pictures. I never underestimate the power of confidence and how it plays into a wedding day so I'll say it again...CONFIDENCE = GAME-CHANGER!

Now that I've shared with you how passionate I am about bridal details (hehe!), here are some helpful tips to think about...

Make sure there is natural light in the room where you will be getting ready. Natural light, preferably from a big window, makes the WORLD of a difference when it comes to your pictures, this I can promise you! Brides often think that it needs to be a beautiful room with a gorgeous background to make pretty pictures, but honestly, lighting is more important to me than the background. My ideal bridal suite is just one big open space with white walls and big windows...that, for me, is a little slice of heaven. I understand, though, that this is rarely the case. I can pretty much make any space work, but two things that can really affect your pictures are florescent lights and wood walls. Florescent lights cast really harsh and unflattering light (think raccoon eyes!) so I try to avoid them at all costs. Wood walls, specifically knotty pine, are not ideal either because they bounce very warm, yellow light onto the subject, which can be hard to edit in post-processing. Unless you want all of your bridal details and getting ready pictures to be in black and white, try to avoid these two lighting situations if at all possible. 

Keep the area by the window free of clutter. Before I shoot bridal details and portraits, I do my best to remove any distracting objects from the background, but inevitably, a make-up bag or bottle of champagne always shows up in the picture.  If you have the opportunity to have you and your girls get ready in another room, that would be best! Otherwise, remind your bridesmaids to do their best to keep the window area clean.

Try to have all the items together before I arrive. This really helps to make things more efficient for everyone involved.  If the items are not together, designate a person beforehand (maid of honor, personal attendant, etc.) to do this for you, so that when I arrive, I can just go to them instead of you. The LAST thing that I want to do is bother you or stress you out while you are getting ready for your big day. Here's the list of items that I like to have ready before I arrive:

-dress & veil
-shoes
-accessories (necklace, earrings, bracelet, garter, etc.)
-wedding rings (including the groom's wedding band)
-invitation suite
-bouquets & boutonnieres
-anything else that has special meaning to you (gifts, something borrowed, something blue..., etc.)

There you have it, friends! I hope you are able to take something away from this post and that you give bridal details some more thought when planning your wedding day timeline. Stay tuned for the next post in the "For Brides" mini series where I'll be talking all about the FIRST LOOK! Ohhhhh, it's going to be a good one! If you missed the last post about engagement pictures, you can check it out here!

xo,
Samantha