Bridal prep is the time before the bride leaves for the ceremony & is such a wonderful part of the day as the excitement is building & it is usually a hive of activity with hair & make-up being done & perhaps a bottle of champagne being opened & the bride & her bridesmaids having some girl time together. I usually arrive 1.5 hours before the bride is ready to leave & after introducing myself to anyone I haven't met I start with capturing photos of the dress, shoes, veil, flowers, jewellery, stationary suite & anything else that is important. It's always a good idea to have all of these things together so you're not having to scramble around trying to find them. I bring with me a satin hanger (as you won't believe the amount of beautiful dresses that come on a plastic hanger) as well as a sewing kit & scissors as these are great in an emergency. I take plenty of candid pictures as the morning unfolds & if you & your bridesmaids have special dressing gowns or PJ's we can always take pictures of you in these before you put your dresses on. If your bridesmaids or mother are going to help you into your dress I suggest that they get their dresses on before you do this so they are looking fabulous. Once you are decent that's when I start shooting the dress being done up, so please don't worry it is all very tasteful! If your father is with you we can do a 'first look' where we get dad to see you once you are ready. It's a very special & often emotional part of the day, I will do a separate blog post on this soon. If all has gone to plan time-wise I'll capture some shots of the bride on her own as well as the bridesmaids & parents before everyone leaves for the ceremony. If for whatever reason we are unable to do these at this stage I will always capture these shots later in the day. Another piece of advice is it's worth asking at least one person who will be with you during the bridal prep to be with you when you go for a dress fitting so they can see how the dress is done up. Quite often the dress takes longer to put on & do up than you may think. Obviously this is not so important if it is a simple zip. Most brides get ready at either their home, their parents house, in a hotel or a bridal room where the wedding will be taking place. Photos look so much more elegant if you can designate someone to keep the area where you are as tidy as possible as when you look at your photos of this part of the day you don't want loads of suitcases, plastic bags or underwear in them!
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