It’s All About the Dress

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Your hair is done, your make-up is perfect. It’s time to put on the dress. The dress. The moment when you officially become the bride.

Meanwhile, all four of your bridesmaid’s suitcases have emptied all over the room, your maid of honor still has curlers in her hair and your mother in law is wearing only her undergarments.

THIS is when you realize that this moment is no longer about the prewedding emotions you are feeling (mostly butterflies). It’s now about how you’re going to speed everyone along so that you make it to the altar on time.

Yeah, we’ve been there.

Which is why we began a conversation long ago with our brides and grooms about the dress. When it’s time to put on your dress, it’s one of our favorite moments of the day, and we never want it to feel rushed. This simple act of getting dressed for your wedding is a moment that should be remembered. You are with your closest friends and family, and you are preparing for an incredibly special day.

Our goal is for you to savor this day. This moment.

So how do we do this?

First, we talk to our couples about how long they should allow for getting ready. Everyone knows that hair and make-up can take up a lot of time.

But getting into your dress takes time.

Talk to your hair and make-up team and schedule them to be done an extra 15-20 minutes before you need them to be. This way, if you need them to make any adjustments to your hair or make-up, you won’t feel too rushed. You’ll have time already buffered in.

Have your wedding party and anyone else in the room with you be dressed by the time your hair and make-up is done.

Secondly, stay organized. Choose a well-lit area of the room (preferably near a window) and keep it clutter free. This will be the space you reserve to put your wedding dress on. It will already be clean, with beautiful light so we can all focus on you.

Then, as you step into your dress, you wont feel rushed. You can live in the moment and we can capture the gorgeous photos you and your dress deserve.

The Groom's Father

We were at the Temecula Creek Inn, photographing a groom getting ready. He was nervous. And he couldn’t get his tie right. After asking his best man to help him, his father casually walked into the room, adjusting his own tie.

Living in southern California, I see this scenario fairly often. No shame. Wearing ties daily just isn’t as common here as it use to be.

But the truth is, it made for a really sweet moment. The groom’s father walked over, and without skipping a beat, he adjusted his son’s tie in the mirror and for just a brief moment they locked eyes.

In such a simple gesture, so much was said. They gave each other a quiet nod, and a beat later the dad simply said, “ready?”

I always say how much I love these little snippets. They are little glimpses that we see and experience between people. They are the small nods to great relationships, inside jokes, or a simple dad’s got your back kind of moment. We live for these little moments. We love to capture these moments. This is life.

The One Emotion that Brings Joy

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We begin every wedding nearly in the same way. Michael and I arrive to the starting venue (usually a hotel, house or wherever the bride and groom are getting ready) and we often go together to meet the bride and groom before we eventually split up to photograph them separately.

There is excitement in the air.

This is the beginning of the part I love. The getting ready part.

It’s not usually chaotic or filled with stress. Often times everyone is enjoying the process of getting hair and make-up done, sipping Champagne or spending quality time with the bride or groom. But the feeling is always there. It’s the feeling of anticipation.

I love anticipation. In fact, we all tend to love anticipation. It’s a powerful emotion that sends other emotions soaring. When we look forward to something, we tend to feel joy.

This feeling sets the tone for the day. It lays a foundation for what’s to come.

To us, it’s when a story begins to unfold and we get to tell it in our own special way, through our photography. And it always starts with this feeling of anticipation that we all collectively have for this bride and groom.

It’s also why I tell our brides and grooms to make room for it. Don’t rush this process of getting ready. Put it in your timeline. Or rather, allow us to put it in a timeline for you. Don’t skip over the getting ready part. It’s part of your story.

The Magic of a Photograph

I have a wallet-sized photograph from my childhood that I love. It’s a black and white picture of me with my neighborhood friends, taken on the grass in our neighborhood park. I am 10. Beside me is my older brother, as well as the photographer’s two boys and a few other neighborhood kids. There are 8 of us in total – a mix of mostly boys and two of us girls.

We’re all standing with our arms dangling around each other’s shoulders. Our hair is messy. We are all grinning, except one boy who is stoically looking into the camera, arms crossed, trying hard not to smile. The youngest boy has his shirt off, and he’s goofily flexing his muscles like only a seven year old could.

I love this picture.

When I look at it, it brings me right back to that day, and to that grassy park where I spent so much of my time. It was a summer filled with rope swings over the local creek, countless hours jumping on my neighbor’s trampoline, and riding bikes aimlessly until the sun went down. We played hide-and-seek, using the entire neighborhood as fair game.

You can’t tell in this black and white photo, but I remember it was towards the end of that summer, just before school started up again. Still hot, but not sweltering and the leaves on the trees were beginning to turn bright yellow.

I love this picture. To someone else, it would mean nothing. We aren’t dressed very nice, we all look disheveled. But to me, it reminds me of one of the best childhood summers I ever had. And it’s the first photo that made me fall in love with the magic of photography.

I believe that everyone should have a photograph that takes them back in time and sparks joy whenever they look at it.

To me, that is the beauty of photography. It’s the magic that a single photograph can have. This is why we do what we do.