Sometimes I am feel like I struggle with what to write… What do brides want to know? I was a bride once…. what were some things I wanted to know when planning my own wedding? Today’s post I am going to be focusing on specifically what is going through my mind when the bride is getting in her dress!
During this time, I am looking for a few very important things:
Access to natural light. I do not like to use the lights in a room and typically you will see me turn them off. I want all the natural light I can get and it needs to be full length if possible. What I mean for this is that I do not want to use a small window that is high because that will only expose the brides torso properly when the full body/gown is what should be photographed.
I am looking for a clean space, neutral with zero distractions in the background! This means that I might ask the bridal party to clear out any clutter and trash from earlier in the day in one specific area of the getting ready space.
I need mom and bridesmaids to be dressed before the bride. I usually will begin to let them know they can start getting ready about 20 minutes before the bride gets in her gown.
So, once I have those things and the girls are changed and ready… now it’s time to process through all of the “must-have” shots that I want and need to capture.
In my head, this is what I am almost always thinking when the bride is about to get in her dress…. and I’m actually going to write it like I process it internally so that it really does show you how I work and achieve my end result :
-Okay soooo Let me just scope out the area to see where my best light is coming from… She’s going to get dressed over near the large window there but I will need to over-expose the background and if I don’t have any reflecting light inside the room to bounce back on to her, I am not going to want to stay in that spot for very long incase the back lighting is too strong and the photos do not come out. So I will do a few back light and then I can change my position over here but we will need to clean up the half of the room to get zero clutter in the background. hmmm I might be able to pull her veil around her to soften the light on her too so the light is not too harsh on her face.
– Next, I’m thinking about vertical and horizontal…. I always need some vertical shots of the “getting in the dress” process for blogging purposes. These vertical shots show the whole dress and once I take that vertical shot, I scoot in close for another vertical shot that is tighter. (I do this because I’m thinking of the blog post! I also want to capture one of two gorgeous horizontal shots of this part of the day too! Horizontal shots will break up the blog post AND give my couple get options for their album design!)
– After the bride is zipped, buttoned or laced into her dress, then I have a whole new list of things that I want to capture. I work hard to capture some vertical shots of JUST the bride acting like she’s putting her earrings in. I usually use my 50mm for these shots so that it’s focused just on the bride and the background is out of focus.
– Now is the time when I get to be creative because I’ve gotten my “must have” shots. Many brides will have their mom or MOH help them get ready, or even both! When its time for putting on shoes and the veil, I am more relaxed knowing I go those first initial important moments I can move around and get different angles and if I am in an angle I really like, I might stage a few of the getting ready ( zipper/button shots) again from a different view.
So before I go I should probably share that EVERY wedding is different and this is just ONE example to learn from!!! I hope that it was helpful walking through my thought process during this 10 min span of the wedding day!!! If you like hearing my thought process and my approach to certain parts of the day, let me know and I’ll keep doing them!!
Sometimes, its really hard to describe how much we love love wedding days, and friends, we loved this wedding day! It was authentic, and genuine and filled with the best kinds of emotion! Jordan’s sweet reaction during their first look and then again as his bride walked down the isle toward him were both just the sweetest reactions that I am sure Jaclyn will never forget! Not only did Jordan share tears, Jaclyn did too, and her groom was there to help clear them away. They melted everyone’s hearts with their loving gestures and gorgeous smiles. Their ceremony was beautiful as they stood together surrounded by their closest friends and family. Jordan’s sister officiated their service under a beautiful awning that they made together. She performed their ceremony with grace and love, its was absolutely beautiful.
As Lisa and I were capturing the perfectly thought out details of this day, a ray of sun came shining through the trees. It was amazing to see this big beam of light come through for them onto the piece of decor that they created themselves. When Lisa showed me the image out of camera, it gave me chills as I said that it looks like Jordan’s dad is there, shining down on them, celebrating this perfect day with them in heaven. Just a few weeks leading up to their wedding day, Jordan’s dad passed away. He was honored in so many ways throughout their wedding day, this ray of light was comforting to know that he was not only remembered, he was there.
We ended their night with an epic sparkler exit! When they came to me and said they wanted to have a sparkler exit, I was so excited! It’s very rare that these exits get to happen but now that this one happened, I am going to be talking about it a lot with my brides and grooms! They invited their bridal party only to come outside with them. The sparklers were lit, the lighting set up was ready, Lisa was there by my side and Jordan and Jaclyn ran through the sparklers, smiling so big! Everyone was laughing and screaming and since they had the long size sparklers, they kept running back and fourth! It was so fun and I am so happy with all of their photos!! So, who is next for the sparkler exit, friends?!
Jordan and Jaclyn, Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for having Lisa and I at your wedding day. We had the best time capturing every little detail and it was so great getting to know you both. The love you share for one another is evident from the smiles on your faces, the tears you shared, the vows you wrote for one another and it came through from everyone there celebrating with you. We love you guys and hope you have the best time in Portugal!
I can’t wait to share this images to allow you to get to know this incredible Ali B Couple! I have dozens and dozens of favorites!!! Enjoy!
You guys! This New England weather has been insane lately! It really can not make up its mind- I mean…. It has been SO hot and SO humid around here, but the day of this session… it was over cast and a little chilly if you ask me! It was actually great weather to have an engagement session in since we were walking a good bit, and climbing through tall grass, I was pretty happy the humidity wasn’t too bad. ( for the whole session… towards the end it was hot!)
Katie and Jared chose this location- Moore State Park in Paxton, MA as it was here that they had their first real conversation! Yup, thats right. We went back to the spot that they chatted about whats next for them, and I got to capture their story all around! I love it when my Ali B Couples choose locations that have such special meaning to them!
We had a blast during their session! I loved getting to know them, talk all about their wedding day plans and even listening to music in the background to Ludacris- Jared’s pick! They were so amazing and their modeling skills are on point! I got really excited when Katie told me she taught Salsa lessons… so I had her teach some salsa to Jared on the spot which made for such great photos of them on the bridge!
Katie and Jared, I LOVED getting to know you both! I loved dancing to the music playing in my back pocket and it was so great that you were both up for anything! Thanks for climbing through that tall grass with me! I swear it didn’t look THAT tall from the parking lot! I can not wait for your wedding day!
YOU GUYS! I am so excited to share this engagement session with you! Brooke and Conor were so much fun to get to know, and I loved each and every location they chose for their engagement session! We started the night at the Dedham Community Theater, a place where they have been going for years with their families. Their names were posted up on the bulletin front and center with their wedding date! I braved traffic and ran in the street a few times to get them and the theater fully. That was fun! While in the middle of the street at one point, a cop came out of the theater and handcuffed them! He was the perfect photobomb to their session and he provided a great prop of handcuffs! There were lots of laughs and I think that moment is something we will all remember!
The night was absolutely perfect! The sun was super glowy and it wasn’t too humid! They had their puppy Murphy there with us so he could be in a few photos. Oh I love dogs so much! He was so cute and I just wanted to bring him home! ** Tip for having a dog at your session: Bring a friend ( or a twin sister, thanks Leah!) and treats! ** Murphy is an Australian Shepherd and has the bluest eyes! A little about Murphy. His mom and dad got him 1 week before the proposal where Brooke said yes! He helped Conor pop the question on the Cape while celebrating Brooke and her twin sister, Leah’s birthdays! She said yes and the party weekend started!
One location they chose was the Endicott Estate in Dedham. The grounds here were so pretty and I think some of my favorite photos are in front of the greenhouse we found! Brooke and Conor met through friends at a house that actually over looked the Endicott Estate and they went to a dance together there in High School. How awesome is that?!
The last stop was the Harvard Arboretum. This was the first time I had been there and I fell in LOVE! It’s such a beautiful park with so many different areas to see! I can not wait to go back to this spot and take more photos! If you have never been there, I highly recommend it! It’s beautiful!
Brooke and Conor, Thank you so much for hanging out with me! You guys were awesome and I am so excited to capture your wedding day next year!!!! xoxo
They stood in the garden. In the middle of the arch way. Beautiful flowing dress with sheer sleeve cover. Navy blue color suit. Big smiles and tear-filled eyes. Surrounded by a sea of the bride and groom’s family and friends, umbrellas all around. They walked together down the aisle holding hands, smiling at one another as the rain fell, kissing their skin.
The “call” to keep the ceremony outside was about one hour before start time. The garden area at the Dan’l Webster Inn is so beautiful, rain or shine, they decided that their ceremony was meant to be outside. Everyone embraced it. As the rain fell, and umbrellas and ponchos were present on their guests, Joe and Julie’s eyes never left each other. They stood in the rain expressing their love, sharing their vows and including their loved ones who were present in their hearts this day with a special stone tribute. It was a touching ceremony and for sure, one I will never forget!
As everyone dried off inside, the party got started and I have to say, the dance floor was PACKED! Julie and Joe talked to me during their engagement session about their guests and how they really wanted their day to represent fun. They were expecting to have many children at their wedding to celebrate and it was so nice to hear how excited they got when talking about all the kids who were coming! They set up an art station and there were many kids walking around and dancing wearing super hero capes. It was really creative and so nice of them to keep the kids in mind when planning their wedding! There was so much for them to do and the dancing was just the icing on the cake!!
…Speaking of cake…. I just love how elegant their wedding cake looked with the beautiful detail and hydrangea wedding flower on it. Not only was it beautiful, it was delicious!
Joe and Julie, Thank you so much for having us be apart of your special day! It was so nice to see how the rain didn’t get in the way of what you had planned and everything was so perfect! As I mentioned to you during your reception, the feel of this venue was 100% you guys. Full of beauty, nature and love. I remembered our conversations from your engagement session and loved seeing a little house preview just filled with what you love, and this day was just that. From what I’ve heard, rain on your wedding day is good luck because it signifies that your marriage will last. As you know, a knot that becomes wet is extremely hard to untie – therefore, when you “tie the knot” on a rainy day, your marriage is supposedly just as hard to unravel! Congratulations! xo.
Hello, and welcome to the Ali B Blog! I’m Alex and I am a wedding photographer based in Bedford, NH. I hope you grab your favorite drink ( in my case, coffee) and enjoy viewing my latest work, browsing resources for brides and photographers, as well as getting a little peek into my life.