Traditionally a wedding day is perceived as being predominantly the bride’s day. Generally, grooms tend to prefer to take a less prominent role during the day as a whole, insisting on less fuss.
Her wedding day is an extremely important event in a girl’s life and as the bride is frequently much more involved in the planning and creation of the day, for many brides the day of the wedding is also the realization of all of her dreams and hard work. So, it’s only right that much attention is focused on the bride.
However, a wedding is about the joining of two people, so both have an equally important role. And certainly, photographically-speaking, it’s very important that both the bride and groom are represented as equally as possible.
The bride and groom have quite different perspectives on – and approaches to – their wedding day and it’s probably during the getting ready stage that the differences between the boys and the girls are most apparent.
Many grooms believe the getting ready stage is all about the bride and her preparations. And, whether to limit the prominence of their role, due to reticence or simply because they feel they are less interesting photo-fodder, grooms often opt not to capture ‘getting ready’ photographs.
While there is a tendency to think that the boys’ preparations are less ceremonial and therefore less photographable, this is absolutely untrue – both the bride and the groom have pre-ceremony rituals and they’re equally camera-worthy!
It’s also worth remembering that these are important moments at the beginning of the groom’s wedding day that the bride will never otherwise see. A bride likes to see how her groom’s day began and it’s wonderful for the couple to be able to sit together after the wedding and reminisce about their thoughts, emotions and actions during those crucial pre-wedding moments.
I often refer to photography of the bride and groom getting ready as the ‘once upon a time’ part of the telling of a wedding day story and in terms of the final wedding album the getting ready shots set the stage for the events of the day.
Getting ready photographs capture not only the moments and the details of your preparations, but they also capture the mood and sentiment of the day, the sense of nervous excitement and anticipation, the moments of fun, laughter and high emotion between the bride and groom and those special people they have chosen to be with them while they get ready.
Often, because their preparations take less time, the boys find they have a little extra free time at the beginning of the wedding day. Especially during destination weddings, this is the perfect time to capture unique and fun shots of the groom and his guys as they make the most of the sunshine and relaxation time!
And, while it’s true that in most cases, the groom’s pre-wedding preparations take a lot less time than the brides – on average it takes a groom around 15-20 minutes to get ready – that doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of wonderful little details and rituals to photograph.
In terms of wedding attire a groom has a variety of options, whether he chooses a traditional morning suit, a tuxedo, an elegant suit, or something more casual or unusual. Jackets, trousers, waistcoats, ties and bowties, suspenders and pocket squares, cufflinks, jewellery, socks and footwear are all means for the groom to express his personal style and place his own unique stamp on the day through his chosen wedding outfit.
The ritual events of the groom and his guys tying a tie or bowtie, fastening watches and cufflinks and buttoning shirts, waistcoats and jackets are great moments to capture. Often these moments can be lots of fun too.
The preparation and putting on of ceremonial wedding outfits such as military and other uniforms, Highland Dress and traditional Chinese wedding attire offers further fabulous photo opportunies that shouldn’t be missed.
Aside from the groom’s attire, there can be lots of other wonderful details to capture such as perfume and grooming gear, buttonholes , gifts for groomsmen and family members, a gift or letter from the bride, cards and gifts from family and friends, cigars, unusual ties, an many other special elements that pertain to the day.
And once the groom – and his guys – are ready, then the waiting begins! However that doesn’t mean the photography fun stops! Even after the shirt cuffs have been straightened, the tie tightened and the final preparations completed there are still unique moments to capture of the groom and his guys hanging out together, indulging in male bonding rituals. In these pre-wedding moments he groom and his guys often let their more playful and fun sides show.
As there is an ever building sense of anticipation and nervous excitement, the groom, and by association his guys, often have a lot of pent up energy and emotion. In fact, the groom is often far more nervous than the bride and his father or friends play an important role by offering emotional support.
The many male bonding rituals, be they more sentimental or more raucous, are packed with emotion and make for amazing and unrepeatable photography. A look, a handshake, a hug or a pat on the back are key moments that capture myriad emotions.
A groom’s getting ready photos immortalize his last moments as a single man, spent with his closest family members and/or dearest friends. Time spent chatting, laughing and having fun and, often, a special moment with dad or mum are moments the groom will look back on with fond memories.
Capturing the groom’s preparations can be a roller coaster ride, and you never know what may happen, but one thing is certain, the mix of emotion, anticipation and fun makes for priceless moments and fabulous photographs. And we are there, cameras at the ready, and let the story unfold!
Just some of the wonderful Groom getting ready shots we love to capture are:
- Bathrobe/towel shots & general grooming
- Suits hanging up
- Perfume, grooming gear, accessories
- Shoe polishing & putting on
- Getting suited up
- Cufflinks and watches
- Pinning on the buttonholes
- Last mirror checks
- Male bonding