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Lauren: In the Photos


Now tilt your chin down... more... a little more... there!

by Lauren Fitzpatrick, Writing Intern

Lauren: In the Photos | A Practical Wedding

“Make sure to hold your flowers like this,” the saleswoman said, clasping my hands together and bringing them down to waist-height. “Otherwise your neck will be too tense.” She raised my imaginary bouquet until it was in front of my chest. “See the strain in your neck? You don’t want that in your photos.”

Before I could explain that I might not even have flowers, she’d whisked them away to shift me into a new pose. “Stand up straight. Now slowly bend your right leg and bring it in front of the left.” She stood, waiting, until I obliged. It was like doing yoga, except I was wearing a wedding dress. “Keep it coming…stop! That’s it. Look how lovely the dress falls. It’s very flattering in the photos.”

“I’ll have to remember that,” I said.

She smiled; another bride schooled, another photography disaster avoided. It hadn’t crossed my mind that I’d need an arsenal of poses on my wedding day, lest all of my photos showcase my rippling Hulk-like neck tendons. We selected our photographer because he described himself as a “fly on the wall,” fit our budget, and had a collection of five-star reviews. But it seems that I’d overlooked the key question: Could he make me look like Gisele in the photos?

The deeper we ventured into planning, the more obvious it became that yes, your wedding is a big party, but it’s also a photo shoot. The BIGGEST PHOTO SHOOT OF YOUR LIFE. Everyone had tips on how to achieve visual perfection, even the college student who sold us Jared’s suit.

“If your dress is ivory, we suggest that the groom wear an ivory shirt. A stark white shirt can make your dress look dirty in the photos.”

“Seriously?” I asked.

“It’s what they tell us to say,” the salesman said. “Just in case people get mad.”

To test the theory, I went home and held up a white shirt in front of my ivory dress. Hmm. The contrast was more pronounced than I would have expected. Maybe this guy was onto something. Jared and I spent a rather unpleasant fifteen minutes at David Jones holding up shirts and asking each other “Is this ivory?” before giving up and eventually buying the one from the suit shop that was clearly labeled as such. Once the shirt joined my dress in the closet, I wondered if it would look weird to have the groomsmen in white. Maybe they should wear ivory too?

I didn’t have much time to think about it because the jeweler distracted me with talk of shiny things. She strongly suggested that I get my engagement ring re-plated three weeks before the wedding, then put it away in a box until the very second I walked down the aisle. “Otherwise, it’ll get dull and won’t match the band, which looks horrible in the photos.”

My neck tendons bulged when she said that, and I had to make a concerted effort to lower my imaginary flowers. Horrible? Nobody wants horrible on their wedding day. It seemed like a strong adjective; strong enough to make me consider locking my ring away like fine china.

It was then I realized that I’d been sucked in: Points, WIC.

Photos are important to me, and I’ve always loved them. I miss the days when you had to pick up your pictures from the one-hour photo (because to wait any longer would have been torture), then flip through to see what you’d captured. Those pictures were a grab bag of cringe-worthy double chins, thumbs over lenses, unflattering poses, and the inevitable diamonds in the rough that made you sigh, Oh that’s a good one. Before the world went instant, we looked at the camera, said cheese, and hoped for the best. We never expected perfection; back then, we were prepared for imperfection.

I’d separate the good pictures from the bad and put them in carefully selected frames, the kind that displayed multiple photos at once. I hung those frames on my real walls, not virtual ones, and every time I looked at them I remembered what it felt like to be in that place, with those people. All of my frames contained pictures of people or places, not carefully positioned objects. If any of us were elegantly posed, it was by accident.

I don’t frame photos anymore. I share them, I like them, and if they’re really special I make them my desktop background. Photos have become a tool, a way to craft our virtual identities. In that respect, it makes sense that we’d also want to craft the photos themselves, to make each image look like the one that came in the frame. It reminds me of an Alec Sulkin quote that gives me the creeps: “I don’t live. I picture other people watching me live, and I pose.” It suggests that what happens is not as relevant as what the photos say happened.

My mom wore a spotless ivory dress on her wedding day; my dad’s bell-bottomed suit was so white he glowed. In their aging wedding album, there are no pictures of rings, table settings, or the groomsmen in their matching socks. My mom is not contorting her body to present her best angle, nor does she appear to be worried about the way her flowers make her neck look. The album isn’t an intentional curation of images; it’s the entire roll of film.

Pictures of the details can be captivating; I’ve certainly gone down the rabbit hole of strangers’ wedding photos while planning (another weird side effect of the digital age). But the details are where we have to be careful, because the details are where we can get lost. It becomes too easy to agonize over white vs. ivory and to do things “for the photos,” when those details have nothing to do with why we hired a photographer. We hired a professional to capture the day, not construct it. As long as the photos come back showing us getting married, I’m going to call it a win.

Lauren Fitzpatrick

Lauren graduated from Indiana University with no idea of what to do next, so she got a working holiday visa for Ireland. Over the next ten years she worked her way around the world, picking up a Master’s in travel writing and an Australian fiancé along the way. She is now based in Newcastle, Australia, and still doesn’t understand what “settling down” is supposed to mean.

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  • vegankitchendiaries

    This is so spot on, it’s crazy. I effing loved this article. The stuff people warn you against doing so that you don’t “ruin” your photos is beyond ridiculous. I also read the ‘white vs. ivory’ stuff everywhere and I can pretty confidently say it’s all BS. It’s totally enough to make you wish you did get married in the 70s (bell-bottoms not withstanding) when people were way less inclined to take endless pictures of their wedding STUFF.

    • swarmofbees

      I have heard exactly the opposite advice re shirts, that he should wear white because his shirt will look dirty. So, do what you want I say. I wore a “coveted shade of buttercream,” husband wore the best bleached white Men’s Wearhouse offered, and it looks fine in the pictures. You know why? Because we look f-ing radiant because we just got married. That’s why.

      • vegankitchendiaries

        Exactamundo.

  • Elizabeth

    “I don’t live. I picture other people watching me live, and I pose.”

    Nothing has ever made me feel like I’m taking part in a dystopian future more than this quote.

  • Lauren from NH

    This is great! This is why I think I am going to pass responsibility of picking the photographer on to someone else. Otherwise the artsy perfectionist monster in my brain will start doing its happy dance and steepling its fingers. Already a brief look through some APW vendors has revealed I have ridiculously expensive taste in photography. I didn’t care until mister said photography was important to him and I did a little looking, now it’s like omg! look at how much humanity this photographer is able to capture….BEAUTIFUL!!!…I blame him lol.

  • KC

    I would note that a relative got married in a pretty dark ivory-ish color and her mother-in-law wore a stark white polyester pantsuit, which means your eye goes *straight* to the mother-in-law in the photos rather than to the bride and groom. But the groom’s shirt? Not “distracting” nor does it make the dress look “dingy” – just makes it look, like it is, off-white/ivory/PRETTY. (it’s a really pretty dress, and much nicer than the pantsuit – it’s just the pantsuit is this giant blob of Stark White in the photos and it catches your eye amid the otherwise more natural hues of the outdoor background and other peoples’ more subdued outfits and whatnot)

    And ring replating sounds nuts.

    I can understand doing things to remove obstacles that make you look not-like-yourself (like avoiding flash photography with reflective sunblock), but… yes. These are photos of us, two not-very-photogenic people, getting married. The getting-married part was more important than the looking-like-we-stepped-out-of-a-magazine part, and deserves more attention both beforehand and at the time!

    • Jess

      I cannot believe that MIL thing happened. Isn’t that like, wedding etiquette 101? DO NOT WEAR WHITE IF YOU ARE NOT GETTING MARRIED?!

      • Ragnhild

        I thought so too. My husbands aunt wore a white dress to ours! I didnt notice until we were doing family portraits and she was next to me. She switched places before the photo was taken though… Her dress was short and slightly off-white, but I still thought it was very odd.

      • KC

        To be honest, I am to this day unsure of whether it was a passive-aggressive hit (the bride and groom had been living together and white=purity and all that) or just a terrible but totally unconscious protocol glitch, because this extended-family member is well-known for both. Who knows?

        But yes, wedding etiquette 101. Which is a class many people end up missing parts of…

      • Alyssa M

        I actually had to warn my mother off of this one. She can’t find decent MOB and MOG (my brothers getting married a month after I am) dresses and started considering an ivory lace knee length dress… I was like, yeah, no mom. That’s a TERRIBLE idea. She had no idea…

    • Ragnhild

      I remember freaking out a little when our engagement rings/wedding bands looked super scratched and worn after two weeks of wear! But it evens out after a while, so to me it seemed like a waste of money to get them replated/polished, unless you did it the day before the wedding, so we didnt.

      • ART

        I actually like my engagement ring and wedding band so much more now that they’ve got a little wear and aren’t as high-polish…they seem more symbolic of our relationship/marriage/personalities that way. Not that everything has to be symbolic. But then again that’s kind of a wedding ring’s raison d’etre.

        • KC

          I wouldn’t have, say, had someone put them in a rock tumbler or something to achieve the look (like denim), but I love that the scratches and stuff on our wedding bands mean that we’ve been wearing them everywhere for the length of our marriage.

          Them being shiny and new was fun and meaningful when they were shiny and new and our marriage was brand-new, and now that they aren’t, their not-shiny-new-ness is also really meaningful. We’ve made it through this many years; our rings have made it through this many years; it is good.

          (and we haven’t prioritized keeping them in mint condition, so my ring has gone gardening with me and stays on when we’re assembling furniture or sanding a bookcase or hiking or whatever, so they’ve taken some definite hits/scratches… maybe we’ll have them polished someday, but until then, the “brushed” finish is pretty cool, given how it’s gotten there!)

          • Sarah McClelland

            My engagement ring is from the 30s and my wedding band is from the 50s… No shiny and new here. But we will probably take a shot of our rings on a bible or a program just because. But ONE. Not every single one ever.

          • KC

            Hooray for old rings! They’re awesome, too. :-) I just enjoy on our rings that each of those scratches came from daily life together – if I had vintage rings, I’d enjoy that they’d been loved before, though. So, just differently-meaningful.

            And yes on the not every single ring shot ever: “Okay, and here are our wedding rings on a flower! And here are our rings on a program! And here are our rings in our shoes! And here are our rings on a wedding dress! And here are our rings on a pillow! And here are our rings on a windowsill! And here are our rings on a Bible! And here are our rings in our hands! And here are our rings on our hands! And here are the rings in the ringbearer’s adorable little hand!” etc.

  • sara g

    My wedding is just over a month out, and I ended up unsubscribing from every single wedding related blog/FB/email I could find (*cough*stylemepretty*cough*). Except APW of course. ;) I was starting to feel so inferior for not having all these perfectly crafted “DIY” details and now that I’m not being bombarded with photos constantly, it feels like a weight is lifted off my shoulders.

    It’s true though, the whole taking pictures of every wedding detail is a super new phenomenon. I have to keep reminding myself of that!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      This is were APW is totally the best. The photos of weddings that were a little bit “rough around the edges” gave me huuuuge feelings of calm in the last few weeks. (This is no backhanded compliment… my own wedding was VERY rough around the edges!)

      And if you ordered a gorgeous personalized cake topper, or you splurged on letterpress invites then naturally you want pictures of it to remember forever! Of course, that’s no bad thing! But if your invitations, table numbers, card box, etc LOOK handmade (with love!) that’s *also* great and it’s just not worth the agony of falling asleep every night wondering how ‘bloggable’ your wedding knickknacks are…

      • sara g

        yes!! I LOVE that the wedding posts here have mainly people pictures, not stuff pictures — which is the exact opposite of most blogged weddings. I mean weddings are about love, and community, and celebration… and while cute stuff is fine and all, it’s won’t make or break the wedding. APW has totally saved my sanity in the whole wedding planning process… especially now towards the end!

        • Caitlyn

          You know it never occurred to me until just now, but I tear up at almost every APW wedding post (also some commercials – hahaha). However, I have NEVER once teared up at a typical blogged wedding. You just nailed why that is – APW = about the people and emotion, typical wedding pics = about the stuff and the decor and the outfits and none of that really affects me. I mean it might make me think “oh that’s pretty”, but it certainly doesn’t make me think *sniff, sniff* “that’s so beautiful!” – which is basically my reaction to every APW wedding post. This realization makes me feel so much better about planning my own wedding. Yay!

      • Lauren from NH

        Yes. I try to think of it like when you look at gorgeously staged homes in magazines, god I wouldn’t want to live there! It looks like no one lives there, it doesn’t look/feel like a HOME. Same thing with the extreme perfection wedding images. Are the beautiful, yes. Do I love the aesthetics, yes. Would I want one of these blog weddings for my own, HELL NO! How would I soak it all in with my super chilled out friends surrounded by this level of bougie perfection? I want things to be comfortably and humanly beautiful at my wedding. NOT perfect.

    • Lawyerette510

      For the double-chin when posing piece, two thoughts 1. Photo-shop is great, there were a couple of pics I loved from our wedding where I had two or three chins and it just didn’t look like what I look like in the mirror, and our photographer retouched it so it looked like me and 2. When you pose for a picture do you tilt your chin down? If so, it could be causing the shadow/ double chin thing. If you care, try holding your chin up slightly towards wherever light is coming from/ the photographer.

      *I’m not saying people should care, or pose in a special way, this is just a suggestion for if you photograph with a double chin in posed pics and don’t get it in candids and want to try to address it. I had lots of pics (mainly candids) from the wedding where I have a slight double chin and I don’t care because from certain angles I kinda do have that.*

      • sara g

        Yeah, I know I do tilt my face down for some reason when I pose. No idea why. I try to remember and correct it when I smile for the camera, but then I feel like I’m sticking my face out too much or something. Gah!

        • Lawyerette510

          It’ll work out fine, you’ll be radiant in the pictures because you’ll be getting married, and a little retouch afterwards never hurt anything. A photographer friend of mine once told me “I can retouch most things, but I can’t add in emotion, that’s got to be in the original shot.”

      • Inmara

        I wish somebody had pointed out in my wedding day that standing higher than photographer during the family portraits will lead me to head tilting and slight double chin in ALL family portraits. They are lovely and filled with joy and love,but that double chin of me…

    • Violet

      “It’s true though, the whole taking pictures of every wedding detail is a super new phenomenon.”
      I mean, yeah! While we didn’t really have any “details” of the day (went super minimal), we did have rings. And I was insistent that the photographer not take any “ring” shots. Because I dunno, if I want to see my rings, I can look down and see them. If I’m looking through my album, I wanna see FACES, not STUFF. And now, that’s exactly what I have. An album of faces. : )
      (That said, do I love seeing other people’s ring shots? Yeah, obviously, ’cause they’re usually sparkly and/or pretty and without the photos I’d never be able to see them!)

      • Alyssa M

        omgyes about the ring shots. My sister kept pinning pictures of rings on things (a wine cork, the daily paper, a pumpkin stem, the bouquet). Um, of all the wedding things, the rings are the one thing I really don’t need photographic evidence of…

      • Jen

        We have Brent & Jess rings, with fingerprints on the inside, so I really love the shot of our rings where you can actually see the inside of them!!

        • Violet

          Yours is a perfect example of how those shots can make a whole lotta sense, depending on the situation. And to see not only the insides, but your two rings side by side too, I’m sure is amazing! (My rings do not at all coordinate with my partner’s, so I don’t have any inclination to see them together.)

  • Erin

    So, just out of curiosity- what have you been doing to get your neck tendons to bulge? My pre-wedding workout schedule, carefully constructed to make sure every angle is my photo-worthy best (including weight lifting in a variety of white/off-white/pear-essence/buttercream/beige – yes, beige (we can’t be too careful!) garments under various flash settings,) seems to have neglected neck tendons. I’d sure hate to overlook anything that could possibly ruin the photos. And in case my hyper/hypo thyroid doesn’t produce enough of, or over-produces, a goiter it would sure be comforting to have some bulging neck tendons to fall back on.

    • Laura C

      This is full of win.

    • Stephanie B.

      I burned all my wedding photos because none of them captured my bulging neck tendons. HULK LOOK PUNY. HULK SMASH WEDDING PHOTOS.

      • http://rabbitdarling.wordpress.com/ rabbitdarling

        Oh my freaking golden tap shoes you are my absolute favorite.

      • Erin

        Hulk make interweb people laugh out loud in their offices.

        • Stephanie B.

          HULK’S JOB HERE IS DONE.

  • Jacky Speck

    “We hired a professional to capture the day, not construct it.”

    One of the candidate photographers we met with promised to “help us construct the optimal timeline for photos.” Best decision of the wedding planning process was not hiring that one. Instead, we hired a photographer who focused on ninja-style photojournalism and I am so, so glad we didn’t spend the whole day posing for pictures. We still requested a handful of posed portraits to be taken during cocktail hour, mostly due to pressure from family, and that was the worst 45 minutes of the wedding day. I’m using the word “worst” pretty loosely there, because it was still a lot of fun hanging out with my new husband and our wedding party during that time… But it would have been MORE fun if we’d been hanging out at cocktail hour instead of doing 45 minutes’ worth of “ok, now YOU stand over HERE” in front of a camera.

  • Laura C

    So glad I never had anyone tell me all this stuff! I’m going to be paranoid enough about the inevitable unflattering shots, I don’t need whole new areas of paranoia.

    My big thing is my fiance has to shave 2-3 days before the wedding, because he looks good at any stage of shaved or beard, but he photographs best with a light stubble. Clean-shaven he’s really not photogenic for some reason.

    • sara g

      Haha, my fiance has the same deal with facial hair. I also made sure he got his hair cut about a month out, because his in-between-haircuts hair is the best look. Lol.

      • Laura C

        Mmm, yeah, my fiance just got his hair cut just over two weeks out and I wish it had been a little earlier, or that it hadn’t been cut quite as short. But at least it’s a good cut! He gets his hair cut so rarely that he doesn’t know how to express what he wants and probably one out of three cuts he get is kind of awful. And maybe two weeks will be enough growing out to improve the look a little.

        Sheesh, I need to have my hair done sometime in the next 10 days. We just moved so I don’t have a hairdresser here and have been putting it off.

        • Sarah McClelland

          Where did you move to? Surely somebody reading this thread out there in APW-land has someone they like…

  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    Alright. Now I’ve got to pull out my photos and check. Because I know I’m holding my flowers higher than my waist in several of them. But, I happen to like the lines and angles of my neck. So I probably never thought anything of it.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      When I was bridesmaiding back in 2012, an experienced coordinator told us all to hold the bouquets at waist-level to make sure we didn’t obscure how gorgeous our dresses were. (She didn’t mention anything about our neck tendons ruining thousands of dollars of photography…)

      • Lawyerette510

        I once had a a wedding coordinator tell us to hold the bouquets at our belly buttons exactly so that it didn’t obscure the dress (held too high) and it didn’t look phallic (held too low). Of course I laughed for days over the thought of a bouquet phallus and a few of the other bridesmaids and I took a couple pics with the bouquets too low and shared them on occasion for years afterwards.

        • vegankitchendiaries

          Much guffawing over here!

        • Grace from England

          Ahahaha bouquet phallus!

      • Erin

        Ugh – this so called “wedding coordinator” doesn’t sound like she. knows. anything. I can only hope your friend got her money back! A simple, “Ladies! Your tendons are showing!!!” would have sufficed!

        FML, as if there wasn’t enough to worry about, now we need to worry about our GD neck tendons?!

        • vegankitchendiaries

          Oh, no! She was fine, she just told us, right before we walked, to hold them there so that the dresses showed. (again, not a huuuuuge problem at all – just the millionth thing for a bride to remember on w-day) She did NOT say anything about the neck muscles thing which I’d never heard about until I read Lauren’s piece here (and kind of sounds like the stupidest thing EVAR)

          • Erin

            Oh clearly she was fine. And attentive, making sure the bridesmaids dresses were seen (because it’s the easiest thing EVAR to pick out bridesmaids dresses, amiright? har har) I was just responding to your comment about neck tendons ruining the photography. Because WHO THE HELL WOULD EVEN THINK ABOUT THAT?!!

            Great piece, Lauren!

    • Alison O

      well and my thinking is, i would think it has more to do with raising your shoulders than what your lower arms (that are holding the flowers) are doing. and raised shoulders would probably mean your really excited in this context, and your bulging neck tendons are probably a way to signal that subconsciously to other homo sapiens who will be like, aw, look how excited s/he is! so bulge away i say!

      • Violet

        I agree, it’s signaling the excitement. I’ve got one shot where I’m laughing at my new spouse, and yep, neck tendons are firing away. But dare I say it’s ummmm… cute though!

      • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

        I love that!

  • http://rabbitdarling.wordpress.com/ rabbitdarling

    I am at a total loss when it comes to double-chin hate. See also, batwings (seriously, whut), muffin top, thigh gap obsession (why do all of these things have names I cannot even), and the rest of it, especially when it comes to wedding photography. Your love is about to marry YOU. You, with all of your bits and bobs, gorgeous, unique, idiosyncratic and mutable. That dumb face you make where your eyes cross a little, and the jiggle in your walk however bouncy it may or may not be.

    Why would you want to look like anyone else on earth, on that of all days? They love YOU. You’re the one they’re looking for that day. You’re the one they’re dying to see! The photographs should be of you. Neck bulge (or whatever) and all.

    • Lawyerette510

      I can only speak for myself, but I think what is hard for me is when I feel like a picture is unflattering in how it captures my body. For instance, I know I have a slight double chin when I’m tilting my chin down and I have large calves and large arms, so seeing those in the wedding pics didn’t bother me, but one picture that I otherwise loved that made it appear I had three chins bummed me out, so I asked it to be retouched, same thing with a couple others that made it look like I had a severe double chin because of some light issues.

      I know what I look like, and I was fine with that being captured adequately but when light/ angles/ shadows make me look differently, then I care (if I’m planning on showing the pictures to people, framing them, making an album out of them etc).

      • http://rabbitdarling.wordpress.com/ rabbitdarling

        This makes much more sense to me. Wanting to look like /yourself/ is a thing I totally grok. I have an uncommon figure and have lost a fair amount of weight recently (hullo, undiscovered food allergies mucking with my metabolism — how’d you get in here?) making it a bit more noticeable (and apparently, comment-worthy from third parties) and I’m often shocked at the background assumption that, even after losing fifty pounds, I have goals about my body shared by All Women In Common. But far more of my more dysmorphic moments have actually been about Not Looking Like the Me I Learned to Love. That makes a lot more sense.

  • Alison O

    the only time i would really worry about white/ivory competition is if I chose to dress up as a mime for my wedding…the white face paint can make your teeth look pretty “bad”. but everyone would probably be too distracted by the fact that you’re dressed up like a mime on your wedding day to notice your teeth.

    actually, this makes me think, tho I refuse to google it, that it’s probably, nay definitely at least in some parts, a WIC thing to bleach your teeth pre-wedding, whether bc the white dress can make them look less white, or just bc you need to look “your best” for the camera. god forbid you look like your UGLY ASS NORMAL SELF on your wedding day!

    • ART

      mime wedding…GAHHH WHY AM I ALREADY MARRIED?!

    • Lauren from NH

      Yeah that’s why I am not really aspiring to look “bridal.” I feel like for a lot of people they funnel so much energy into achieving that illusive look that they disappear. Have you ever heard that generic “get to know you” question, how would I pick you out from a crowd? It seems like people neutralize themselves with fancy make-up, teeth whitening, spray tanning, french manicures, up-dos, white dresses, that their wedding day becomes the day their future spouse would be least likely to be able to pick them out of a crowd. I want to look like me getting married not me performing to role of bride in a production.

      • M.

        This is kind of the most awesome way of putting this I’ve ever read! Yesss.

      • Stephanie B.

        I don’t wear a lot of makeup, even for fancy occasions — notably, I never wear eyeshadow (I am both lazy and extremely fair, so I think it jumps out on me like Black Swan makeup). But I wanted to look appropriately “bridal” for our wedding, so I bought an eyeshadow palette and did a test-run with it (I think using an APW tutorial). The verdict: my husband said “It doesn’t look like the you that I’m used to. If you don’t love it, just skip it.” I didn’t love it, so I skipped it. And in our wedding photos, I look like the me that I’m used to (but with a little extra effort put into making sure my lipstick was even).

        I also skipped a manicure, because I never, ever paint my fingernails. I did, however, paint my toenails because (1) they’re generally always painted, and (2) I knew, without a doubt, that I would kick my shoes off at some point in the evening, and I wanted my toenails to be spiffy. (In fact, they matched my [blue] wedding dress!)

        My updo was entirely about staying cool, because I get hot when it’s 60 degrees out, and when my hair is down, I get hot really quickly, and I didn’t want to be all hot and sweaty and red-faced.

        • Sarah McClelland

          This. Yes!

      • Nell

        I was attempting to describe to a friend why I liked one dress over another today, and I said “because it makes me feel like a superhero and not a bride.” I don’t need to look like everyone else when I get married! I need to look like me, just the most badass me that I can come up with.

        • Stephanie B.

          Yes! I did, literally, describe one photo of me in my wedding dress as a superhero photo, because it’s a deep blue, slightly shiny (in the right light) dress, and I had a bouquet of red roses. When I held the bouquet up in front of my torso for photos, it looks like Superman’s red “S” on his blue suit. I totally didn’t plan that, but it makes me giggle every time I see that photo.

        • Lauren from NH

          Right?! Without giving you the whole story, we are thinking of signing the paperwork at the courthouse and then having the wedding the next day. I am so stoked to rock pants and that super cool braided faux hawk from that tutorial last month. Superhero, girlboss, legal wife, you know, just doing me!

      • Caitlyn

        My Mom has asked me a million times if I will wear my glasses on my wedding day – yes I will (the answer has never changed, but it is her way of making it very clear that the answer should change). I haven’t been able to fully express why it is so important to me but this is it (I mean this and the fact that I am BLIND without glasses and have a severe astigmatism that makes contacts not work well for me – i.e. I am still mostly blind with them in and for some crazy reason I’d actually like to be able to SEE on my wedding day).

        • ART

          We both wore ours! Here’s what I like to call our “Ray Bans ad” photo :)

          • Caitlyn

            Yes!!! I love it! I actually started a pin board just of brides wearing glasses to make myself feel better – this is a winner!

          • ART

            Aww thanks! I wished I had taken one or two portraits with my glasses off, but only because I had my DIY makeup looking damn good that day and it’s a little obscured by the glasses!

          • Alyssa M

            Can I make you feel better about it by saying I WISH I could wear my glasses on my wedding day?

            Glasses are awesome. They’re super cool accessories for your FACE! When I was a kid I actually tried faking out the eye doctor to get glasses, lol.

            Now that I’m a far sighted adult I’ve finally got glasses, but strictly for reading… so no wedding glasses for me…

          • vegankitchendiaries

            I remember when your pic on Happy Hour went up and I was like… OMG! GLASSES ON GLASSES! SO HOT!

          • ART

            hahaha yeah, just call us Eight Eyes…

        • Laura C

          Thank gawd the only person who asked me that was a person I did a makeup trial with.

          Astigmatism makes contacts difficult for me, too. I can get ones where I can see, but they don’t make the disposable ones for me and I simply don’t find contacts wearable past maybe two wears. So I have a choice between no contacts, contacts that are priced to get a lot more wear out of them than I can bear, or pain. It’s really not a hard choice.

          • Caitlyn

            For me, if they are positioned perfectly I can see fine. But every time I blink they move a bit and then shift back – which is basically the most distracting and annoying thing I have ever experienced. It’s been years since I have tried them and I’m sure the newer ones would work better, but I just feel like no one I know would recognize me. Heck, I wouldn’t recognize myself – I’ve worn glasses longer than I haven’t so they really are a part of me. Agreed, it’s not a hard choice!

        • Violet

          I go back and forth between contacts and glasses and ended up wearing my contacts on our wedding day, but I don’t UNDERSTAND this idea that you can’t get married while wearing glasses. What kind of bizarre discrimination is this?? In what way do glasses somehow “clash” or whatever with a wedding day? The two are freakin unrelated!!! Seriously, this drives me bonkers, and I’m sorry you’re getting repeated questioning on this.

          • KC

            Being in possession of some family photos where you can’t see peoples’ eyes at all because of light reflected off their glasses, I can see maybe taking glasses off for Formal Look Straight At The Camera photos, if the light is running that way, because being able to see peoples’ eyes is awesome, but otherwise, I don’t get it either. Glasses/tattoos/scars/jewelry-you-always-wear, why not keep it out where it normally is and look more like yourself instead of covering it to be more “bridal”?

          • Violet

            Right, I mean, hopefully in these days most professional photographers know how to avoid the glare with positioning etc, and lots of regular glasses-wearers such as myself get the anti-reflective lenses anyway. I understand there are always practical implications to things, but usually when people ask repeatedly if you’re wearing your glasses it’s because they think glasses are somehow not “bridal,” which makes no actual sense if we’re defining bridal as “a woman who is getting married.”

          • KC

            It may be one of those practical-things-that-got-accidentally-codified-into-tradition – where a lack of anti-reflective lenses made people go for no-glasses-on-wedding-day due to photo issues, and then people not wearing glasses on their wedding day made wearing glasses on your wedding day be “weird” or “not bridal”?

            That said, I’m not sure whether grooms also have “don’t wear glasses on your wedding day” pressure at all, or to what degree. But they don’t tend to have the Bridal Training Camp honing in on them for the entire engagement period, either, or at least not to the same degree, so I don’t know…

          • Violet

            “Bridal Training Camp”
            *snort* You’re fantastic

          • ElisabethJoanne

            My husband has had the can’t-see-eyes-behind-glasses-in-photos problem, so he took his glasses off for posed photos, but wore them at other times. I don’t know if our photographer withheld any awful photos, but we have great photos from our wedding of my husband in glasses. For everyday snapshots, I generally prefer him with glasses, too.

    • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

      I went to the dentist for the first time in years a few months before my wedding. They asked if I wanted them to bleach my teeth for the wedding. I didn’t go for it.

  • Meigh McPants

    Rippling Hulk neck tendons… :::falls over laughing::: I do give my brides and bridespersons the suggestion to hold their bouquets low (so more people can see your gorgeous face!) but I use the sage bouquet placement advice Kelly Prizel taught me on my very own wedding day, “Pubes, not boobs.”

    • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

      I use that one, too, but just realized I learned it from Kelly!!!!!!

  • april

    Some of my favorite photos from our wedding are also some of the ‘ugliest.’ My husband and I were apparently both making ridiculous faces when we did our pie cutting ceremony and the one (which APW of course selected for our Real Wedding post) where I’m giving my new husband a face-smashed-into-the-side-of-his-face kiss is both amazing and supremely unattractive. The posed pictures are nice too – but the candids just have so much more raw emotion and joy to them.

    • Ragnhild

      Yay! Can´t wait to get our wedding pictures back! I know the posed ones will look pretty, but I am stoked about all the other ones too, just like you said.

    • Nell

      My fiancee and I already have our “official engagement photo” – which is a blurry cell phone selfie that we took the night she proposed. Our faces look so stupidly happy! I’ve shown it to everyone who asks how she proposed.

      • Caitlyn

        What a great idea… my engagement story is hard to describe while reflecting the significance of it to us – the picture we took right after on our cell phone where we are both grinning out of our minds – would really sum it up perfectly! SOOOO doing this from now on!

    • Meg Keene

      WHICH ONE? Link or it didn’t happen.

  • Stephanie B.

    I have a photo that I love taken by a friend at our wedding (after the ceremony, while we were goofing around). My dress had a surplice top/deep vee, and I have a substantial rack (which looked spectacular in the dress). I held my bouquet up to my bridal bosom and leaned over, for the full effect of Hello, This Is My Rack, Which I Present To You With Flowers. (We left that photo out of the album we made for the parents.)

    • Kayjayoh

      “Hello, This Is My Rack, Which I Present To You With Flowers”

      [am dying and so glad the office is empty right now]

    • JDrives

      Boobs + flowers is a great combo!

  • ART

    My husband is so bummed because no one pointed out to him while he was getting ready that in his excitement, he missed a belt loop on our wedding day, and all the photos of us at the ceremony and first dance clearly show it. I kind of think that few things could better capture how imperfect our wedding day was while still showing how insanely happy we were (and how little we cared about belt loops, my bra sticking out of my dress in some shots, the weird faces we’re making, etc.)

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Aw, love this…

    • Erin

      That’s pretty sweet, actually. Nope, none of that stuff matters because it is totally elating and such a rush to get married. And that photos sounds like a sort of endearing, poignant statement about how there’s now a helper to finish hard to reach zippers, unaligned buttons, and/or missed belt loops. Neither one of you have to worry about those things anymore because there’s somebody to help catch it. Hurray partnership!

  • Emily

    This is why I love APW… thank you for the REAL stuff! And this “My neck tendons bulged when she said that, and I had to make a concerted effort to lower my imaginary flowers.” made me laugh at loud, here at my desk!

  • Nell

    I love this post!!!!!!

    I recently saw a couple in the park getting their engagement photos done. They were literally crouching in the grass awkwardly touching each other’s faces in the middle of a busy area of an urban park, while their photographer crouched in the bushes nearby (I assume to get the very popular “framed by blurry leaves” shot). Everyone looked so, so very uncomfortable that I had to stop myself from cracking up.

    When I look at my posed yearbook shots (the ones where the photographer told me to rest my head on my chin – UGH), all I remember is how uncomfortable I felt. When I look at candid photos of myself from the same era, laughing with my mouth open and my hair all over the place, I remember how much I adored my friends in middle school.

    I’d rather look weird, and remember laughing at my wedding.

    • Lauren from NH

      OMG yes! Not to have a haters party but when I flip through pinterest these days I’m just ugh…., ugh…., UGHHHHH! Staged baloney 99% of it. Feels like so much marketing. I think I would talk our photographer into take a trip with us to the food store…mostly not joking, or on a Saturday morning making breakfast and playing with out cats, ya know a look into our lives/marriage and how we love and play together not these “OMG we just apparated into a beautiful field, let’s hold hands!” engagement photos.

      • Nell

        Actually, our photographer suggested to us that she just follow us around one morning and take pictures instead of a traditional engagement shoot. We are totally taking her up on that!

      • Amanda

        Awww, breakfast pictures! It’s something people actually do AND it’s adorable.

        • Amanda

          Also, I’m really hoping people stop apparating into those fields with cutesy bikes, at least before I get engaged/ married. Some of us are bike people and would like to have pictures with our not-so-cutesy, functional bicycles without seeming like bad copycats or something.

          • Meigh McPants

            Hey, I say rock your bike no matter how popular it gets. We got married right in the middle of the “FLOWERS IN A MASON JAR! DRINKS IN A MASON JAR! EVERYDAMNTHINGEVER IN A MASON JAR!” era, and we worried that our homemade jam favors were going to look boring or played out. But, my wife is a hugely obsessed canner (“You can pickle that”) and it was authentic to us, so we just embraced it. And that jam was freaking delicious.

      • Alyssa M

        LOL! Although maybe occasionally the random pictures in fields aren’t so fake… Mine are at the park by my parents house(my dad took them) and while some of the poses are rather unnatural (“Kneel down! Now, you sit on his knee and gaze lovingly at eachother!” Um, what Mom?), we totally used to hang out there when we were teenagers…

    • Meg Keene

      To be fair: if you crouch in the bushes, you will both look weird AND remember laughing at your wedding, so maybe those people were on to something.

      • swarmofbees

        Damn, I should have done crouching in the bushes wedding pictures. That’s a once in a lifetime opportunity gone.

        • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.ca/ Jenny/Adventures Along the Way

          Well, I crouched in a cornfield as a part of a wedding party. You might get another chance yet…

    • Laura C

      Until a few weeks ago, I lived right by a cathedral with a gorgeous facade. Lots of couples posed in front of it, and my favorite was the couple I saw posing in the middle of the street clearly trying to get just the right amount of the facade in the frame. They’d be posing, a car would come along that wanted to drive down the road, the couple would get out of the street, the car would go by, the couple would go back in the street and the photographer’s assistant would get the bride’s train and veil just so, and maaaybe two pictures later, another car would arrive. Also, white dress on New York City street.

      • Nell

        Not getting hit by a car is a very high priority for me on my wedding day.

  • Bsquillo

    One of the things I learned from our wedding is that NONE of the things I stressed about *for photos* ended up mattering. I spent way too many hours fretting over how my makeup or tan lines or fake nails or whatever would look in photos, and on my wedding day I thought about none of it. The pictures came out great, because we look like ourselves. Also, because I was laughing in literally every single photo- laughter covers a multitude of “imperfections.”

  • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

    My parents’ ceremony photos are all black, because the photographer exposed incorrectly for the dark church. Their wedding album only has a few photos, and none of them are “perfect,” but they look so. damn. happy. I’d take that over perfect ANY day.

    http://smittenchickens.com/blog/why/

  • ZOO

    Bottom line: NO photos are going to tell the true story of your wedding day. That’s something you have to remember.

    For example, there are several beautiful photos of my dad and I, in a tender father-daughter moment. My hands are clasped in his, and he’s looking at me with sincerity while I smile up at him. Clearly we’re both reflecting on how much I’ve grown, how proud he is, how much we love each other.

    Right?

    WRONG. Those are pictures of him saying, “I crashed your car into a concrete pole in the parking lot. It drives fine, but there’s no way you’re not going to notice the huge dent when you leave. I’m very sorry, and I’ll pay to have it fixed when you get back from your honeymoon.” And of me laughing at the hilarious imperfection that is a wedding.

    • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.ca/ Jenny/Adventures Along the Way

      Great point.

  • Maddy

    Oh dear! David Jones! The fiery hell out of shopping second only to myer! I know that feeling SO well. I applaud you for your bravery, we’ve just decided to let the salesman/woman in the suit shop go for their life. Because struggle.

  • http://colormegreenanew.blogspot.com/ Julia (Color Me Green)

    I actually wish someone had told me (and my bridesmaids) how to hold my bouquet, or told me to hold it at some different angles, or to put the flowers down for some of the posed photos. I feel like I held it too high so the flowers obscured the lovely lace detail on the top of my dress and the overall shape of the dress.

    • Megan

      Yeah, I have been noticing that a lot after watching a lot of Four Weddings this week (don’t judge, recovering from a tonsillectomy!). All these brides walk down the aisle clutching their gigantic bouquets so close to their chest and neck, it kind of takes away from the beauty of their faces and expression. Something I’ll keep in mind for my day to come!

      • Violet

        I’ve heard that a lot of times it’s sort of nerves- if you’re feeling nervous/excited, your muscles get tense so your arms just kind of come up. Or something? Anyway, I did a deep breath before walking down the aisle and lowered my arms, but as a gal who doesn’t walk around with a bunch o’ greens on the regular, it’s definitely an odd experience.

        • Megan

          Yeah, I’m sure! So many things to remember with so much pressure!

      • Lawyerette510

        This is going to sound silly, but if you’re worried about it because you want to highlight the top of your dress etc, get some flowers from the store or farmers’ market or wherever and carry them around. It’s a strange feeling carrying around flowers, and at a minimum your natural inclination will probably be to have your arms at close to a 90 degree angle. If you have a small/ short bouquet it won’t matter, but if you have a large/ tall bouquet that would mean the top of your dress will probably be obscured. In the end it will be fine either way, but I think there’s something to be said for a practice of walking around with what often is a relatively large and heavy punch of flowers in your hands. I was a bridesmaid over 10 times before I was married, and when I look at pics of myself in other weddings I didn’t hold bouquets that high and kept my arms relaxed, but on my wedding day, 90 degree arms and if I would have had something bigger than the tiny bouquet I asked my friend to make me with leftover flowers from my hair piece 30 minutes before the ceremony, it would have been noticeable how high I was holding it.

        Also, if you don’t want to hold your bouquet for some of the posed photos, tell your photographer and ask someone else like your stage-manager to remind you to put your bouquet down.

        • ElisabethJoanne

          In my community, we take the bows from the wedding shower presents and make them into a bow bouquet that’s the “practice bouquet.” A paper plate is helpful – you just stick the smaller bows on it. If there’s lots of bow, the bridesmaids get practice bouquets, too.

          I forgot ours at our rehearsal, though – and nothing but the real thing could have prepared me for how heavy my cascade bouquet was, except a bunch of goblet squats.

        • Megan

          that’s a great idea! practice makes perfect :)

        • http://colormegreenanew.blogspot.com/ Julia (Color Me Green)

          yeah, i had a tall wildflower bouquet, so that definitely exacerbated it. my photographer is still building her career so i don’t know that she thought about it either, so i might give her some feedback to suggest different flower carrying angles to future brides. which i guess is how this whole post was inspired, when some photographers take it too far. there is a balance…

  • AlyssaM

    with 40 days to my wedding, I really needed this post. Thank you

    • Alyssa M

      Holy crap there’s two of us?

  • killermoebyia23

    This post resonated with me so much and this is coming from a bride who has disappointing wedding photos. Out of respect for a family member who insisted on being the appointed photographer, I was not allowed to hire a professional. I cried when i saw that our wedding portfolio entirely consisted of hubby and me with two other wedding guests (we couldn’t have more than 4 people in a photo due to our family member’s background set up). Our wedding was so wonderful – it was a community based event with no strangers and so much love, but we only have pictures with our guests behind a fixed background. There are no candid shots or even detail shots, and the crowdsourced shots are of very poor quality:( It sometimes feels like all the hard work that went into preparing the food, the decorations, the cake, the music list for the awesome dance party, and the favors were for naught. We’re going to have to work harder to remember our wedding day and a part
    of me dies every time I see a beautiful set of wedding pictures, but in the end, we had an amazing day and I got to celebrate with my dad who has a terminal illness. A part of me is still so depressed that I don’t have “good” photos like everyone I know has, but I’m so grateful I had a love-filled celebration. Hubby reminds me every day that we just need to try harder to bring beauty into our lives on a daily basis and to recognize it when it’s in front of us instead of regretting not having a gorgeous wedding gallery. We are working on this and have consequently made a pact to take the time to learn about photography and make the effort to take good pictures at future celebrations.

    • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.ca/ Jenny/Adventures Along the Way

      Maybe sometime you can do some anniversary photos with a pro photographer, or some just-because photos, and enjoy those for their beauty… I am a fan of having beautiful photos taken when you feel like it (and can afford it) and enjoying the experience of the shoot and the images that result.

      • newyork22

        Bless – what a great idea. Maybe when we’re 50 we can return to the venue, don the old clothes (God willing), and take some photos (with a kid or two?). It will certainly be a nice goal for both of us.

        It’s a struggle to feel whole given that the wedding industry tells us a wedding isn’t “consummated” if you can’t proudly post pix on social media (I’d have photo booth shots, just nothing that says “I got married”). But the road through life is long and filled with photo ops that should be just as momentous as a wedding. We will be ready for them!!!! :)

  • Ang

    This! yes, yes, yes. The details are a scary place to get lost in! And it’s so easy to do!

    We had a destination wedding this winter with immediate family only and hired a professional photographer. The flash drive came in a fancy photo cover album and the photos were awesome, we loved them, and we paid accordingly.

    Yesterday, at a family reunion, my cousin handed me an envelope with a flash drive in from our recent wedding reception. His college-age-budding-photographer daughter had agreed to take photos at our summer wedding reception to build her portfolio (200+ family/people, a homemade dress, and a vintage amusement park). Yes, there are significant differences between the two photographers. But my cousin’s daughter captured my dad WITH A GENUINE SMILE! That NEVER happens. (in fact he looks like it’s absolute torture to walk me down the aisle in all those professional pictures) Not only that, but she got an awesome picture of me with my mom and my grandma. Yes, there are cars in the background of some photos, and I really should have fixed my makeup at some point during the day; but who cares, my dad is SMILING! I am even getting teary thinking about it.

  • ElisabethJoanne

    The interior of my church is white – white walls, white ceiling, white beams, white reredos (with gold accents). Except, it’s interior-paint-white, which, if you’ve ever painted your house, you know isn’t white-white, but slightly ivory so it’s not glaring.

    My wedding dress was white-white, and the church looks sort of yellow in our photos. Granted, it looked sort of yellow in person. I remember walking in as the wedding began and realizing that though I’d attended that church for years, I’d never been there at that time of day in that season, and so I’d never seen the light through the stained glass like that. Also, our wedding photographer had a different style than the church’s usual photographer, so the church also looked different in our photos than in other photos of the church. The yellow tinge is least notable on our highest-quality prints.

    I wouldn’t do anything differently. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted the photos lit so that my dress faded into the background and all you saw was my face. But it was a surprise to see how the church looked in the photos.

  • aldeka

    I’ve seriously considered not having any photos at all at my wedding, just to avoid the trap that this post talks about. (Well, and to save money.) As it stands, we’re hiring a professional for pre-ceremony portraits and some cocktail hour photos, and any event documentation after that will depend on guests/the photobooth.

    It’s important to me to experience my own wedding as it happens, not feel like I’m at a wedding-porn shoot. Cameras and details and how things look (and self-consciousness about how I look) are a terribly powerful distraction for me, that I have to keep reminding myself to avoid.

    • Sarah McClelland

      We’re going that route. 2 cousins shooting some shots, and a Flickr account for folks to dump pictures into. Win!

  • Sarah McClelland

    This. All of this.
    I started running, and now I get all of these “sweating for the wedding” comments.
    People ask if we’re getting professional makeup so it’ll photograph well, and I say I’ll be doing my own and they make a face. (Hello?! Tutorial and bare minerals for the win… Skills and things I’ll use for the long run)
    I say I’m making my dress, and they ask how I’ll feel about that in pictures.

    But it thing the final straw for us in the choice about photography was the way the photographers have run the last couple of weddings we went to. It’s not how I want to feel on our wedding day. There were so many poses and not enough smiles that reached the eyes. I think we maybe got to see the bride and groom for 15 minutes, and the photographers kind of stole them for the rest of cocktail hour and the time we had after dinner. The rehearsal felt the same way. And when she took a couple of posed shots of us?? Oy. Awkward. My favorite is one she snapped at us laughing and unable to pose anymore.

  • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

    Speaking of neck tendons: one of my favorite photos from my wedding, an individual shot with one of my bridesmaids. We have this almost unexplainable inside joke wherein we make the most abhorrent face at each other (while holding our arms up like T-Rex claws)….

    Beautiful!

    • Emily

      Haha love this! My sister and I are constantly making strange faces at each other in public. We basically can communicate with crazy faces. We are both getting married soon and I have told her we will have to make sure our photographers know not to toss any of these pictures because they “look bad”

      • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

        That was actually something we said specifically to our photographer even before our engagement shoot, because making strange faces at one another is basically a primary form of communication for both sides of our family.

  • Mandertron

    Lauren’s article and the entire comment thread is excellent! Seriously: I love you, APW.

  • Alyssa M

    I LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH! This is why I hired my mom’s part-time photographer full-time middle school art teacher friend to do my wedding. Two quotes that are perfect:

    “My mom wore a spotless ivory dress on her wedding day; my dad’s bell-bottomed suit was so white he glowed. In their aging wedding album, there are no pictures of rings, table settings, or the groomsmen in their matching socks.”

    and

    “We hired a professional to capture the day, not construct it. As long as the photos come back showing us getting married, I’m going to call it a win.”

  • KimBee

    I am getting married in 5 days and the first half of this post made a knot in the pit of my stomach as I thought “WHITE MAKES IVORY LOOK DIRTY?!?!?! No one told me. Oh Shit.” But then I remembered the engagement shoot where my go-to hair and makeup gal went all “it’s for the pictures” crazy, and my partner was like “uhh…you don’t look like yourself and when we get married, I want to be looking at the girl I love.” And I’m guessing that he doesn’t even know the different between white and ivory to begin with.

  • Aj

    we went on a yoga and meditation retreat a month before our wedding and while it got us totally relaxed and feeling romantic towards each other in the final few weeks, it also left my legs totally bitten up by bugs. by the time our wedding day arrived, my legs were covered in dark spots and I wore a knee-length dress. my wife gave me some grief but they are not terribly noticeable even in the photos with a close-up of my legs (see our Wordless Wedding post). I always have bruised and scabbed legs. That’s how I live my life. I could have been extra cautious leading up to the wedding but then I would have missed doing yoga at sunset and my legs would have looked like the belonged to someone else.

  • moonlitfractal

    I had such trouble finding the balance between ‘wedding as wedding’ and ‘wedding as photo shoot.’ In fact, I don’t think I ended up finding it. I couldn’t shake the lingering feeling of “I’ll never look this good again so I had better get all the photos in and make them perfect.” I ended up not being as in the moment for my wedding as I would have liked (and I just look stressed out in many of the photos).

  • Lindsay

    I have to say this is where APW came through for me, big time. I really do not know where we would have begun to look for a photographer without the vendor search option on the website. Going in, I knew that aside from a few quick posed shots with family and wedding party, I really just wanted to spend the rest of the day in the moment and enjoying time with my husband and our guests. And by posed shots I meant several photos of us in various groupings. No Charlie’s Angels poses or me being lifted like a prized marlin by the groomsmen – at least not at four in the afternoon or under the direction of our photographer. Rather, I hoped the photographer would be able to capture at least a glimpse of what made the day so special for us.

    We found Leila and David of L&L Style Photo through the APW site, and they were such a great match. They have a more photojournalist approach, they were super reasonable in terms of pricing (especially for New York) as well as in the number of hours of total shooting, and I think Leila must be part ninja. Aside from the posed shots before the ceremony, and one during the cake cutting, I have to admit that I was not even aware that she was there – which was HUGE. Having been in a few of my friends’ weddings, I had learned that I tend to feel hyper-aware of the camera especially during the getting ready stage, and would often have these very strange (almost pained-looking) half-smiles while getting my hair yanked up into some style! Not natural at all…So aside from having the photographers arrive after all the prepping and primping (so we could just relax and enjoy being goofy by ourselves), selecting someone with a more photojournalistic style made all the difference for us. It was also important that we liked that genre of photography, since it is definitely not as romantically gauzy and sun-dappled as others (which, by the way, look gorgeous). That means there are a lot of shots with the squinty, wrinkled nose smile that I do when I’m cracking up or being silly – something I usually abhor, but in this context just reminds me of all the wonderful feelings and fun of that day.

    So, in short, finding photographers who understand your intentions and needs for the day can make a really big difference.

  • BDubspony

    oh LORD thank you! I have been pressured about this since I got engaged and it’s been making me a little bit crazy, and honestly, rebellious. This is just the encouragement I need to say “Nope, forget all that” and just BE in the moment. Three Cheers!