Fine Art Photography for Weddings

Real-World Wedding Gown Tips

Photographs of Lauren Fuller by Weddings by Michael



Your wedding day has finally arrived! Time to put on that beautiful gown you bought six months ago and dreamed of wearing since you were a little girl! The gown was simply stunning on you when you put it on in the salon and couldn't be more perfect!


If only it were that simple! Here are a few tips to help make your gown feel as good as it looks.


Many brides only try on their gowns at the salon and then put it away until the wedding day. At most, they wear it only about 10 minutes, and even then don't perform any of the same types of physical movements they will be doing on the actual wedding day. Some of our brides schedule a pre-wedding day portrait session with us, and it never fails that before the session is over, the bride realizes that a what felt fine for about five minutes in the salon is a whole different story after just the first hour. (This is just one of many reasons why we recommend a pre-wedding day bridal portrait session!)


Whether it is worn as part of a portrait session or just around the house, we highly recommend to all of our brides that they practice putting on and wearing their dress for an extended time well in advance of the wedding day to make sure it will be comfortable for the many hours it will be worn on the wedding day itself. 


Wedding Gown Tips

  1. Make sure all dresses and gowns (including bridesmaids') are properly fitted BEFORE the wedding day. 
  2. Practice putting on your gown beforehand. Be sure to include the same person(s) who will assist you on the actual day of the wedding. (And don't forget the veil, if you have one!) If the gown is the type which is altered for the transition from ceremony to reception, you should also practice making those adjustmentst, too.
  3. Wear your gown for an extended period before the day of the wedding, practicing various movements to insure comfortable wear over time. 
  4. Whatever amount of time you think you might need to get ready on your wedding day, multiply by THREE!


The Advantages of a Wedding Day Director

As photographers, we probably see more that goes on during a wedding day than anyone else there. While the caterers, florist, cake designer and so forth are each busy with their own prospective tasks - and even then just for a specific portion of the day - we are there practically from beginning to end, watching and seeing everything. Not even the bride herself, busy with her own tasks of getting ready and enjoying her day, sees as much as we do! And so it is from this unique perspective that we understand the value of a dedicated wedding day director.


First, what do we mean by the term "wedding day director". A wedding director is NOT a bridesmaid, the mother of the bride, the mother of the ringbearer, or anyone else who has any other personal interest in the wedding day. Rather, they are a professional with lots of experience in working with weddings. The more the better, in fact. Essentially, this is someone who directs the entire wedding day so that you, the bride, do not have to. A wedding day director is different from a wedding planner, who works directly with the bride as and adviser and coordinator months in advance. (We know that, in the real world, a full-time planner can be prohibitively expensive!) And it is different from a ceremony director who typically only deals with that single aspect of the wedding, leaving after the ceremony itself is concluded. On a wedding day, there are a myriad of small issues to be addressed and schedules to be kept, and a bride should NEVER put herself in the position where she must handle them all at the expense of getting ready. A wedding day coordinator doesn't plan or organize the wedding, but rather simply takes over for the bride on the wedding day itself, freeing the bride to prepare and enjoy. The wedding day director keeps people on schedule, helps with small problems, guides people to locations, and acts as a "hub" for communications. If the DJ can't find the location and is running late, the director will answer the call that gets them there. If the ringbearer is running late and photographs are about to begin, the director will coordinate a change in the shooting schedule with the photographer. The director has a complete itinerary and names and phone numbers of both wedding party and vendors alike. 


After hundreds of weddings, most of the problems we have witnessed could have either been avoided or addressed with the use of a dedicated wedding day director.Where there was no director, it was typically the bride herself who was forced to handle them. And more often than not, this directly resulted in wedding starting LATE. Despite the best of intentions and the most thorough of planning, we have seen countless weddings begin late, from fifteen minutes to more than TWO HOURS. (Two weddings this past season started either close to or in excess of two hours.) In practically every case, the wedding itself was well-planned, but merely lacked the guidance of a single person to address small problems, coordinate individuals, and keep everyone on schedule. And when a wedding day runs late, it is not only rude to guests, but can possible result in greater expenses from vendors such as DJs, musicians, photographers, videographers, caterers, and the venue itself, who often provide time-based services, and must accordingly charge for overtime when things do run late. And so, a good director may not just keep things running smoothly, but may actually save money, too!


If you are planning your wedding and have not yet considered using a dedicated wedding day director, we highly recommend that you do so. 


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