Advice for the groom
I don’t usually write advice posts, and most of my blog posts contain recent weddings and images that inspire me. But I got to thinking the other day “what about the guys”? I would like to think that my readers are a combination of men, women, brides, grooms, mom’s and dad’s. So what advice could I give to just the grooms out there that could help them prepare for their day in front of the camera? My husband, Wally, helped me write up a few tips for the men out there who want to make sure they are prepared for just that occasion.. take this for what it is and feel free to make your own twist on this!
First, lets talk about your engagement session…
For my clients, I always include an engagement session in your wedding package. For those of you who do not book with me, I am sure your photographer will likely do the same. So the following advice will help you, the groom (s), prepare for what is likely to be your first professional photoshoot with your betrothed:
1. This will not be as bad as you may think. Most guys who step in front of my camera for the first time are a bit nervous about having their picture taken. Relax, look at your lovely partner and think about how much you love them. When I am behind the camera, I will give you some direction so that you know when to look at me and when to look at her/him, just follow my lead and you will be fine. I think about 99.9% of my grooms tell me after the engagement session “that was easy, thanks for making it fun!” 🙂
2. Outfits… speaking as wife and as a woman, I sometimes think men can take just as long as we do to pick out an outfit (most of this is based on 12 years with my husband). For your engagement session, wear something that is comfortable, but will compliment your partners outfit. If she/he is wearing something dressy, maybe match that with a dressy look yourself. You certainly do not need to rent a tux or wear a suit. But a nice pair of fitted jeans matched with a tucked in shirt and a tie could be nice. Also, and this is what I usually tell all my couples, make sure what you are wearing is something you would be comfortable sitting on the ground. Often times I will ask my couples to sit/lay in the grass or sometimes the sand. If you are comfortable doing that in the outfit you have on, then I say its a winner!
Ok, now that the engagement session is over you can focus on the big day! Here are some tips and advice to help you pull together a great look and help make the day more photographically friendly:
3. Instead of renting a suit or tuxedo, consider having one made for you! There is nothing like a fine fitted suit that feels good on… and when you feel good, it shows in the pictures. There are a number of stores and online sites that will custom tailor anything you like! Here are a few places I would recommend contacting:
4. Chances are, your wedding will take place during the Summer months. To help keep you cool and relaxed, think about wearing a vest under your jacket. This way you can still look great when you remove the jacket and will keep from over heating.
5. When choosing flowers for your boutonniere, keep in mind that large roses and other flowers can sometimes look like another head on your chest. Particularly, if you are somewhat petite. Although it may not appear very big, the camera will tell another story. Your florist might have some suggestions on how to avoid this situation and may be able to help you pick something smaller and more unique.
6. Spice up your wardrobe with fun socks, a bow tie or a custom made tie (this is a great website to check out if you are looking for something custom for you and the guys: Tux and Tulle) Chuck Taylors or Toms if you feel like giving back a little.
7. This one may not seem like advice, but trust me, it is important and just about every photographer I know will thank me for saying this.. When you and the guys are getting ready make sure they all have on their boutonnieres (usually pinned on the left lapel of the jacket) before you head out for pictures. Also, allow yourself an extra 20 minutes when getting ready so you can locate, pin, re pin, and straighten these little guys (don’t forget the bandages, sometimes there are pricked fingers).
8. When I am photograph a wedding, I (or my assistant) will always try to capture what is going on behind the scenes.. no formalities here, just be yourself and we will get the shot!
9. Lastly, and most importantly.. have fun! All pomp and circumstance aside, this day is going to be the best day of your life and you should enjoy every moment of it. When I am photographing the guys I try to keep it low key and fun for everyone in the group!
So, with all that said.. I would love to hear from some of the men out there on what advice you have to offer and maybe some points we’ve overlooked!