Updated: Apr 9, 2021
I have to admit, when it comes to weddings, I tend to do more bridal preparation than a groom prep or even getting ready on your wedding day as it’s also called. I guess being the main wedding photographer a lot of the time means I get to photograph the bride and her bridesmaids more often than I do the groom and the groomsmen. That being said, whenever I get the opportunity to do a groom preparation, I find myself looking forward to it immensely.
One distinct difference is that whereas the bridal preparation tends to move at a frenetic pace, grooms on the other hand tend to be more laid back and relaxed when it comes to getting ready. Theres so much jokes and camaraderie going on between the groom and groomsmen but thing is for certain, you will definitely want the the groom getting ready shots included in your wedding photos.
Oftentimes the opportunity to photograph the groom getting ready doesn’t arise because of locations. The bridal preparation might be taking place at a hotel whilst the groom and groomsmen are a few miles away someplace else. Sometimes it’s also down to logistics, where the couple had opted for one photographer in their wedding photography package.
My approach to photographing the groom preparation is the same with photographing the wedding day itself - a documentary style or photojournalistic way that captures those natural moments and tells a story. I simply melt into the background and try to be as inconspicuous as possible and wait for those candid moments that always look great in wedding albums to unfold naturally. I'm not big on staging moments, if there are windows with good natural light coming through, I might ask the groom (or bride) to move to the light source so as to make use of the window light for some great natural light photography but that's about all the instructions I normally give, I like everything else to have an organic feel.
So, what’s the significance of photographing your groom preparation alongside the bridal prep? It makes a big difference when the time comes to selecting the pictures for your wedding album. Plus when the couple see their wedding pictures initially, it will be the first time the bride and groom will see what the other's morning preparation looked like.
Just as it’s great for the groom to see the bridal preparation photographs and all the candid, funny moments that happened as the bride along with the bridesmaids got ready, so also is it important that the bride sees how the groom and groomsmen got ready too.
This also is the reason why it’s good to have two wedding photographers on your big day. It tells a bigger picture from a bride and groom perspective. he bridal preparation images together with the groom’s prep allows for a more complete wedding day story that will last a thousand memories.