We’ve all seen the bridal shows on TV.
The ones that give the future bride a glimpse into the many facets of the wedding industry from the extravagant, over the top bashes no one could ever afford, the bridesmaids-zillas who won’t wear chiffon, ruffles, yellow or anything for that matter, the snooty wedding gown consultant who refuses to allow you to try on what you like and shakes her head when a happy mom wants to snap a photo or two of her daughter in a wedding dress. It appears that Hollywood & reality TV have conditioned brides to expect a “vendors vs. brides” attitude before the engaged woman or couple even steps foot into a bakery or bridal boutique.
That’s just sad. Most bridal vendors just want to give you a lovely experience and their best!
What gets left out of the story on the screen are some reasons behind the basic guidelines that vendors may have when working with brides; why, for example, do some venues give you only a select few caterers to use at their site? Or why do bridal stores not allow you to snap photos of the gowns you like?
The latter question is much more complicated than the idea that bridal stores don’t want photos so you can’t leave the shop and have a seamstress re-create the gown or purchase a knock-off online. (Technically, that’s unethical & illegal) At September’s Bride we do, in fact, allow you to take pictures. At your first appointment at September’s Bride you can expect your consultant to cover the following in regards to photos:
1.) We want you to be able to try on as many dresses as you need to today so that you can find your perfect gown. If you take a photo of each dress you put on, you won’t be using your appointment time to the fullest.
2.) Some of our gowns are not allowed to be photographed due to the desire of the designer. Once it is your gown and we are measuring you for the order you may take as many photos as you would like.
3.) When you have chosen your gown or have narrowed the options down to two or three choices then we will have you put them on again to take a few photos if you wish. Having three dress photos on your phone instead of ten will make it less confusing when you are flipping through and trying to make a decision.
The final reason (and most important) that gown consultants are wary of brides taking photos is simply because dresses look 1000 times better on you than on your phone or camera. We want you to remember the way you felt standing in the dress looking in the mirror, not skimming over the dress at lunch on a screen. So when you do get to the stage where you may want to take a photo or two here are five tips to taking successful photos on your smart phone or point-and-shoot camera:
1. Don’t take the photo from down below. No girl likes this angle because of the nasty side affects of double chins, chubby features and the list goes on. If you are on a pedestal either step down to ground level or have the photographer step as far back as possible so you are at least shoulder or chest level to the camera.
2. Don’t stand straight on. A girl will always appear wider if she is standing straight on, in a white gown with an unprofessional camera that can’t pick up every single detail of the gown. Angle your body so that the camera can pick up the curve of your hips, the shape of your chest and the smallest part of you, your waist. Angle one shoulder towards the camera, bend a knee or tilt your head.
3. If the gown’s details, lace, beading, texture etc. are not showing up with a full body shot, step forward and take several detail shots. Only having one full length photo of the gown to look back on later will only help you remember the shape. It won’t help you remember that the lace had a lovely floral pattern or that the beading had silver accents.
4. Lighting. There isn’t much you can do inside a bridal shop with a phone camera but try your best to get the dress under the best lighting possible, by a window, under the mirrored lights, etc. If your camera has a flash, use it to pick up as much detail as possible.
5. Smile. Sure the gown may look gorgeous in the picture but if you are frowning or making a face at your sister it will drag the entire image down. It may feel uncomfortable to be center stage in your own photo shoot in front of friends and strangers but you will be glad you smiled later when you review your photos.
In the end we recommend not even taking photos. As hard as you may try a smart phone camera can not do a dress justice. Sometimes a bride will love a dress when she is standing in it but is less than impressed when she gets home. On the day of your wedding your dress will only be remembered by people seeing it in person or from the photos from the professional photographer that you hired. Trust your instincts when you are gown shopping. If you love the dress but can’t make a commitment that day, then take time to think it over for a few days and go back and try it on again. Seeing it in person once more versus seeing it on a phone is far more beneficial.
Shopping for and choosing your wedding gown is an experience…put the camera down, relax with your friends and family, and have a wonderful time!