The wedding dress might just be the most important thing that a Washington, DC area bride selects for her big day. Obviously, the venue matters considerably; the wedding planner, hair and makeup artists, caterer, DJ/band, florist, limo company and cake are also critical to the success of her marriage celebrations; and the right Washington, DC wedding photographer (we would like to think!) is necessary so that the nuptial event is captured on film for eternity. But the bride is going to be the center of attention for the entire day; the eyes of her bridesmaids, the groomsmen, her and her groom’s families, all of the invited wedding guests and of course, her future husband will be on her. So it is understandable that looking her absolute best is of paramount importance to every woman who walks down the aisle to get married. And that often starts with getting the perfect wedding dress.
Incorporating the wedding dress into the pictures we take of the bride on the day of her marriage is also a very important part of what we do as wedding photographers. We know how much time and effort a bride-to-be puts into researching the best options, visiting different bridal dress shops and trying on different dress-veil combinations just to find the one that is most flattering to her. That process is such a sacred part of the pre-wedding planing that many future brides actually hire us to photograph them and their mothers, bridesmaids, sisters and/or friends shopping for the wedding dress.
As a result, we always make sure to reserve time on the day of the marriage celebrations to capture images of the bride getting into her dress (if those are shots that she wants) and many portraits of her wearing it. For us, the latter set of images should not only focus the bride and how beautiful she looks as she prepares to tie the knot with the person she loves, it should also feature her bridal dress prominently and show how it complements and flatters the person wearing it.
When we do our jobs right, we get pictures like this one. This lovely bride-to-be had her wedding festivities at the Now Larimar Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and got ready in a gorgeous, sun-dappled room adjoining the resort’s luxury spa. Posing the bride in front of this window was an easy choice. As you can see in this image, the windows of the space were partially obscured by bamboo poles that allowed enough light in to illuminate the bride and her dress without completely overpowering them. In addition to the gentle and flattering lighting, the lines in background were ideal for framing and drawing attention to the beautiful wedding dress. The verticality of the bamboo poles are more or less parallel to the upper portions of the dress that are in contact with her body. Those then give way to the diagonal lines of the intersection between the wall and the floor almost exactly where the wedding dress train spreads out on the ground. The bride and her dress are the entire focus of the picture, which is exactly how it is supposed to be!