So everybody knows...

...or at least has a strong idea, of the wild and girlish antics that go on in the bridal suite / mother's house / best friend's flat during the bridal preparations before a wedding. The truth is every bride is different, every wedding is different, every bridal party is different, and while there are a few commonalities I grant you, you can never be fully prepared as a photographer, for what you will walk into on the morning of the big day. (This happens to be something I love about shooting weddings). Well let me tell you, this is no different to what you will find if you seek out the groom and his men during that same period of time.

There is always a heavy emphasis put on ensuring these special moments are captured of the bride and her squad ( for they do inevitably turn from a polite, conscientious group of ladies, into a pride of alert and sharp-eyed lionesses ensuring all is as it should be for their bride). But I often find myself asking if time can be built in to capture the groom and his troupe also. You may need less time - often the guys are ready and having a snifter of dutch courage much earlier in the day - but they can also be found perfecting / finishing decorative details, rehearsing speeches and greeting guests in the hotel lobby or outside the church while the bride is still in her dressing gown (having her hair carefully coiffured into an impossibly beautiful sculptural piece). These scenes are no less important, and often garner some of the most touching responses from the bride when she sees their photos for the first time.

There are plenty of nerves from all parties; the groom, best man, father of the bride, ushers, page boys; and always subtle and unconscious signs of friendship and quiet comradery. Believe it or not, the guys want their buttonholes to look just as precisely placed and their trouser bottoms to sit on the tops of their shoes just as perfectly as the mother of the bride wants her daughter's veil to fall past her shoulders beautifully. The details matter to these guys. The day matters. The impression on the bride and her family matters. Or maybe I have just been fortunate enough to shoot the weddings of total gents.

Of course it doesn't end with getting the groom and the guests into the ceremony space, seated in the right place, at the right time. There is calming words for the groom, producing the rings at the right moment, guests to organise for photographs, sometimes decorations to relocate, and of course speeches to give, often later in the day, so when the nerves have died down for others these guys are still on the tips of their toes with anxiety!

My point in all this is to say, when you are planning the timings of your day, and discussing with your photographer what you want to capture - its ALWAYS worth making time for the guys.