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perfect prep: capturing the morning of the wedding

January 17th, 2018 | Julia Braime

Bridal Prep (c) Jenny Maden Photography (11)

When asked to pick their favourite part of their wedding day, our featured brides on the blog often pick the ceremony (as one would expect), closely followed by the morning of the wedding. For this is precious time that they spend getting ready for their big day with the most important ladies in their lives.

We personally adore looking at professional images taken at this stage in the day, when the prosecco, laughter and tears, are often in full flow. One lady who is in full agreement on this being a super-special stage of the day is Brides Up North Sponsor and Yorkshire-based photographer Jenny Maden.

We’ve therefore invited Jenny to take over the blog this morning, to tell us all about the fabulous images that can be captured during the bridal prep – from the reactions and relationships to the all-important details – so these elements of the wedding can be relived when the big day has been and gone.

With images by Jenny Maden Photography.

Bridal Prep (c) Jenny Maden Photography (2)

Why do you think the bridal prep is such an important part of the wedding day to capture?

jenny says: My main objective when photographing a wedding, is to ultimately ‘tell the story’ of the wedding day through pictures. For me, missing the bridal preparations would omit the first chapter in the story, as the bride gets ready for the ceremony with her closets family and friends. It captures the excitement of the imminent ceremony. It’s a really lovely time and a privilege to capture.

What is it you enjoy most about being present for this part of the day?

It’s great to spend some time with the bride and her crew, before the wedding day gets into full swing. There’s usually a lot of laughing, a lot of tea and prosecco drinking and some fab hair and makeup tips flying around.

Bridal Prep (c) Jenny Maden Photography (36)

Image-wise, what elements do you tend to photograph during this time?

A typical set of bridal prep images would include bridal ‘detail’ shots, such as the dress, shoes, jewellery. But I also document the morning unfolding, from hair and makeup, the giving and receiving of gifts, the bride getting into her dress and the reactions of her family and closest friends. But above all, what I really aim to capture is the ’vibe’ of the morning, so that the morning can be re-lived, through photos, after the wedding day is over.

Is the bridal prep included as standard as part of your packages and, if so, how much of the prep to you tend to capture?

Yes, bridal prep is included in my wedding package. I typically arrive at around the same time as the hair and makeup artists.

Bridal Prep (c) Jenny Maden Photography (4)

Can you do groom prep as well, either yourself or with a second shooter?

It’s not a common request, as I usually meet the groom and groomsmen at the ceremony venue, in advance of the ceremony. But yes, if a couple wanted groom prep coverage too, this can certainly be arranged (the travelling distance between the bride and groom on the morning, would generally dictate whether I would need a second shooter).

Bridal Prep (c) Jenny Maden Photography (44)

What is the feedback like from your brides about images you have taken of the bridal prep, what do they love about the images?

Brides are always surprised at quite how much I have captured of the morning! My coverage at this point in the day is very much ‘fly on the wall’; I just let things unfold around me, but capture them in a discreet yet artistic way. Furthermore, while a wedding day is predominately focused on the bride and groom, the bride’s relationships with her parents and close friends really comes through in the images taken during the bridal preparations.

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Up For Discussion: Achieving The Perfect Level Of Wedding Morning Zen

November 11th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Poppy Day.

Well, whaddya know?  Its only Friday!  Yippee!  What have you got planned for the weekend?  Two days of intensive wedding planning, some time out, a hen party celebration (speaking of which, have you read my top tips for planning a hen do or entered this little giveaway yet?), or maybe, just maybe, its time to say I do?!  Whatever you are up to, I hope you have a good one.

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Before we get there though, It’s 11.11.11 today – so please do remember to wear your poppy with pride. 

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Today, our guest blogger and newlywed Alison is back on the wedding blog with another reflection on getting hitched.  You all loved her novel way of choosing a marital name last Friday, so I thought I would put my feet up, dunk another ginger snap in my brew, and let her take the floor…

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Over to Alison: When I was planning my wedding at Chester Zoo, like all brides, I aspired for perfection. I was convinced that I could organise the best wedding people had ever been to.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: FourT4 Photography

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I remember reading an article in one of my wedding magazines about the perfect wedding morning. In my quest for the perfect day, I gobbled up all the advice and aspired to achieve a similar level of Zen. 

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Apparently, the magazine told me, I should be aiming for a good night’s sleep, awaking from my princess slumber refreshed, excited and ready to float through my perfect day.

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The reality was rather different.  While hubby-to-be stayed in Chester the night before our wedding, I was at home in South Manchester with my dad and sister. With only one spare room, my sister slept on an inflatable mattress at the end of my bed – which farted loudly every time she turned over – which was a lot. I think I got 20 minutes sleep and when the alarm went at 7am I shot out of bed and promptly tripped over my own eye bags. It wasn’t the image of impossible glamour I was aspiring towards.

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The article then advised me to have a breakfast of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs – light enough for the guests not to be able to see what I’d had for breakfast, but substantial enough to see me through until my second (wedding) breakfast.

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I didn’t quite manage that either. The lack of sleep coupled with an overdose of adrenaline meant that I managed to shove a third of a bowl of ‘oats’ down my bridal neck before feeling sick and giving up.

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My perfect wedding morning was also to include a relaxing bubble bath, favourite calming tunes on my ipod and half an hour of quiet meditation.

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In theory – what a nice idea. In practice – you’ve got to be joking!  I was surviving on adrenaline and a third of a bowl of oats. If I relaxed I’d be asleep! I opted for an alternative strategy and drank red bull and coffee.

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After loading the car I spent the next hour barking at my dad to sit down, be quiet and refer to his wedding spread sheet – it didn’t bring out the ‘good daughter’ in me. I then drove like a lunatic along the M56 wishing traffic be gone and praying that the car wouldn’t break down.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Alison Staples

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When we arrived at the hotel in Chester where we were getting ready, we were still statistically within the margin of error on the wedding timetable. I’d bought croissants and champagne so I allowed myself a brief moment of relaxation and un-corked my first smile of the day.

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Unfortunately the ‘fizz’ was fleeting. With five bridesmaids and myself waiting for our transformation, it came to light that the salon only had one pair of hair straighteners. By the time my hair was finished we were nearly an hour behind schedule. My make-up artist was pacing and despite having an extensive pre-wedding make-up consultation to find the perfect wedding look, by this point I was willing her to just slap it on and finish. Red danger lights were flashing and I was about to turn into a whistling kettle.

My sister reminded me to breathe!

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We hired a wedding bus to collect guests from various points in Chester and transport them to the zoo. I was still having my face fixed when it arrived – and luckily I had a bit more time before my car turned up. Thirty minutes later I was sprinting through the hotel in my Jenny Packham wedding dress, heels and bouquet, with my poor dad trailing in my wake, trying to make up time.

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It was only when I was actually sitting in my wedding car (and back on schedule) that I started to relax into the day. Little did I know that our wedding bus had got stuck in the hotel car park and was only two minutes up the road ahead of us!

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No matter how much you brief people, no one knows the big picture of your wedding like you and although the day ran like clockwork from then on, every so often I had to prod proceedings to keep them on track:

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“We should be having the group shots now.”

“They should be serving afternoon tea.”

“Can you round people up for the speeches.”

“Time to cut the cake.”

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And so forth. Luckily I had my ‘Best Woman Gill’ who would go and make things happen and ensure that while my little duck feet were paddling away like Michael Flattery, to my guests I was gliding like a beautifully elegant swan.

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I guess what I’m saying is, plan your perfect day, plan your perfect wedding morning. If you manage to achieve the required level of Zen then I take my tiara off to you. But if it doesn’t quite run to plan, take a deep breath, try not to panic, embrace the story it will give you and if you don’t get to the church quite on time – it isn’t the end of the world.

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FourT4 Photography

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So, Brides Up North – what are your plans for wedding morning zen?  Do you think you can achieve it?  And if you have been there and done that – what was your secret?  Tell us!  It’s officially up for discussion. 

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To read Alison’s post from last Friday and to find out a little bit more about her, click here

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Alison writes her own lifestyle blog over at – http://alison-staples.blogspot.com – check it out!

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HEARTIt’s also Alison’s six month wedding anniversary today!  See her real wedding here. Congrats! HEART

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  – Images © 2011 Alison Staples and FourT4 Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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