Usually, when you’re the photographer at a wedding, or at any event for that matter, you’re the hired help. No more, no less. So when the best man thanks the photographer when he delivers his speech, you know you’re in the company of pretty decent people.

My favourite part of photographing a wedding is the getting ready part. I love the window light falling on fabric and skin, the opportunity for wonderful portraits, candid shots and still life. I love the cameraderie, the gentle teazing, the build-up from slow, lazy getting ready to the frenzy of showtime, the interaction between the girls and the mom, the love and the friendship. I love how everyone transforms from terrycloth dressing gowns, bare faces and curlers in the hair to breathtaking beauties. And it’s an absolute treat for me when care has been taken with every little detail, as with this wedding, where the wedding dress was hung in this old wooden cupboard.

The bride’s ‘bling’ was turned into a still life …

A little girl’s excitement always adds some extra magic to the event …

And then there’s the ritual of getting the bride dressed, and everyone wants to help …

There seem always to be many buttons to fasten …

And Mom’s final touch is invaluable …

Suddenly the bride is dressed and ready, time has run out, and the energy in the room has changed.  Everybody’s voice is pitched at half an octave higher, everybody speaks slightly louder than before … bits and pieces can’t be found … a little curl escapes from the hairdo … the lips need another lick of gloss … the earrings! … another drop of rescue remedy … dad is waiting at the door, anxious … it’s time to go … now!

And all too soon it’s all over. The young girl is a married woman. Only a moment ago she was wishing for it all to just get started, and a moment later, before she could be fully present, she had walked the path of millions of women before her. Suddenly everything is different.

A new life as a wife has started …


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