How often have photographers prioritized the bride on wedding days and neglected the groom? Most of our conversations are with the bride, but the day is just as much about the groom!
I remember earlier this year I tagged along and second shot for one of my photographer friends and had one of the best wedding experiences I can remember. The couple was SO sweet, the venue staff was excellent, and there were hardly any hiccups the whole day. But the thing that sticks in my mind the most was how much the groom cared about the details of the day. He and his groomsmen were so prepared by the time we arrived and had extra personalized touches that really elevated not just his day, but mine too!
I spent just as much time photographing his details as my friend spent on the bride’s details that day, and not because I had to, but because I wanted to! I made sure to spend some time with the groom and capture plenty of portraits as well. The more I photograph weddings, the more I realize that we need to do a better job of giving the groom a great experience. Here are some tips to insure that happens:
For the Groom:
- Make sure your getting ready space is clean and decluttered! Getting ready rooms are always chaotic on wedding days, but one way to make sure your pre-ceremony candids with your groomsmen go smoothly is to organize the tuxes, the gifts, the food, and the drinks by the time we arrive.
- Have your tux, your shoes, your watch, your cuff-links, your (bow)tie, your pocket square, your groomsmen gifts, and your boutonnieres gathered and in one spot by the time your photographer arrives. Bonus points if you have an extra copy of the invitation suite!
- Be mostly dressed by the time your photographer arrives. You don’t need your shoes on or your jacket, because we’ll likely grab a few shots of you finishing getting ready. If you’re fully dressed, we’ll just fake it for a couple of photos!
- Grooms sometimes get stuck in dark rooms to get ready. Ask your coordinator if there is a room with good natural light available for you at your venue.
- Educate your groom on the above tips! I always schedule a pre-wedding consultation with both the bride and groom before the wedding day. Take this time to talk directly to your groom and ask him if he has any questions about the logistics.
- Schedule 15 more minutes than you think you’ll need to photograph the groom on the wedding day. Experiment with posing!
- Ask your groom if there are any poses he wants. Brides are more vocal about what imagery they prefer, but grooms are more go-with-the-flow. Sometimes your groom might have an idea in his head, but he doesn’t want to interfere with his bride’s desires. You never know until you ask!
- Encourage your groom to enjoy his portrait time! Groomsmen are very lighthearted and jovial when they’re together in front of the camera. But make no mistake, they take their portrait time seriously! Hiding under the banter is a ball of nerves.
They are marrying their significant other in front of a crowd, after all! Be vocal with your groom during his portrait time, and let him know when he looks great on camera! It might give him a bit of confidence going into the rest of the day.
- Arrive early and introduce yourself to the groom and the groomsmen. Get to know each of them and take your time before the day starts! You don’t want to rush introductions and appear flustered.
- Have fun! Be a positive and upbeat influence on a stressful and chaotic day. Enjoy yourself and the time you’re spending with these people!