I often get asked, "How do you get brides to take shots like this, especially BEFORE the wedding day?"  Well, the answer is pretty simple.  I tell them that they are going to get amazing shots and that it's worth it.  The key part to all of this is they believe me, and as a result they allow me to shoot them doing crazy stuff like this before their wedding day.

This image of Mandy was taken the day before her wedding, so there was no time to send it to a cleaners etc. which meant we had to be very careful in the way that we shot it.  I always am honest with the brides and let them know that the inside bottom part of their dress will get dirty.  But we will be very careful to not harm anything that would appear in pictures for their wedding day.  

5 Ways Checklist on how to convince brides to do crazy things in their bridal gowns before the wedding day:

  1. Portfolio- show them you've done it and it's worth it.  That can be more powerful than anything, trust me.
  2. Time- there is virtually no time to get this done on the wedding day, so if they don't do it before it's unlikely to happen.  They will be less stressed and have a great time.
  3. Post Wedding Shoot?  Why not do it after the wedding you might ask.  You definitely can, but in all my years doing this I'm here to tell you that the vast majority of brides and wedding couples get very busy after the wedding and this shoot will not happen.  Real life sets in.
  4. Wedding Dress Rehearsal- the bridal session can be a great time to do a "test run" of the bride wearing her gown before the wedding.  This can be important as the bride can learn how to move in her dress, how heavy or light it is, and if any alterations need to be made.  It's one thing to wear the gown in the bridal store, but it's entirely different when they take it out and wear it for a couple of hours which is what I do on my bridal shoots. Once they've worn it for a couple of hours they know what they can do in the dress and if any minor alterations need to be made.   I've even had brides change what they wear underneath their gown because they discover that their corset comes up when they are actually moving around in their dress.  It's a lot better to find this out on the bridal shoot rather than the wedding day!
  5. Pictures at the wedding- if the bridal session is done early enough before the wedding day it means your bride can print some images of the bridal session to display at the wedding reception.  It's a beautiful way to show their beauty and display your work!

Hope this helps.  In all my years doing pre-wedding bridal shoots I have yet to have a wedding gown get damaged. Bring a white sheet if you're extra worried about it and you can place it underneath her dress.  This can be more time consuming but it can calm the nerves of a more nervous bride.


Jason Lanier