Your wedding dress, and the power of emotional space

Your wedding dress, and the power of emotional space

Imagine that your daughter, the little girl that you held, embraced when she scraped her knee, comforted when her heart was broken by her best friend, and had now grown into a beautiful woman, didn’t set aside 5 minutes for just the two of you on her wedding day.

She didn’t mean anything by it. You’re happy for her and were with her all day. She told you a number of times how much she loved you and made it a point to involve you in everything.

But it was busy, full of people and time lines and there was never a spare moment just for you. Now the day is now gone and she’s off to a new life with a special someone. The passing of a milestone in your life went by in a blur without a moment to tell her just how special she is to you.

What would have happened if you had take just 15 minutes alone with her?

What was lost, and would it have been a moment worth remembering? I think it would have been. I think it would have been a beautiful portrait of a mother and a daughter, at their rawest moment, connecting deeply before taking a huge step in your lives. A moment worth remembering.

But it doesn’t happen in a crowd, or with all the distractions coming in from everyone that is present. So if that kind of photograph is important to you, you have to set aside time for it, for her.

Every couple that I work with sits for a planning session with me.

I know that over the coming months they’ll be working through their time line with a venue coordinator, officiant, DJ, and maybe even a wedding planner. And photographers are supposed to document the day, you know, to go with the flow.

But capturing great photographs, photographs that show how my brides and grooms were feeling in the moment, takes planning too.

I’m not suggesting that we plan time for xyz reaction. Or that we stage it. That doesn’t work.

But I am suggesting that we plan for emotional space.

Without emotional space you will lose the chance to capture the feelings of the day.

Emotional space is the room that you give a moment to breathe. It’s knowing that an important point in life is passing for someone you love and making sure that you have a private moment with just them so they can process, express, convey, and experience all of those emotions they have bottled up in side, with you.

I want you to give those feelings a chance to come to the surface, and I want to be in the distance ready to capture it.

During my planning session with you, I will go through the four major emotional points in the day that I don’t want to miss. These four happen almost every time if there is enough emotional space for them to breathe.

And one of them, is when your wedding dress goes on and Mom realizes that this is it. This is the moment that she’s been hoping for, dreading, wanting, hoping wouldn’t come, and thinking about for so many years. And it will be gone in 15 seconds if you’re not prepared.

Step into a quiet room, without your bridal party, and invite Mom to help you get ready.

Quite often this happens in front of all of the bridesmaids, a few friends or relatives, and there is no time specifically devoted to it. So I counsel all of my couples to plan for the bride to get ready second, and to have Mom ready first, dress and all.

When it is time to put your dress on, let the ladies know that you’re going to do it with just Mom, or just Mom and your Maid of Honor. Step into a quiet room and have them both help you with your dress. Somewhere, in the privacy of that moment Mom responds. It’s usually subtle, but in it we see all the years she’s fought for you, wiped your tears away, and wished the world for you. These subtle moments are missed in the business of a day, so unbusy it for just a few moments.

My couples and I have something amazing in common.

We don’t look at wedding photography as magazine covers and fashionable trends. Of course we want gorgeous images, but what matters to both of us is to capture how we feel about those around us, and how they feel about us. Portraits of our lives, and of our loved ones rank too high for anything else to take precedent.

We are loved, and we want to showcase that love forever.

The other 3 emotional moments, are in my planning eBook

I’ll blog about them too, maybe next time. But if you’re planning out your wedding timeline, consider grabbing a copy of my eBook, The Essential Guide to Planning Your Wedding Timeline.

And if we work together, we’ll plan for these moments in person, step by step.