vintage solstice styled bridal shoot
Being in the wedding industry, you're exposed to hundreds of gorgeous weddings, thousands of pretty gowns and hairstyles, countless bouquets. For those of us who are married, it can definitely make you want a wedding do-over! No matter how timeless a wedding ceremony is, I feel like every bride's tastes and aesthetic changes over time, and how fun would it be to throw another wedding party with your current style? I feel like that's probably why we photographers do styled shoots. It's a fun (and way cheaper) way of "doing over" your wedding. As a lady, we get to feel so special and gorgeous on that day. Hair done up, makeup flawlessly applied, stunning gown, sparkly jewelry. Unless you're Taylor Swift or Beyonce, most of us don't have a reason or excuse to get that gussied up again, but I feel like most of us want to. During the summer wedding season months, we see photos of friends and acquaintances becoming brides, and we remember how it felt on that day. To feel that gorgeous and special.
I won't lie, there are days I want to feel that special again, if only for a little bit. The mundanity of every day life is hard to compare to that big day, but I feel like we should be able to recreate a bit of that special feeling without needing the excuse of a special occasion. Sometimes you just want to feel pretty and fancy just because, and I think that's totally legit.
So the other day, which happened to be summer solstice, the late low sun's light was killing it and as a photographer I couldn't let that creamy, delicious light go to waste. I'd just seen a friend's bridal portraits and felt like, damn, I remember how amazing that felt. So. I ran home. Pulled my wedding dress out of its garment bag. Quickly put on some slightly fancier makeup, threw on a wig (didn't feel like taking green-haired photos and I hadn't rocked my redhead wig in photos yet!). Made an uber-fast bouquet out of some leftover faux blooms laying around. And drove 30 seconds to a park to catch the last of the solstice sun for a "bridal" shoot.
Seeing this dress on again, I remembered how gorgeous it was and is. And, even though there are so many incredibly amazing gowns I'd love to wear (ugh, Free People, stahp!), this one still feels like the one. It still feels like the dress I was meant to walk down the aisle wearing. Doing this little shoot made a lot of that desire to have a do-over dissipate and I fell in love with our wedding all over again. Sure, I'd probably style the decor differently. Having shot and attended so many weddings since our 2011 weddings, I'd do a lot of things differently. But there are so many things I wouldn't change for the world. For one: the dress I wore down the aisle. But more importantly: the man I walked down that aisle towards.
Trash-the-dress shoots became a thing sometime in the past 15 years, and while I sort of get the point (you're only going to wear it once, so why keep it around taking up space in the closet?), it kind of breaks my heart a little. I've put on both my grandmothers' wedding dresses, and this dress, my wedding dress, was my mother's wedding dress. They only wore their dresses once, presumably, but being able to put on my grandmothers' dresses, getting to wear my mom's dress for my own wedding? So amazing.
Any brides out there want to do a re-do bridal shoot? Who says you can't get all "Brided" up again and put on your white dress and feel fancy? If you want permission, here. I give you permission. You're totally allowed to put on your wedding dress again and do a faux-bridal shoot just for the heck of it.
Let's do it.