Make sure your wedding dress is perfect

wedding photographer

Searching the internet for wedding dresses and the varying designs on offer for the bride-to-be is probably one of the most exciting experiences after the love of your life has ‘popped the question’ for any bride – and rightly so. It is probably the culmination of all your childhood dreams!

This task can be a daunting task for many as the variations in design (and price too) can leave many indecisive as to the choice. Others may have visualised there ideal dress for many years. In either case, the experience should be a joyous one – savour every moment!

As professional photographers (yes, we do pay attention to the finer details as well), here are a few pointers from our perspective to help you on your way. We won’t help you choose your wedding dress, that is your pleasure – but please do heed these few pointers as we have seen some unpleasant experiences at a very critical time on a wedding day.

fixing-a-wedding-dressMake sure the zip is of decent quality

That being said – if the dress has one. In the moment of panic when a low quality zip breaks, you will feel is if your dreams are about to come crashing down. Fear not as it’s photographer to the rescue! We have had to resort on more than one occasion to literally sewing the dress on to the bride!. No joke, and as a male, this can be a somewhat embarassing situation since men are not supposed to having a sewing needle in their hand. Thanks Mom!

Let me cite an example from a wedding in November of 2010.

The Bride’s makeup is done and the moment comes for you to pull on the dress. Nerves are frayed and that little sumptious meal you had earlier in the week has added that weensy extra half centimetre. Bridesmaid says breathe in (beep, wrong answer – breathe OUT to contract your chest) and the zip goes halfway and then the battle commences. Fearfully watching on, and it is a moment we love to capture for the bride with images, we anticipate and hold our breath. A few more up and down slides of the zip and then a firm upward pull and the bridesmaid suddenly finds herself with the zip in her hand looking at the half completed zip in absolute dismay! Oh my word – what now!

The Mother of the Bride dashes to find a needle and thread after determining that the inferior zip quality is such that no amount of tweaking will get it working again. It is ultimately decided to sew the dress on to the bride (poor groom). The first movement of the needle pricks her finger – and there is NO way ANY bride wants blood on her dress. The sympathetic photographer chases everyone away and calmly proceeds to sew the dress on. Half an hour later (I’m not that good with a needle and thread) and the deed is done. My assistant captured this hapless moment of me in action! And now – on to the photographs of the bride……….

Why did the photographer get involved? It is also our responsibilty to ensure an air of calm prevails.. we do whatever it takes to accomplish this!

Make sure your tan lines are well covered prior to the wedding

We live in a beautifull and sunny country and sun, sea and joyous days on the beach come to mind. Harsh tan lines can be a problem for a wedding photographer to remove!

Don’t crash diet the last few weeks before your wedding day

It may be too late, and only serves to complicate the wedding day even further. Ensure your meals are not suddenly vastly different in ingredients as this may alter the body metabolism and cause you to either lose weight sharply, or heaven forbid, gain an extra centimetre or two.

Make sure your dress fits properly across the bust with no possibility of sliding down. In our opinion, the wedding dress should (once laced or zipped) form fit your upper body and waist well enough to minimise reliance of the bust to hold the dress up.  Any good dress designer should consider these situations well in advance in any case.

Make sure your seams and quality of stitching are good

This unfortunately could possibly be more prevalent with the budget conscious bride. Their are some unscrupulous dress makers out there who may very well design and make a wedding dress for you at a rate much lower than the more popular bridal stores, but the quality of stitching and seaming can leave you in a very embarrassing situation later in the day. And how many guests would have a sewing kit with them on the wedding day?

Our example on this situation resulted in a very reduced time we had to capture great wedding images of the bride and groom after the ceremony. Our experience has taught us to always have a small sewing kit available in your photography bag. We carry a small roll of white cotton, two needle sizes, a small scissors and a small pliers for this times when we WERE able to repair a zip!

For the possibly pregnant bride

Make sure the slip fits! Take into consideration that your size will increase with passing each week and the last thing you would want is for the slip to have to now suddenly be positioned below the tummy on the wedding day! And suddenly the slip protrudes below the wedding dress and not wearing one could be slightly embarassing.Keep a stapler handy! As before, remain calm and simply fold the slip under the dress to shorten the slip and staple together – most certainly not the most elegant solution but it works!

Lastly, and most importantly – enjoy your wedding day!!


  1. AnnekeAnneke10-05-2012

    Ag shame! The poor girl. Thanks for the advice

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Never let the issue of price override your need for quality!

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