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The 9 Secrets

that will make your wedding day stress free Advice from over 1000 weddings

A Publication of Gala Photography


Table of Contents Introduction Button Hole Blues Corsage Chic The Dress Hang on to your hat Bouquets or Brick Bats? Be Upstanding I need Spaaace The Little Things Who’s got you covered?


Introduction How to be the coolest bride and groom…. Here are 9 tips that we know will make your day smoother, remove some stress and make you look like the coolest couple that ever was. A photographer’s job is privileged. We’re with the bride and groom all day – longer than almost anyone else. And with 1000 weddings on our books, we’ve seen all of the pitfalls (again and again), and we know pretty much every tradition for most cultures. Gala brides have had the good fortune of having Antonio on hand. He’s solved a lot of problems, remained cool and kept things on track in even the most disastrous of weddings. He’s dealt with power blackouts, hair dryers on fires, dresses with no zippers, flowers not arriving, hot days that need 5 different shirts for the groom, pouring rain, floods that threatened the reception marquee, cold days where the bridesmaids were turning blue – you name it, he’s probably seen it. This eBook is your chance to take advantage of that amazing experience and find out some of the more common things that stress brides or spoil photos. When you’re not worrying about the little things: • You’ll look confident and relaxed • Your photos will show you at your best • Your guests will be more relaxed (truly) • You’ll have time to take notice of the moments so it won’t be quite such a blur


Button Hole Blues The business of boys….

It’s not often that men wear flowers these days – except at weddings! Knowing how to place a buttonhole flower is a lost art, unless you’re an experienced photographer that does this every weekend of course Sadly, even florists can get this wrong, not because it doesn’t look good when it’s first placed, but because it doesn’t stay in place during the long day of a wedding. When Antonio places a button hole (and he’s placed many of them) they stay put.


Buttoning Up‌ So here are the fool proof steps to make sure the boys look their best all day: 1.

Button holes are worn on the left hand side of the jacket

2.

Button holes, despite their name, do not go into the button hole! They always sit on the outside of the lapel with the stem pointing down. Yep, you see the whole flower and stem.

3.

Place the flower into position.

4.

Take a pin and starting at the back of the lapel, at the base of the flower and on the fold side of the flower, push the pin through to the front.

5.

Pass the pin through the flower stem, angled slightly down the stem so it emerges maybe 1.5cm lower than it entered.

6.

Now push the pin back through the lapel so the point is at the back, hidden from view.

7.

The head of the pin is closest to the fold of the lapel. The point of the pin is pointing towards the outside edge of the lapel.

With the slight pin angle, the flower is guaranteed to stay in position all day. If the pin is parallel, the flower will droop, either sideways or forwards. With 1000 weddings under our belt, we can tell you that gravity works!


Corsage Chic One for the Mums…. Remember, boys aren’t the only ones that wear some flowers on a wedding day. The mothers of the bride and groom also have corsages if they choose. A corsage is a beautiful addition to compliment a dress - and the best thing is they can be worn almost anywhere: Lapel height is common, but you can also try the shoulder, in the hair, on the wrist, at the waist, attached to a hat or as a lovely handbag spray. There are many options from which to choose.

When it’s worn on clothing there are slightly different considerations for women. Generally a woman’s dress material is not going to be as heavy as a man’s suit, so it will be dragged by the weight of flowers. To overcome this you need to use at least 2 pins, possibly 3. Just remember that one is never enough!


A perfect fix... 1.

Shoulder height corsages are generally worn on the right hand side about 10cm in from the shoulder, and at a slight angle. But not judging by our photos!

2.

The stem of a corsage is meant to point upwards – yes really. The flowers ‘hang’ down so they fall in the prettiest manner.

3.

Place the flower into position.

4.

Take a pin and starting on the inside of the dress, at the base of the flower spray, push the pin through to the front.

5.

Pass the pin through the stem, angled slightly upwards so it emerges maybe 1.5cm higher than it entered.

6.

Now push the pin back through the dress and weave it at least once to hold. At this point the pin should be hidden from view.

7.

Repeat steps 4-6 from the opposing side, so the pins cross inside the stem.

The corsage is guaranteed to stay in position all day and there should not be any dragging or distortion to the dress or jacket.

A dragging collar ruins the look

Perfect Placement


The Dress Ladies in waiting… Wearing a bridal gown is quite different to any other dress. You feel like a princess – and today, you are! But to be a princess, you need to live it.

Getting dressed… You’ve been doing this since you were 3 – how hard can it be? Well, this time you have had your hair done and your makeup put on. Before you don your dress. You don’t want to spoil anyof them. You need to step into your dress if possible. That’s right, put it on the ground and step in from the top. If that’s not possible, you need 2 people to hold the dress open while you rise up from underneath.

Remember, you’re not alone – and there’s a reason for that. Your bridesmaids are there to work, honey! So shed the embarrassment and let them do their job. Depending on the fastening you might need someone to tie the straps or do the back buttons for you as well.


How to walk like a princess…

So, the dress is on and you’re looking good. Now you need to walk elegantly and effortlessly. Did your mother ever tell you to stand tall? Well, today is the day you need to do that more than ever. Stand straight and imagine a balloon tied to the crown of your head, pulling upwards. Can you feel your spine lengthen? Good. Let’s walk. Generally, you can lift the hem of your dress when you walk around, but not when you’re walking down the aisle! So how do you do this and still look a million dollars?

The trick to getting down the aisle without tripping on your dress (assuming it’s full length) and without holding up the hem is ‘kick – step’. 1.

Kick the hem forward a little before you take the step. The action of the dress swinging gives your foot room to land on the ground safely.

2.

Take the step! Simple.

It may not feel right to you, but from the outside it looks like you’re walking normally. Try it a few times before you leave for the church so the action is really smooth and you will look a very poised bride!


Hang on to your hat The veil of love… A veil is a beautiful accessory and very traditional. Some brides choose a fascinator or a cocktail veil, but if you’re going for a shoulder or full length veil you need to make sure it stays on your head! Hairdressers will not want to mess your hair design and while they mean well, we’ve seen too many veils fly away even in a light breeze.

Our advice?

Secure that veil with at least 3 strong bobby pins. If it’s a heavy veil with lace or crystals, then add more. Remember those bridesmaids? They’re there to work so have one of them carry some spare bobby pins and fix your veil if it needs it.

Don’t be afraid to tell the photographer to wait if you feel your veil has come loose. Or, for that matter, if there’s anything else you want to fix. They’re their to photograph you

at your best.


Bouquets Or Brick Bats... Holding a bouquet requires some thought – not too much, but with a little preparation you will look truly elegant. We’ve seen nervous brides clutching their bouquets like clubs, ready to fend off all comers. We’ve seen brides so tense, they wear their shoulders up around their ears and scrunch their bouquet up under their chins. While everyone understands the nerves, it is the image captured in photographs. You have to remember to breathe and relax those shoulders. Your guests will sense your tension and feel sad that you’re uptight on your wedding day. But worse (in our opinion) is that every photo will show you as tense. The photographer can only photograph what’s in front of him, and if you’re tense or uptight it will show – and be there forever. So how do you hold a bouquet? Let’s find out…

Flowers – on hot days make sure someone has responsibility to bring a water spray and freshen the flowers before the ceremony, after the ceremony, at the location and before the reception. This way they’ll last all day.


The elegant bride... Elegance is simple – and so is holding a bouquet when you know how. When you’re planning your bouquet, ask the florist about the weight. Remember, you have to hold this all day, so what seems okay for 5 minutes can become very, very heavy after 5 hours. On the day, you want to hold the bouquet at waist height. You’ve spent time and money on your gorgeous dress – don’t hide it behind your flowers. Here are our best tips:

1.

Practice before you pick up the flowers

2.

Shoulders relaxed

3.

Stand tall – remember, there’s a balloon pulling you up from the middle of your head

4.

Hands clasped below your belly button

5.

Elbows in against your waist That’s the perfect position!

Look at yourself in the mirror. Take note of where your elbows rest and correct your shoulder or head position now.


Beautiful Bouquets... With the underlying position sorted, try it with flowers. You can practice with some from the garden or a bunch from the supermarket if you want to try it before the day. Pick up your flowers and stand in front of that mirror again: 1.

Assuming the same position as before, the top of your bouquet should be at around waist height.

2.

You should be able to see the detail of your bodice and your décolletage

3.

Your shoulders will look relaxed, your neck long and you’re looking beautiful.

Take a moment to ‘feel’ this position so you can return to it frequently during the day. Everyone gets nervous, so it’s normal that some tension will creep into your body at various times. If you sense it, take a moment for a deep breath, drop your shoulders and go back to this basic position. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes to your appearance and your confidence. And it will save you from what’s over the page…


Brick Bats... Now for a few minutes of fun: Are you still in front of that mirror? Here’s where you try what not to do. 1.

Pick up your flowers:

2.

Think about the things that worry you.

3.

Scrunch up those shoulders and hold your flowers tight.

4.

Bring your hands up to waist height. It’s not much, but do it anyway.

5.

Can you see what that does to your appearance? Can you see the detail of your bodice? I doubt it.

6.

Are your shoulders too high and your neck too short?

This?

Or this?

Take a look at yourself. It’s over-exaggerated, but it let’s you see, really clearly, what story the camera will tell if you don’t remind yourself to relax and use the ‘correct’ position we started with.


Bridesmaids too... You want a relaxed wedding party and the one person holding their flowers too tight or too high will stand out. Your bridesmaids are on show and probably nervous also. No, they’re not the bride, but they are your friends and/or family. You care for them. Let them shine and shine with confidence. Have you put time and effort into choosing the gorgeous dresses they’re wearing? Then don’t let them be hidden behind the flowers either. On the day, your bridesmaids’ style will also help to make you look the most beautiful bride ever. Hint: Get your bridesmaids to practice holding a bouquet correctly too! They’ll love you for it!

Okay, remind yourself of the steps to a perfect bouquet: 1. Relax your shoulders 2. Hands below your belly button 3. Elbows in at the waist 4. Breathe Now you have relaxed shoulders, a long neck, your bouquet is about waist height, you can see your bodice and you’re looking gorgeous.


Be Upstanding Staying on your feet... Weddings are big events – even small ones! Don’t under-estimate what a long day it will be and how much energy you will need to stay on your feet and enjoy the party at the end.

• You might be full of nerves and not sleep the night before,

making the day feel very long.

• You might come from an ethnic background, such as Macedonia, where there are a lot of activities at the house even before you leave for the church.

Swooning may seem romantic, but not on your wedding day – plan to eat !

• Or your wedding might run over two days to meet all the traditional obligations from 2 different cultural groups. • There are many different weddings and there are many reasons this is a tiring event.

We’ve seen a lot of weddings and we’ve seen a lot of brides faint – at the church, after the ceremony, on location, even during grace before everyone sits down to eat. Mostly it’s fatigue and low blood sugar. So we have some very frank advice on how to manage these two enemies on your big day.


Food for thought... These are our ‘Ignore At Your Own Peril’ tips for managing blood sugar and avoiding swoons at inconvenient times First: Eat a good breakfast. Take the time to get some food into you early in the day.

Remember those bridesmaids? They're still working for you, honey. One of them should be responsible for sustenance throughout the day. You’ll have enough on your mind, so charge one of them to make sure: • The morning tea is set out and you’re forced to stop to eat and drink. • This bridesmaid can work with the drivers to lay out some food once you leave the church. • Carry some water bottles for you • Carry a spritzer of Evian and some tissues so you can refresh your face or wrists when you need.

Second: Plan snacks throughout the day. Make sure there’s a morning tea or sandwiches at home – and take the time to eat something!

Third: Make sure the car drivers carry some food as well as the important champagne for you and the wedding party to share after the ceremony

Fourth: Drink water. Someone should be carrying (and offering) water for you all day.


I need spaaace Time to relax... Sometimes you just need time. This is an emotional day, an overwhelming day – for everyone! And I mean everyone. Many brides arrive at their wedding day after having arguments with their mum about seating arrangements, or with bridesmaids about dress lengths. Maybe your groom is not the favoured suitor? Whatever your challenges have been, you’re not Robinson Crusoe and ‘the day’ will be a challenge for all.

So if tempers are rising or there are too many voices. If you’re feeling teary and want to be alone or need a drink, be bold and say it out loud. A good photographer will sense your mood and help to manage mum or the bridesmaids. They can stop the noise and give you some peace. If not, ask them to!

Recommendations are best for photographers. You need someone who isn’t in your face, but takes charge when the emotions run too high. They’re your wedding fairy as much as your photographer. And what do we know? We know 1000 brides and 1000 families that appreciate Antonio’s quiet manner and his bossy attitude when it was needed!


The Little Things that make it smooth... Zippers break, hems drop, lipstick fades, entrees are late. No wedding runs to time – ever. Don’t expect it and don’t be disappointed, it’s normal. But you can take some small precautions to make it a bit easier: 1.Here come the bridesmaids - again. Ask a bridesmaid (not your maid/matron of honour) to carry a small sewing kit with thread in the right colours and several needles (pre-threaded is best), some safety pins, scissors and hollywood tape.

2. Another bridesmaid can hold some makeup – you need to carry lip stick and gloss to refresh through the day and before the location shots after the ceremony

Trial any makeup at least 4 weeks before the wedding. If you have an allergic reaction that gives time for everything to calm down. And waxing your brows or lip? At least a week earlier!

3. You need a very reliable friend (who’s not in the wedding party) to be in charge of everything else at the reception. They need to be in contact with the coordinator and know the order of ceremony. They need to make sure those entrees do arrive, there are enough bread roles and the drinks don’t run out. It’s not your problem! Learn to delegate!! Or else, we suggest you think seriously about hiring a coordinator for the day.


Who’s got you covered? Let Antonio make your day even smoother! Have our tips and tricks relieved a worry or even solved a problem you didn’t know you had? You can have Antonio as your photographer on the day, bringing all his experience, patience and calm to your wedding

Book an engagement shoot to trial his style.

We offer shoots on weekday evenings or Sundays in the beautiful Southern Highlands If you book your wedding with Gala, then the trial is free!

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A Publication of Gala Photography


9 photographer's tips for your wedding day