Blog ~ Hotel Hugo
Does it still make sense to do elopement getting ready photos if you’re having an intimate or laid back wedding day? I think the simple answer is yes, because no matter what type of wedding day you’re planning, there are great moments that happen at the start of it.
Why Elopement Getting Ready Photos Matter
From intimate candid moments to the opportunity to create amazing detail photos, the “getting ready” portion of your wedding day deserves to be included in your wedding story. Here are 5 reasons why you should have your wedding photography start earlier in the day.
Start your wedding story from the beginning
The hours leading up to walking out the door to get married on your wedding day are filled with some of the most emotionally charged moments. For this reason alone, I think it’s worth having me around to photograph these important moments. And even more importantly, the more intimate moments that unfold during this “getting ready” portion of the day blend beautifully with the rest of your coverage to show the full spectrum and journey of your wedding story.
Also, if you’ll be staying somewhere special for your wedding day, then why not utilize it for cool photos as well? With some of the best hotels in the world, NYC has some really funky and cool spots to use for portraits while you’re all dressed up.
Break tradition and get ready together
I love it when couples get ready in the same space when eloping because it really stresses the intimacy of the day. While this almost never happens on big wedding days, the ability for the couple to be spending time together that usually has them sequestered from one another is really special.
There’s even a way to preserve a little mystery and still do a first look! You can get ready together up until you need to get dressed, and then one partner will get dressed first and then duck outside, and then the other partner will get dressed. Once everyone is ready to go we can then go to do the first look. That’s exactly what I did with Natalie & Peter at The Whitby.
Capture your details in finer detail
If you really want great detail photos of your dress, tux, bouquets, invitations, and other significant items, then it’s important to have me there during the start of your wedding day. Selecting these items was not a light choice on your end, so capturing them with a bit of care makes for great keepsakes to look back on, even if you choose to sell the dress.
Styling and capturing your details in a more interesting way is a breeze in a controlled environment like a hotel room, your own apartment, or an AirBnB rental. It also allows me to incorporate other details, like the row of family photos behind Johana’s floral bridal shoes.
The rings are the only item that I’m used to capturing out and about in NYC, because this is the one detail photo I have to capture even if I wasn’t there for getting ready photos. Rings, however, are small objects that are easy to pop on and off, and it’s usually easy to find some interesting texture or surface to place them on to photograph. Whereas asking a bride to take off her shoes to photograph them is kind of…an odd request.
A great time to exchange gifts
I love capturing wedding couples opening gifts from their partner on their wedding day, and I especially love photographing the reaction shots as they read the notes that are included. The sometimes humorous, but always heartfelt, notes always get great reactions that are great to look back on.
Some of the best moments can happen at the start of the day
When else would a spontaneous Spice Girls dance-off happen between the bride and her sisters? That happened this past weekend as Alisha was about to put her wedding dress on. One of her sisters played “Wannabe” and they just started going crazy singing and dancing along.
Sure, awesome moments happen at the reception and the ceremony too, but the ones that unfold while you’re getting ready with an intimate crowd are definitely of a different variety.
Elopement getting ready photos enrich your wedding day story
There were 5 great reasons why you should start your wedding photography from the beginning of the day. I think capturing elopement getting ready photos is very important because it allows me to tell your wedding story from the start! So whether it’s just the two of you or you and a small group of special guests, include this part of your day in your elopement photography. You won’t regret it.
Wondering where to stay for all of these great elopement getting ready photos? Check out my guide to three great elopement hotels in NYC.
These two met at a pre-game for the Governor’s Ball Music Festival and ended up spending the whole day hanging out with each other. At the time, Nick was living in DC, so he was up in New York for the weekend. He later invited Michele to fly down to spend a weekend in DC with him, so she basically flew all the way down there just for a first date! The two of them hit all the tourist hot spots like the National Mall and the monuments, went paddle boarding in the Potomac, and enjoyed some great food on U Street.
They got engaged on New Year’s Eve, as 2015 turned into 2016. Nick had already planned for them to stay in a little cottage in the woods in Woodstock, NY, for two nights so that they could start out the new year in nature. Then, on New Year’s Eve, they hiked to the top of Overlook Mountain, where to Nick’s surprise, he was able to get the whole thing documented when they came upon 3 nice women at the top of the mountain. He asked the women to take their picture, and as the woman held up the camera, he proposed!
On New Year’s Day, both of their families surprised Michele by greeting the two of them at their apartment when they got back home. Her parents had come from Nashville and his from New Jersey to be there for them. Nick told Michelle that they would all be going out to brunch at the Upright Brew House as a family, but when they arrived, all their best friends were there for a day of, as Nick called it, “surprises on surprises on surprises.”
I met up with these two for a classic church ceremony on a beautiful October day, and I was sure to get as many wide photos as I could. They wanted to show off the locations of the day, and with the beautiful Catholic Church as well as the intense rooftop party, there certainly were plenty to photograph.
Before the reception, Michele and Nick asked their dog walker to meet with them so that they could spend a few minutes with their dog, Doogie Howzer, MD. He is a big bear of a dog: a Bernese Mountain and poodle mix, and the bride and groom absolutely love their little doctor/son. It wouldn’t be right to not include him in their wedding photographs, so took some family photographs of the three of them celebrating together.
Once they’d said “hello” to Doogie Howzer MD, we headed over to the Hotel Hugo for their rooftop reception. With dramatic views of the Hudson River, Freedom Tower and Statue of Liberty, the Hotel Hugo rooftop bar is an amazing high-rise retreat. The party was intense, with everyone on their feet and on the dance floor; the perfect complement to their classic, timeless church ceremony. Festivities flowed out onto the Hotel Hugo’s Azul Rooftop where you can tell from the photographs, everyone had a blast.
Nick & Michele, thank you for letting me be part of your celebrations. I loved hearing your story and getting to be part of the epic party.