The ceremony… the rings… the speeches… I think every bride and groom has a different expectation of what the most amazing moments will be when the big day finally comes around. I met up with fabulous Kent wedding photographer Benjamin Toms recently, and we got to chatting about the best moments. Ben surprised me, and talked so passionately about the best wedding moments as seen through the eyes of a photographer… and I think I’ll see every real wedding on the blog a little differently now.
“As a documentary wedding photographer I will spend a full day shooting a wedding. This means I live through the nerves and excitement with my couples – and it’s such an incredible privilege. I usually arrive two or three hours before the ceremony, which gives me time to capture images of the bride getting ready.”
The moment a bride puts on her wedding dress is so emotional – there’s such a build up of nervous energy and excitement while the girls are getting ready, it’s the most incredible thing.
Often the bride’s mum has been to dress fittings, or a chief bridesmaid, but nine times out of ten the bridesmaids will be seeing the bride in her dress for the first time. It’s a previous moment with Mum too: the lacing of the dress makes everything feel suddenly very real – it’s that sense of “this is it!” and there are tears, hugs and the biggest smiles you’ll ever see – all to be captured on camera.
Documenting a wedding isn’t about taking shots of the dress on a hanger, or of shoes or bouquets on a step outside… it’s about the look in your eyes when Mum helps you lace up your dress, when your bridesmaids gasp and get tears in their eyes, when your niece or daughter or flower girl walks in and goes “wow!” because you’re a real princess… the first of my favourite wedding day moments.
The other best moment of your wedding day, for me, is after the first dance.
I spend all day capturing a rollercoaster of emotions: the nervous excitement as you walk down the aisle, the tear in your groom’s eye as he turns to look at you, and the joy as you turn to face your guests and walk back through the church or ceremony venue. There’s rarely a moment which isn’t full of excitement and happy anticipation!
As the day moves on, and guests enjoy their meal, and once the speeches are made and the party begins, everyone can truly relax. The last ‘event’ of the wedding day is the first dance – and whether you’ve choreographed a showstopping routine or you’re happily looking forward to a romantic shuffle across the dancefloor, the first dance signals the start of the party.
It’s almost tangible: after the first dance everyone can totally relax and let their hair down. Smiles are just pure happiness; the nerves are all gone and I really love seeing brides and grooms having the time of their lives with all of their friends and family around them. For at least the first two songs the dancefloor will be full and for me as a photographer to take great shots of you and your friends truly having the time of your lives!
Benjamin Toms Photography – more information and pictures!
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