Let me first start by saying, that this is NOT the wedding dress I picked out for our anniversary shoot coming up next month. But I did love this dress, although I think I found a better one for me and for our project.
I went to Goodwill’s bridal boutique in Ahwatukee with one of my best friends, Alex Evjen of AVE Styles to hunt for the dress. We were pretty fortunate to have found several dresses that were very pretty and that could have worked. But the one I found is PERFECT. And it was cheap. AND it’s in perfect condition. I decided to thrift my dress for this project because A). I am a massive bargain hunter when it comes to clothing and decor. Majorly. and B). Because I am going to change the entire dress. Yes friends, I’m going to get a bit creative. And that can be scary if you know me at all because I’m not really crafty. But every now and them, if I’m inspired the right way, something really cool can be created. So… stay tuned for that. HA. It could be interesting.
But do you know what else I realized? It dawned on me, as Alex was zipping up the third dress, that I never ever got to try wedding dresses on when I was actually getting married! I wore my mom’s dress and it was the first dress I tried on. When I slipped into it in my mom’s bedroom almost ten years ago to try it on, I ‘just knew’ it was the one. You know how they always say that ‘you’ll know’ when it’s the right dress? Well I did. And it was my mom’s. And I adore that dress. But I never went to different bridal stores and tried on a bunch of them. So I had NO idea how that felt.
And then out loud I told Alex, ‘I think every female wedding photographer should just GO try on wedding dresses just to know how it feels!’. And she totally agreed. THOSE SUCKERS ARE HEAVY. THEY ARE HOT. THEY ARE BIG. It’s not easy to get into a wedding dress and it’s one hundred percent a two person job. Now I understand why it can take a little bit to get into it. There’s a LOT of layers and different things that need to happen to make sure you’re staying put. Maybe I’m naive, but I never really realized all that went into just GETTING THE DRESS ON. Let alone breathing after you have it on. HA.
All that to say, it was an incredibly fun experience. And I found a gorgeous dress that I’m going to style a little bit more to fit the direction we are taking the shoot. But I found it as an opportunity to learn something that is actually going to be valuable for my business. Putting myself in my bride’s shoes for a couple hours as I shopped for dresses was a great experience. It can be stressful, and exhausting, and overwhelming to find the right dress. Not to mention actually getting the dress on, which is a whole other task. Sometimes it’s just a great idea to know what your brides are going through and experiencing. This is such a key point to a wedding day, and I will look at it differently now that I know what it feels like to shop for the perfect dress, to put it on, to have opinions of strangers thrown your way, and to make up your mind that ‘this is IT’.
Seeing things from another persons’ perspective is sometimes exactly what you need to stretch your own self in your art. I would recommend trying on wedding dresses to any wedding photographer who has never tried on a bunch, as I hadn’t. If anything, you’ll see the world from someone else’s perspective in real time. And that can only make your photography better, right?
* This is not, I repeat, NOT the dress I’m wearing for our shoot. Only a handful of people have seen it. And it won’t be long until you do too.