Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bridals vs. Groomals - Breaking Tradition

The groom seeing the bride in her dress before the wedding day is no longer taboo.

Traditional photography sessions of just the bride, or bridals, are now being replaced with ‘groomals’ of both the future bride and groom. Groomals are quickly becoming more the norm than the exception with wedding photographers.

Wedding specialist Heather Balliet, and owner of Amorology in Southern California, sets up a photo shoot with the couple and photographer prior to the wedding day for what they call a “first look.”

“This is an opportunity prior to the ceremony to capture the groom seeing his bride for the first time in her gown,” said Balliet. “While this works for couples of all religions, this is an especially great option for our LDS brides who don’t have a formal walk down the aisle and who typically see each other for the first time in their wedding attire as they exit the temple.”

Many wedding photographers feel this first look should be private and intimate, away from crowds of well wishers.

“We were preparing for bride and groomals and I put on my tux and I walked out and saw Heather for the first time in her wedding dress,” said Jacob Wright of Provo. “It was shocking because I had never fathomed being at this point where I had this beautiful girl I was going to marry.” (Photo is of Jake and Heather. Heather is a cousin of ours - isn't she beautiful!)

A bride and groom dressed up for their groomals with no pressure to meet and greet guests, can create a more relaxed and fun photo shoots in diverse locations.

Some couples have chosen funky or edgy photo shoot locations in wheat fields, railroad stations with graffiti, pumpkin patches, and beaches.

It was a nice touch to have different scenery for our groomals said recently married Garrett Williams, an accounting major at BYU.

“I liked the train graffiti wall best because it was rugged and manly,” Williams said referring to a background used in their photo shoot.

The traditional studio photo shoot is being replaced with more playful and meaningful interactions outside said Californian photographer Jamie Hammond of Jamie Hammond Photography.

“I take a natural approach, focus[ing] on them and their relationship,” said Hammond “The focus should be them together, not them sitting awkwardly looking at my camera. I want to feel like I’m secretly capturing moments and that they didn’t even know I was there.”

Jennifer Fauset of Fauset Photography in Salt Lake City believes that groomals are fabulous because she can take as much time as needed with the couple to get exactly what they want. She said all of the couples have loved doing the photos beforehand.

The weather man doesn’t always deliver perfect weather for the big day. However, choosing to do groomals when the weather is cooperative can relieve unneeded stress on the day of the wedding.

“I had one couple that decided to do half of their pre-wedding pictures at the temple, the other half at a corn maze and pumpkin patch,” said Chauntelle Janzer from Salt Lake City and owner of OpieFoto. “Come the wedding day, when they stepped outside of the temple, it was a crazy blizzard. They had no worries about the weather because they already got some great pictures before the wedding.”


Melissa said...

So fun. Thanks for sharing. We love seeing articles about some of our amazing vendors on our wedding website Great job Opie Foto.

Amy said...

Great article! I recently moved to Utah and as a photographer, bridals and groomals were a new thing to me. I hadn't really heard of or seen this happening in the midwest but now when i go back to shoot in the midwest I push for my clients to book these sessions! I love them and wish I'd have done groomals before my wedding!