Grooms getting ready are just as gorgeous as brides

September 12 2013 | arielmstallings  
Photos by: Wild About You Photography
marissa-andy 5
Photo by Wild About You Photography

We see a LOT of wedding photos of brides getting ready on their wedding days. The "hanging dress" shot. The "doing make-up" shot. You know what we see way less of? Gorgeous grooms (like Andy here) getting ready.

The turquoise details, the impeccably parted hair, the inked arms, the lighting coming in through the window… this is just one of those photos that becomes an instant family heirloom. Personally, I'd love to see more wedding photography celebrating everyone's pre-wedding preparations…

They ♥ OBB; we ♥ themThis post features Offbeat Vendors! Check out their vendor listing to see how they cater to Offbeat Brides:

  1. I second this! In general, I advocate paying more attention to the grooms in general – in planning and on the day-of. This is a topic Offbeat Bride has discussed before, and I appreciate it being brought up again.

    I am curious why wedding photography is so bride-centric? Is it because the industry in general is bride-centric and all about her needs and her desires? Probably. Also, I think it has something to do too with the cultural norm of what is considered aesthetically pleasing – aka the female form. Obviously the attentions of artists to the female form is as old as time, but in contemporary Western culture, it is a bit pernicious to be so overly focused on female beauty. As someone who is all about fighting societal norms, paying attention to the male or non-female identifying person is very appealing.

    4 agree
  2. When my FH finally went shopping for a suit, he wasn't sure what he wanted. I kept INSISTING he be sure to find something that made him feel good! I wanted him to find something that when he looked at himself in the mirror he said, "I am a handsome devil!" When I said this to him, he just laughed, and said, "It's just a suit, babe!" But I was adamant that it WASN'T just a suit. It's important that he feels just as special in his suit as I do in my wedding dress! Well, my insisting worked on him. When he shopped my words stayed in his head and the first few things he tried on didn't do it for him but he didn't settle. He kept trying until he found something that made him feel good! YAY!

    17 agree
  3. Two primary reasons. First, it's usually the bride's family paying for the photography and the wedding, and getting her get ready shots are a safe bet. Second, grooms usually don't care about the photography and have to be cajoled more into being styled or having their stuff styled. I've never seen a groom's suit on a stand like this.

    4 agree
      • She *is* generalizing, but maybe she's not assuming. She is a photographer, so I'm thinking that maybe she speaks from experience. Not to say that 1) the bride's family should pay for the photography (and the wedding? :S) or that 2) grooms *never* care about the photography, or shouldn't. But perhaps she meant more of an explanation of why this happens, rather than to continue to perpetrate neglect for the groom.

        5 agree
        • And I would have to generally support the generalizations. I often have to cajole the groom and groomsmen to allow me to take photos of them getting ready, even if I've been specifically asked to get those shots. I typically shoot alone, so if the bride and groom are getting ready at different locations, as they often do, or if they haven't booked me for very long before the ceremony, I'm usually asked to focus on the bride getting ready, and to get photos of the groom "if there's time." I'm all about capturing the moments, whatever and wherever and with whoever they are, so I don't have a particular preference between photographing the gals or guys, but usually 75% to 100% of my time before the ceremony is spent with the bride and bridesmaids and her family, because while I've been asked to shoot the groom "if there's time", it would be Bad News if I missed the bride getting into her dress, her father seeing her in her dress and tearing up, or myriad other moments that couples often expect to be photographed. There isn't the same tradition of photographing the groom getting ready, so I think there are lower expectations from many clients regarding what photos "must" be captured of the groom.

          4 agree
        • The photographer is based in the South, where the bride's parents paying for the wedding tradition is still practiced a lot and the idea that grooms shouldn't care about the details of the wedding is heavily ingrained into people's brains.

          While I do agree that he is generalizing, he is also speaking from her personal experience observing the bits of Southern U.S. culture in the weddings she's shot.

          2 agree
      • I'm definitely generalizing. Most men are pretty uneasy in front of a camera, and they don't want to be any more uncomfortable on their wedding day than they absolutely have to be. Insecurity about appearance plays a part of it, but no guy is ever going to admit that. And while the bride has been hearing how beautiful she is since she tried on the dress at the bridal store, she's going to naturally be more comfortable.

        If you were to ask grooms to eliminate one expense from their wedding, I'll generalize again and say that 9 times out of 10 before the wedding, he would pick the photography to be eliminated. After the wedding they are always pleased, but it's that insecurity that I'm talking about because men don't see themselves as beautiful creatures and that's not what they feel they bring to the table in a relationship or wedding.

        I'm a photographer and I've shot hundreds of wedding. I'm also a guy, and as a former college athlete, I know how to relate very well to guys, and can usually get them to do more than they planned in the spirit of fun and cool pictures. I can still count on two hands the number of grooms that were excited about photography the way brides are.

        Here's further proof- Last winter I offered to do FREE proposal pictures. Only condition was that the bride couldn't know it was happening beforehand. No strings, no obligations, and I was giving this away. I had zero takers. None. Nada. Zilch. I'm in a huge wedding market with almost 3,000 fans on my facebook page.

        Guys just don't care about pictures until they can see the finished product.

        3 agree
        • I've had similar experiences with grooms regarding photography: Many of them aren't interested, think that it's a big fuss over nothing, etc. Most of the time, my groom's coverage consists of candids of him with his friends having a beer or playing video games. That's a generalization, but it's true to my experience. I always go into it and just roll with whatever is there to be true to the day. If his suit is hanging over a chair, that's how I shoot it (after styling it a little). What the commenter above said about how groom's coverage often gets overlooked due to time restraints is very true. If there's only time for me to shoot one person getting ready, it's ALWAYS the bride. I've never had a couple ask me to only photograph the groom if there isn't time for both.

          However, I've met many grooms who care just as much about the photography as the bride does – sometimes more. When this is the case, it's often because the groom (who may not be comfortable in front of the camera himself for the same reason) knows that the bride is insecure about her looks, but he knows that she's beautiful and wants to have photographs that show it.

          That being said, I never shoot with a bride-bias. Meaning that I like to photograph the bride and groom equally. I have my 2nd photographer stand near the groom during the ceremony so that she can capture his face when he sees the bride coming down the aisle (or from wherever she's entering when he sees her for the first time). If I'm shooting alone, I sacrifice some of the shots that I normally take of the bride in order to get those shots of the groom because I think that they are incredibly important to the story of the day.

          2 agree
          • It's interesting hearing the perspective from photographers on this one. I hadn't really thought about it myself, and my experience has been very different. My partner and I both agreed that photography was very important to us, and he's in charge of lining up candidates and making appointments and all that. Of the two of us, I'm the one who really dislikes being photographed, so it makes sense to us to do it this way. What you said about grooms wanting pictures that reflect how beautiful they find their partner really resonates with me.

            I haven't decided about doing getting ready photos (I personally think they're kind of silly), but I'm planning to get ready at home, with my partner, so if there are photos, we won't need the photographer to be in two places at once!

            1 agrees
        • I think your (kinda creepy) condition was the breaking point, not that men don't want free pictures.

          Perhaps you had no takers because these days very few proposals are totally without the bride knowing beforehand. Wouldn't many grooms rather pay money than get a free photographer who is already trying to tell them how they should propose, that a proposal should be an elaborate surprise? Wouldn't many brides be peeved at their partner's having them secretly or suddenly photographed, even for a happy reason?

          I'd advise any guy to stay far away from an offer like that, and not because he isn't beautiful.

          4 agree
    • When I got married, my hubby went from shower to shoes in 15 minutes. Trying to take pictures of that would have been hilariously futile.

      4 agree
  4. aw, funny story- at my boyfriends brothers wedding something happened with the photographer, who was a friend. the wrong address, or a suri/apple maps related issue, but she was way late. she was supposed to take the "groom and groomsmen getting ready" shots first, was then late, and the groom was already dressed. she made him undress and get dressed again, and my boyfriend, who was the best man, said that the pictures look really good only because they were laughing at the ridiculousness of the whole thing.

    5 agree
    • My hubby, had to be dragged into doing photos-and the groomsmen had to hold him down to shave his two day stubble off his face. In our case, he would have been happy not even seeing the photographer till after the ceremony?
      This is a beautiful picture, and I wish my guy was more photo friendly and had done some pics like that

      1 agrees
  5. So true! That's one of the reasons we picked the photographer we picked. So important to make the groom part of things. And not in a "Don't worry groom, we'll *definitely* include you in the pics"-wink wink-nudge nudge-kind of way, but just naturally as you'd expect a normal person (photographer) treat other two normal people (bride and groom).

    2 agree
  6. Yeah, personally, I'm way more interested in potential shots of my sexy FH shaving/buttoning up his dress shirt/tying his tie than I am pictures of me schlubbing around in my bathrobe getting my makeup done. Actually, pictures of me "getting ready" hold very little appeal (I had thought we'd do the obligatory "dress hanging up" and "these are our rings" shots and nothing else) but now I think we'll make sure that I at least get a couple yummy "getting ready" pics of him.

    2 agree
    • On that note, you should definitely talk to him about whether or not he wants pics of you getting ready. He may be just as interested in pictures of you getting ready as you are in pictures of him getting ready. Love will do that 🙂

      5 agree
  7. Ooh, I love it when a man is putting on a suit jacket and does that little "jacket jump" to make it sit right. Mmmmm.

    12 agree
  8. Groom-getting-ready shots were something I specifically looked for when we looked through photographers' portfolios. I love getting-ready shots of both the bride and groom. And my guy cares about clothes and his aesthetics and photography, but he has a great eye for art and aesthetics in general.

    I'm so excited he is getting a bespoke suit for the wedding, he's going to look HAWT, and more importantly, he's going to feel HAWT, like a pretty princess on his princess day.

    I actually chose my wedding dress in part because the other top contender wouldn't have looked as good with the color suit he wanted. At first he said he could change the color to suit the dress, but then he sheepishly told me he really wanted the color he had originally chosen. So I'm getting the dress to match his suit, and I couldn't be happier with that choice. His first appointment with the tailor is next week and he gets the biggest grin when he talks about it. Damn straight we're getting pics of him putting that beauty on!

    4 agree
  9. I looove the photos of my husband getting ready. We have one of him butting his tie on, buttoning his vest and one looking at the pocket watch he got from me. Such an important day for him to why not treat him the same.

    1 agrees
  10. I had a good friend of ours who is gifted with a camera to take pics of hubby getting ready. I wanted to have both sides represented in the pictures and I had the photog with me at the hotel. Our friend was great about getting the type of shots and the feel I wanted.
    However, I neglected to think about WHERE my groom would be getting ready, which was our totally unorganized bedroom! (bedroom was my staging area for honeymoon packing)

  11. Ten thousand times agreed with the "grooms too" perspective! My partner is not really good at being photographed, so it's been a sensitive topic to even discuss getting an engagement session *scheduled*, but I'm deeply invested in having equal numbers of photos of both him and me doing our things during the wedding.

    Neither one of us is interested in the mass amount of "getting ready" shots we see. We're both more interested in being comfortable during the ceremony and reception than in wearing something stunning, so there won't be much dress/tux/etc going on, and my makeup won't take half as long as it will take him to shave! That said, we both will be carrying a bouquet – of sorts – and hair-wear, so I will be asking any photographer I employ to get snaps of both of us putting our hair together. Thus, I'm working on making sure our "assembly" locations are close together to make that part easier!

  12. Second the motion of more groom-prep shots! My photographer and I arranged to have photos of B getting ready before our ceremony this past week (same time as my prep, different location) because I knew he was going to be very handsome in his custom-made suit, and possibly even more attractive putting it on and taking it off. Of course, I was right about the latter. 😉 We're waiting on photos, but I think the pictures of the former instance will be gorgeous too!

  13. I can say that my guy falls into the generalized category of "dudes don't care". I wanted to make sure we got some pictures of the guys getting ready, because I love them, but he was not fussed about it and so I didn't push it. I think the way to get more of these shots is to a) have the clients specifically request them of their photographers and give them equal time and priority and b) have the photographers specifically mention and champion spending time with the guys as well, and get creative with styling and such. Obviously boundaries have to be respected (some people just don't want their picture taken, especially in their boxers) but I think that we can come at this from two different angles, and it will make it much more of a "thing" than it was before.

  14. I have never understood why some dudes dont get involved in their own wedding, we got married two weeks ago and my husband (sigh) was very much involved he was the one who picked the photographer and we made sure that we got pictures of him getting ready, im a lot more camera shy so having equal photo times with our photographer a little less pressure on me was fantastic

  15. I'm not sure if I'd have a nose bleed or a giggle fit if we had a photo of my fiancé with towel wrapped around his waist while shaving. I'll leave that scene for the rest of our married life – but I do want some of him tweaking his clothes and checking his reflection before the wedding. I'm so glad that he's Zen enough to just go with the flow on such an issue.

    I echo the request for a round up of grooms getting ready photos!

  16. *guilt* I never thought about this perspective before. After reading this, it all seems so OBVIOUS!! Why DON'T we have pictures of our lovely men getting ready? After all, are they not just as essential to the (hetero/gay [male]) wedding ceremony as the bride?? My fiance is going to be annoyed that I found this article….Now, it's something I am considering asking him about. 🙂

  17. As far as generalizations go:
    We were in major debt, we wanted nice photos, we had read a wedding book which said photos HAVE to cost between $900 and $9000, we talked to artsy friends who were starting up businesses, one was pretty unreasonable for someone who wanted what she'd asked for considering it was only her second wedding to shoot… But my wife's maid of honour had some gorgeous shots of her 3 year old and of her newly pregnant belly photos taken, and we set up an interview with a nice girl our age, who came in from out of town, in the rain and showed us her work, talked to us, told us her own story of how she met her husband, similar circumstances, friends for years but not wanting to cross a line and ruin an important friendship, $500 + travel + food, so when my grandmother promised us $500 exactly a couple weeks later, we thought it must've been a small sign.
    We really lucked out, we got ready in a hotel, which my brother's girlfriend [management] bumped us to the penthouse! It was bigger than our apartment and had 3 bathrooms!!! We didn't have to fight for showers or mirrors. I had been told on and off, the same typical groom requirements of "wake up, shower, dress, do whatever it takes to not be in a bad mood, you have a suit, so just show up!" We were making good time, I put my clothes on a chair, included my tie, my shoes, my cufflinks, took a couple quick shots with a digital camera, got into the shower. We were very blessed to have a photographer who's husband was her second camera! So he came into the separate room I was getting ready in, took shots of me, gave me a pep talk, agreed that if she wasn't already emotionally my wife, who was I marrying, right? Told me the weather [outdoor wedding in late September] was trying to hold up, which was a big worry. I was also grateful to have him there, because my brother & bestman never came to the hotel to get ready with me, because his girlfriend had a hair appointment, so they would be at the venue setting up before we did. It was nice to have someone tell me I looked good, shirt tucked in or out, ties, how do they work? I mostly hate myself in photos but I'm sure something will turn out. So far we've just had some photos uploaded onto facebook and what our parents put on discs so we can't wait to see the moneyshots. I feel good that we spent money on a photographer, we'll be old one day, and anything can happen so we've done all we can to capture the beginning of our next adventure.

    4 agree
  18. I ALWAYS offer to photograph the groomsmen prep as well as the bridal, predominantly because I feel that the day should be as much about the groom as it is the bride – it is two people getting married after all! But from a creative POV it looks so one-sided in an album where there's 50-100 images of a bride and her maids, then just 5-10 of the groomsmen at the venue!! I like to put the photographs of the bride's shoes alongside the grooms, mix the bouquets with the buttonholes etc. It tells a much more accurate story of the day 🙂

  19. I'd LOVE to get pictures of my fiance getting ready–he's planning on wearing his dress blues for the wedding, and I think that would make for some stunning photographs. Unfortunately, our photographer works by himself, and the locations where we'd probably be getting ready (our respective houses) are about half an hour apart. Le sigh. Maybe we'll be able to figure something out.

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.