What to wear to shoot a wedding.  Like anything related to the profession it seems that photographers also have opinions about what one should wear to shoot a wedding.  Should you go for comfort?  For invisibility?  Match the general wedding guest attire so as not to stick out?  It somehow seems like this is easier for men.  Presumably all of the male wedding guests will be in pants, right?  Well, most of the time (kilts somehow stick in my head as an alternative possibility…)  So a male photographer can just throw on a favorite pair of pants (some even shoot in jeans,) and a shirt and go.  Easy.  They don’t have to worry about heels, skirts, hairstyle, sleeve length, spanx, etc…  But on the other hand aren’t those things the fun parts of getting dressed anyway? (except for the spanx part…  I’ve definitely had old-testament level wrestling matches with those things in my day…)


So what should a fashion-conscious but still comfort-conscious gal wear to shoot a wedding?  While every lady should find what works best for her, I do have a few thoughts on the matter:


This is what I used to wear to shoot most of the time.  It’s an old dress from Banana republic that has a modest cut (it goes just past the knee on lil’ old me,) and a subdued color (black,) but I had problems with it.


1.  The fabric would wrinkle like no one’ s business.  Not exactly great for travel.

2.  I don’t love wearing black to a wedding.  Call me old fashioned but it just seems, well, in bad taste (though I did definitely wear a bright red floor-length gown to my first friend’s wedding as a guest years and years ago…  That was also in bad taste.  Don’t worry, I’ve learned my lesson since then.  Bad call.)


2.  Those cap sleeves.  It is really tedious to hold a 5d body with a canon 70-200 f2.8 IS lens for an 1.5 hour ceremony.  It aches.  But it hurts even more when you have little cap sleeves cutting into your arms.  Something had to change!



Yuri (my wonderful husband,) has heard me lament about the lack of proper wedding-shooting attire in my wardrobe for ages now.  He also has heard me lament over the lack of beautiful dresses from Anthropologie in my wardrobe.  I suppose this is why he gave me this fabulous dress over the holiday season (it has low hanger appeal, I realize, but it looks sooo flattering on when paired with a cute belt…)



Here’s what I love about it:

1.  the light, non-wrinkley fabric.  This is a winner for travel and 2012/2013 are looking to be wedding seasons filled with plane rides and packed suitcases…


2.  The pattern/color-it may be bright, but it’s not black (yay for avoiding the evil eye,) and I would probably subdue it with a cardigan so that only the skirt is really visible.  I always chat with my brides about whether they have any opinions about my attire so if they are against this orange beauty than I have another possibility (see below…)


3.  Skirt length.  Sooooo nice for contorting my body into all sorts of weird photography poses.

4.  Sleeves.  These sleeves rock.  They are so diaphanous and drapey-lots of air can circulate (for those 100+ degree outdoor ceremonies,) but they still offer coverage (for the traditional Mass ceremonies, etc.)


I plan on belting it (with a comfy, stretchy-type belt,) and wearing pretty little ballet flats.

Here is a photo (from Anthro’s website) of a way-more-fabulous lady rocking this look:


And what about for those less formal weddings or those brides who prefer a less-colorful photographer?  That’s when Jcrew’s Minnie pants come to the rescue:

I am not a ‘lean and leggy’ person but I still find these pants to be quite flattering, stretchy, and classy looking on.  Give them a try.  They are extremely Audrey Hepburn when paired with ballet flats like my favorites from LL Bean (Don’t judge.  They are seriously the most comfortable, supportive ballet flats I’ve tried-and I’ve tried so many of the designer and so-called comfort brands…)


I think they’re super cute with a dressed-up looking blouse, a cardigane and a big necklace 


Here are the LL Bean winners:


And These, in suede…



I get teased a lot by my 2nd shooters for my other wedding day footwear, these Dansko stunners.


Yes, I realize they are orthopedic looking and clunky…  I sort of think they look kind of vintage and quirky?  Maybe?


But here’s the thing, though…they are the most comfortable wedding day shoes ever.   If you’ve ever had a job that required you to be on your feet for 10+ hours a day then you know why Dansko has a reputation for being especially amazing…  When I wear these sandals I don’t get foot fatigue at all-not even after 12 hours of on-my-feet wedding action.  That’s why I can’t part with them


Hair & Makeup-I do my general everyday makeup, put my hair in a bun (with LOTS of pins so that I don’t have to mess with it all day,) and go from there.  Don’t forget to bring blotting papers (I get shiny after hours of shooting!) and to drink lots of water!