Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stunt Bride and Groom

I’ve been stressing out a little bit about the wedding photos. With Steve and many of his friends being keen amateur (and in some cases, semi-professional) photographers, there are going to be hundreds, if not thousands, of photos taken at the wedding.

I don’t photograph well at the best of times - I always have my eyes half-shut, I’ve got terrible skin, my posture is awful, and I’m that kind of overweight that is noticeably flabby but still too skinny (and with too small a cleavage) to be able to wear the stuff at plus-size clothing stores that makes larger people look good. Steve also has a tendency to, in his words, "look dead" in photographs. We have many strengths as a couple but conventional attractiveness is perhaps not one of them.

Over the last year I have seen many, many wedding photographs. Some have been beautiful. Others have been hideous. The ones that scare me aren't the Big Fat Gypsy Wedding ones full of orange faces and enormous pink dresses, because the people in those photos have achieved the 'look' they were aiming for and the fact that I don't find it attractive is irrelevant. No, the ones that scare me are the ones where someone has tried to achieve a look and they haven't quite managed it. Cakes that cost a fortune but look tiny and forlorn. Venue decorations that make you think the venue probably looked better without. And above all, brides and grooms looking tired and miserable.

Looking through yet another set of ugly, depressing wedding photos, I turned to Steve and asked if I could have a Stunt Bride for the piccies.

He said yes. We formulated a PLN.

For Christmas, we asked my parents for a couple of those little wooden poseable artist’s models, which we now have. One is six inches tall and the other is five and a half inches tall. These are our Stunt Bride and Groom. Stage 1 of the PLN was complete.

The next phase of the PLN is to dress them in very rough approximations of our outfits (partly because future-mother-in-law will kill us both if I reveal too many details of The Dress). I'd been planning to get cheap "Barbie and Ken wedding" dolls clothes but then I discovered that dolls are generally bigger than six inches and that dolls clothes are Not Cheap. However I used to make clothes for my dolls all the time as a kid, so I decided it would be worth a try. Discussion with knitting friends brought me to the conclusion that the best way forward would be to buy some squares of felt (soft, durable material without a distinctive grain or bias, unlikely to fray, reasonably cheap to buy in small quantities) and take it from there.

I am happy to report that I have just finished making the Stunt Groom's jacket.
Stunt Groom

This was the most complicated item and the successful completion has put me in a very positive frame of mind for the rest of the project.

We will therefore have pictures of “the bride and groom” at all areas of our wedding, with all the unique features of our wedding, having a lovely time, without a spot, scar or cellulite wobble in sight… just in case the real pictures are too awful to look at.

I shouldn’t feel this much better for such a silly solution, but I do.


Anonymous said...

not too keen on the bride yet, she's looking a bit tinny. ;) Great idea.

Carie @ Space for the Butterflies said...

Genius! I love it :)

Mary said...

Hey, it was the nearest thing I had handy to give an idea of scale.

Stunt Groom is now fully suited and I'm working on Stunt Bride.

Anonymous said...

Lovely idea!

Also.. lots of photos means that you can choose a tiny few that you like and put the rest on a hard drive and forget about them.

Most of the photos will show at least one of the two of you looking the wrong way, with your eyes shut, or looking worn out.. but even if the ones that don't are a tiny proportion then you still have several nice ones to look at.

My parents didn't have a photographer at their wedding in the late '70s, and my mum's nephew (then about 6 years old) pinched the flash gun of the guy who was taking most of the pictures. So what with the looking-the-wrong-way problem, and most of the pictures being an underexposed mud colour, there are about 2 nice photos of my mum and dad at their wedding that exist. But those are gorgeous, and are as many as are actually needed.

rachelcreative said...

When we were getting married I was really worried about the photos. I don;t like having my picture taken, I'm overweight and lumpy and my husband hates being centre of attention. I made a decision that I would not screw my face up or say "aw no please don't" when I saw a camera on my wedding day but accept that people would be taking pictures and try at least not to pull stressed faces when they did.

What i realised is that you (one) look your best when you're happy. It sort of shines out of you. And what I hadn't realised was just quite how ridicously happy we would both feel on the day.

Not only were we marrying each other (Score!) but we had everyone who was really important to us in one place celebrating with us.

You know what the photos turned out brilliantly. Even the few where I was pulling one of my legendary faces they looked great. If I look closely then yes I am fat and I have a couple of chins in some photos and I look totally knackered by the end of the day - but the first thing you see is a happy me and I look pretty good (much to my own surprise).

I'm not here to rattle on about my wedding but hopefully to say not to worry too much because you're going to be loved up and so happy to be marrying your lovely man. And that will show in the pics.

Just accept there will be cameras and try to relax when people take your pic or pretend they're not.

By the way if you'd known your fella was going to take all those pics when he proposed you might have worried about how you might look but they are fantastic photos. Which kind of proves the point I hope :)

Mary said...

Good point well made about the engagement pics. In them I'm tired and cold and my nose is red and my hair is frizzy and I'm bundled up like the Michelin man, but I've had no problem at all showing them off to people, because even the ones before he asked, I was all happy and relaxed, and I feel happy every time I look at them.

rachelcreative said...

And you're going to be dressed up this time and even more happy and surrounded by people you love who are happy for you. So I think the photos will be surprisingly good :)