First let me just say that I've always thought that groom preparations are an important part of the wedding day, in my opinion it is just as important as the bridal preparations. When I started to get into wedding photography a few years ago I built up my experience by being a second photographer for other, more established photographers, which involves a lot of photographing the groom getting ready.
This experience really opened my eyes to the importance of capturing the groom and groomsmen in the morning and actually how valuable it is. However, as with any career, I started to progress and that progression in wedding photography is when you start to photograph your own weddings and with this new found responsibilities come along and you end up only photographing the bridal preparations (as you can't be in two places at once). This means that, as a photographer, it is very easy to start to overlook the groom until he is standing at the front of the aisle, waiting for his bride.
However, I was lucky enough to be asked to photograph the groom preparations of a Sikh wedding not too long ago and this really brought back my feeling on the significance of this part of the day. Sikh weddings put just as much value on the groom getting ready in the morning as the bride and it was a real honour being allowed to photograph it. This wasn't just because the couple trusted me to capture such a vital part of the day but also because the amount of ritual and ceremony that is involved in every part of a Sikh wedding is phenomenal and the groom preparation is no different.
The way that the groom got ready and the process that was involved really drove home how significant this part of the day is and it so often goes undocumented in the 'traditional' English wedding that it made me think. At some of the weddings that I have photographed the bride and groom are getting ready in the same location (usually a hotel) and so I have been able to capture both of them getting ready. However, usually this isn't the case. So I suppose the purpose of this blog (and my ramblings) is that, if you have the budget, it is definitely worth having a second photographer to capture the groom preparations in the morning. You don't have to have one for the entire day but just having one for those couple of hours in the morning will really pay off in the long run...in my opinion.
Some photos from the Sikh wedding that I talked about are below :)