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What Do I Wear to a Wedding?

I have two traditions going on in my career as a photographer. One is that I keep a memento (a program or menu) from every wedding I’ve photographed. And two is that I have photographed every single wedding so far in a dress. I remember waking up for the first wedding I ever assisted back in 2011 and feeling so strange to be putting on a cocktail dress at 5:30am. Since then, it’s become my uniform. It puts me in “wedding mode” right in the morning and it just wouldn’t be the same without it.

On my recent trip to Vegas, I spotted the most perfect clothing store I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m not huge on shopping and have often dreamed of finding a store called “Clothes for Barbara Kowalski”. When I came across Francesca’s at the Miracle Mile Shops in the Planet Hollywood Hotel, my heart stopped. This super adorable store was like being in a candy shop. Its racks were FILLED with adorable prints, blouses, spring colours and, best of all, perfect dresses for shooting a wedding.

The way I view a perfect dress for shooting weddings is through a formula. First off, it needs to hit three primary factors before I can even consider trying it on:

Barbara Kowalski Toronto wedding photography what to wear to a wedding

Wardrobe malfunctions are the last thing to be worrying about on a hectic wedding day and those three factors personally make me feel like I can forget about what I’m wearing and put all my focus into the day.

Once a dress hits all three primary factors, I then consider three secondary factors, the 3 c’s, if you will: cuteness, colour and cost.

There were so many dresses in Francesca’s that hit all the spots, but limited suitcase room only allowed me to bring back two. I am excited to be adding them to my wedding wardrobe!

Barbara Kowalski Toronto photography what to wear to a wedding

Barbara Kowalski Toronto photography what to wear to a wedding

Barbara Kowalski Toronto photography what to wear to a wedding

These super cute paper flowers were made by my friend Melanie, also a photographer here in Toronto. So sweet!

Barbara Kowalski Toronto photography what to wear to a wedding

Check out Francesca’s online store, many amazing things to be found!

Barbara Kowalski Toronto photography what to wear to a wedding

Do you have any preferences for what to wear while shooting?

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