The Wedding Dress

The wedding dress, It’s present at almost every wedding. Whether it’s a big frilly affair with a train for days or whether it’s something as simple as a suit. It’s there in some form or other.  If you look through the wedding pictures on the various wedding blogs and bridal magazines you might get the impression that it’s all about the dress (and the other stuff they’re trying to sell – there’s another blog post there). I get it, it’s an important thing, often it’s cost an absolute fortune and Im sure its been a part of dreams and nightmares for some for years before the day. The wedding dress needs to be shown off.  The question for me is what role does the photographer play in that?

To my mind what the wedding dress doesn’t need, ever, is to be photographed on a hanger, at least not as the subject in itself of a photograph. You would never see the wedding dress pictured on a hanger in an advert or a bridal magazine feature on wedding dresses because they know that the dress isn’t best seen that way. So whether that dress is hanging on a doorway, a wardrobe or god forbid in a tree or hedge ( is that where you store your clothes normally? Really?) Regardless of where you hang the dress for a picture its not going to look its best. That is unless you hang the dress on you. You the bride are the only and most ideal hanger for the wedding dress and that’s where I want to photograph it. If I see the dress hanging in a doorway I will probably take a picture of it. It’s not guaranteed but probably. It’s a safe, boring, traditional photograph. What I’m more likely to do is to use that dress hanging in the doorway as a prop in a picture of something else to give context to an image and so as well as being documented, it helps tell the story of the day. What I really want to do though is show the dress on you and I don’t need you to pose for pictures to achieve this. Have a look round this site and it will become pretty apparent that I don’t pose people. Through out the day I will be watching for opportunities and making pictures which bring the dress to the fore as an element of the story.  ‘So what does this look like’? I hear you ask  – It looks like this.

The Bride at Dartington Hall

The wedding dress covered in confettiThe bride hand her Bridesmainds at the Grove Hotel Watford

THe wedding dress rear view

the wedding dress train

The wedding dress as context for the story


black and white wedding photography

Want me to make pictures of your dress in a relaxed and unposed style? Drop me a line.

Michael Riley Photography


I am a a multi award winning UK and destination wedding photographer. Based in Devon, I offer wedding coverage throughout the UK and anywhere else in the world for couples who like my work and approach to a wedding.


My wedding photography is entirely unposed, natural & candid. My style is documentary wedding photography or reportage wedding photography which means that I don't intervene in the day for the sake of a shot. I don't pose, interfere or otherwise fuss and faff. Everything is relaxed, laid back and fun allowing for those natural moments to come through and be recorded as memories. You get all the moments observed not orchestrated. If you like the sound of this get in touch via my contact page.

Client Login

Enter the password below to access your wedding gallery.