No matter whether you’re writing a high-profile news story for the New York Times or describing an intimate courthouse wedding on your blog, precision of language matters. While there are many ways to say the same thing, there are only a very few ways that paint a perfect picture of a moment.
Especially for well-seasoned wedding photographers, finding new ways to describe your 467th bride on her wedding day can be one of the most challenging hurdles to jump, leading many photographers to skip the writing process entirely. Among those who do manage to complete the post, many end up with a formulaic 150-word description of the day that is absolutely littered with tired adjectives, the leading choice among them being “gorgeous.”
I completely understand why the word “gorgeous” has so many loyal fans. When you say it out loud (gooooorrrrgeous), it conveys a certain over-the-top beauty that few other words capture. However, when it’s repeated five times throughout a post to describe everything from the bride’s lipstick to the silverware, it loses nearly all meaning. Trust me, I know that photographers love their brides to pieces, and the last thing you want to do is frame your wedding day images in trite language that equates the face of the bride to a spoon.
So, reclaim the meaning in your posts by dropping the word “gorgeous” and choosing one of these more specific terms to describe your resplendent brides instead!
Radiance is all about light glowing from within. If you’re photographing a bride who simply can’t wipe the smile off her face, whose laughter is infectious and joy lights up any room, you are working with a radiant bride.
To be dazzling is to be so bright that it’s almost blinding. It draws to mind an image of light reflected, dancing off every surface. If your bride’s gown is covered in glittering or jeweled appliqué or a shining white satin, this may be the perfect word to use.
Perfect for those Princess Diaries-esque transformations, “breathtaking” combines the ideas of beauty and astonishment into one brilliant word. If you’re working with a bride who doesn’t often dress up and stuns her friends and family with a ballgown, make sure to incorporate this word into your description. “Breathtaking” is also a great word to use for first looks or the first moment the groom sees the bride.
Often used in association with royalty or movie stars, “glamorous” is an ideal word choice when describing a red-lipped bride in a long-trained grown frosted with jewels. This word evokes a feeling of opulence and wealth.
Dripping with sophistication and grace, an elegant bride may be wearing a simple but perfectly fitted gown that looks as though it were designed just for her. She may be emanating a peaceful, assured happiness as she calmly asks that her hair be styled in a classic French twist. “Elegant” is a word that conveys maturity and poise.
This is the perfect description to use if, well, jaws literally drop when the bride makes her grand entrance. Watch the reactions of family and friends, and take your cues from them to add an extra punch, and added honesty, to your descriptions.
To be stunned is to be dazed or knocked into a frozen, dreamlike state. It hits you like a ton of bricks and is an overwhelming sensation. Perfect for describing brides in elaborate gowns, “stunning” is an extreme word that can easily be overused.
Another option to use if “radiant” or “dazzling” have popped up in your blogs too often, “glowing” is the perfect word to describe a bride lit up with love.
If you’re looking to describe an extraverted bride who draws every eye the moment she enters the room and seems to create an orbit of people everywhere she goes, “magnetic” is the word you’re looking for. If the love between the bride and her bridesmaids is particularly notable, this is a great word to employ.
From the moment she enters the room, a mesmerizing bride has an almost hypnotic effect on anyone who sees her. Whether because of her beauty, charisma, or inescapable joy, neither her new husband, her family nor any of the guests are able to look away from her.
Ideal for describing a bubbly, adorable bride who puts a smile on every face, “enchanting” gives a magical, spellbinding feel to the description. If you notice that everyone around the bride is reflecting her smile, you are definitely in the midst of an enchanting bride.
Similar to “enchanting” and “mesmerizing,” “captivating” evokes a sense of magic, so it is a great word to pull from your tool belt when those two words have been recently used.
This is one for the brides bubbling over with laughter and wedding day delight. Like “magnetic,” this description is perfect for the extraverted bride who, at all times, seems to be in three places at once. Filled with vibrant, lively energy, an exuberant bride is all excitement and enthusiasm.
To describe the high-spirited bride whose sparkling energy is infectious, you can’t find a word better than “vivacious.” The word paints a picture of a soul filled to bursting with light and life — a perfect representation of a joyful bride moments before she says, “I do.”
The most important thing you can do as a photographer writing about a bride is to pay attention to the specific bride you are writing about. What words describe her. Yes, all brides are gorgeous on their wedding days, but how can you go deeper? How can your writing be more true — more reflective of the person before you.
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