What to do with your dress after The Big Day

The question of what to do with your dress after the Big Day may not occur to you until after the event itself.  Or maybe you’re one of those girls who has every little detail sorted.

Whatever you’re like, the probability is that you’re going to get the dress dry-cleaned.  If you’re going to keep it, you’ll want to make sure that its not going to get discoloured or damaged.  And if you’re going to sell it on – well, its got to be in tip top condition.

So here is a trade secret.  I know of a brilliant dry cleaners in St. Annes.  Even better, its only round the corner from where I live.

Fylde Coast Service Centre on Alexandria Drive (yes, I know it doesn’t sound like a dry cleaners but it is,I promise!) are incredibly professional and incredibly good at what they do.  They are old-school dry cleaners.  Meaning that they take time to explain the process to you and they’ll treat your dress with the respect it deserves.   They do repairs – great if you’ve ripped a hem with your Jimmy Choos!   They’ll even box it up properly – a boon whether you’re keeping it as a keepsake or selling it on.

And they don’t cost an arm and a leg either.

Fylde Coast Service Centre

9 Alexandria Drive

St. Annes

Telephone: 01253 722191

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Why do you want copyright of your wedding images?

When I’m doing wedding fairs or when people come to see me to book their weddings, often the biggest motivation for booking us is the DVD and copyright.  And I think you’re all missing the point.

Copyright is NOT what the majority of my customers want – its just what you think you want.  Actually, the important thing for you is the ability to print the pictures.  Mostly its to send them over the internet to friends and family or put on your mobiles.    Fotoamour gives you this ability but it isn’t called ‘copyright’ – its called ‘permission to use’ and it comes with restrictions.  You wouldn’t, for instance, be able to sell those images to a bridalwear company to advertise their wedding dresses.

In most instances, customers only ever want to use the images themselves.   So you don’t need copyright.

Often the reason couples want copyright is because they think they need it to print off their own pictures.  Or because they’re worried that the photographer will ‘lose’ them. 

Now then – think back to all those family snaps you’ve got languishing on your computer and tell me how many you have had printed and put in albums.  All of them?  A very few good ones?  Or maybe none of them?   Here’s a confession.  I am a photographer.  I take loads of pictures of my children.  The pictures are all on my external hard drive.  Have I printed any of them?  NO!!!

Ten years ago, when digital photography was just a twinkle in Mr Fuji’s eye, I was getting all these family snaps developed and printed.  I have albums and albums full of family pictures from those early days.  Some of them aren’t particularly great photos on a technical level.  Some are a bit blurry.  Some are a bit skew wiff.  (Obviously this was before my award-winning days!)   But there they are in the albums and, boy, do I love looking through them. (So do my kids incidentally). Everyone is precious to me, however blurry and however skew-wiff.

So is it about safe-guarding your wedding pictures?  I back up weddings on an external hard drive and a hard copy, and just for kicks, I have a back-up on a different computer at a different location.  Its pretty secure.  If your house or my house burns down I still have access to those files.

Now consider this because ITS MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN OWNING COPYRIGHT!!!

In an album you will have 80 images.  (31 images in the montage.) Each image will have been examined and tweaked to gain the maximum from it.   You will be presented with a fabulous finished piece which you will feel happy and confident to show to friends.  On a DVD you will get a minimum of 250 digital negatives.  Digital negatives, mind you, not album quality files.  To enhance them to that degree would take so much time that the cost would become prohibitive for my customers.  They will be a lovely reminder of the day but none of them will have been ‘finished’ to the same level as those that appear in an album or in a frame or just as a Fotoamour print.  If you print any images yourself from the DVD you will be showing them ‘in the raw’.  Unfinished. (Think about the cost of loose prints versus the cost of a DVD.  How many pictures do most of you actually end up printing from your own DVD?  Sometimes it doesn’t even add up financially either).

But for most of you the DVD will languish in the drawer.  In a few years time it’s format will be obsolete and it will be a pain in the posterior for you to have it converted to the format that is required to view it, or print from it.  You probably won’t bother.  Remember all those VHS wedding videos that are now unwatchable because technology has moved on apace! 

This is why my lowest priced package contains the montage and not a DVD.

Think about the purpose of booking a wedding photographer.   Its not only about taking pictures and a piece of plastic – how unromantic!  Its so much more than that.   Its about the finished piece and longevity and craftsmanship.

We are there to do the complete job. To translate the most important day of your life into a beautiful, precious, crafted piece – that you can go back time and time again to enjoy.  And it will be there for your children and children’s children to marvel at too.  

By all means have the DVD – but don’t see it as the B-All and End-All of your wedding photography.