The Wedding Day is Unique

Each wedding is unique.

It such a honor for me to learn from the couple how they met, got engaged and now are marrying. And the family dynamics .. the Parents, children, siblings along with the friends who have been so important in their lives. They all play a key role in the tone of the day.

I so admire the couples as they join together on their wedding day. To say that I am honored to be there for their “first look” , getting ready, the first dance , Parents dances, the hugs, kisses, tears and laughter … and that crazy party … well I can’t even begin to tell you how epic is .. but it’s wicked epic!


The First Dance

The First Look


Click the link below to see even more !

The Wedding Day     A look at it from getting ready to that crazy reception !


Dan Busler is a full service Boston-based professional photographer who specializes in Portrait, Live Performance and Events. Studios located in Walpole MA. By the Artist, for the Artist. 781-352-4863

The First Look – Must it be at the Alter ?

Weddings are all about tradition. The white dress, something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. And never may the bride and groom see each other before the wedding.

In some cultures it is traditional for the bride and groom to not even meet .. at all before they meet at the alter.

Like this case;  I recently photographed a man from India (here at my studio near Boston MA) who was looking for a wife. The process as he explained it was much like the dating sites we have here in the states. He puts his pictures (and family background, work and financial information) on a site and the Parents (of his potential bride) look through this site for the perfect man for their Daughter to marry.   I’m guessing that the girls are also looking through the site and bookmarking their favorites. Easing the tradition a bit!

I agree that  waiting until that magical moment when the doors to the church open, a beautiful angelic glow washes over the bride as she walks down the aisle .. seeing the eyes of her groom fill with tears of love and joy as he first sees his bride in that wedding dress does produce some pretty darned epic images.

But to be candid,  it is at that moment when for the couple their love and commitment becomes real. And what they’d like to say to each other , at that moment, a milestone in their lives together which will never – ever be experienced again can’t be said because  they are standing in front of family, friends, co-workers, the clergy and some guy they hired to sing an aria.

It’s still epic, don’t get me wrong.


I always propose an alternative. When the couple meet some where secluded,  15 minutes before the ceremony begins for a “first look” . The bride walks up behind the groom, taps him on the shoulder, he turns and sees his bride for the first time in her dress, her perfect makeup and hair and she sees her groom. They share a moment, a dance, a laugh, a kiss, quiet conversation. All the things that most won’t do standing at the alter in front of the masses. It is epic and it is magical every time.


Does a first look ruin everything? The beautiful scene as the doors to the church open and that angel walks down the aisle?  The tears of joy in the eyes of the bride, her Dad, their family and friends  and in the groom ? The beautiful moment when the Dad presents his Daughter to the groom ? The moment when the bride and groom hold hands at the alter ? Not as far I’ve seen – I believe that it makes the ceremony better, But that’s just me.

It is key that the first look be known to very few people … it’s just the bride, the groom and their photographer … with a zoom lens. You see, my job is to capture the moments which can never be recreated, never repeated so that my clients can have them to enjoy for generations to come.

Dan Busler is a professional portrait, performance and event photographer with studios located south of Boston in Walpole MA. You can see more of his work at

“ I do ” – A Photographer’s Guide to Photographing the Wedding Proposal

“ His heart jumps in to his throat – The whole world stops as he drops to one knee and looks up into the eyes of his beautiful bride-to-be”

The proposal

The proposal

Photographing a wedding proposal is one of the coolest things a photographer can do. The tension, the mystery, the “cloak and dagger” … and then there’s the profuse sweating by the guy/girl who’s doing the proposing !

So, the first thing I do after I’m asked is acknowledge how cool they are for asking me . HA! Then immediately calm their nerves and let them know that I’m the expert in capturing this moment which can never be repeated so that they can have it forever. And all they need to worry about is “Putting a Ring on it” and not throwing up all over their soon to be fiance of course.

The Chase - before the proposal

The Chase – following them before the proposal

So, what goes into photographing a wedding proposal ?  Preparation – that’s what

Being Prepared for all the Scenarios … and there are a million of them !

You’re going to draw a crowd if you’re hiding in the bushes … or you might start a parade behind you if you’re following the couple and taking pictures . Yes, it’s happened just about every time that I’ve photographed a proposal. So I’ve got to be prepared to quietly and politely tell my followers to “go away”

What if some knuckle head yells “Hey … is he gonna propose?? “ (before he’s ready to .. propose)   They’re in public … so anything can happen. I remind the future groom that if this happens that he can still drop to one knee and get cracking with the proposal just as if the “knuckle head outburst” was a part of his plan. It will be a good story for the groom’s wedding day toast anyway.

He wants to propose during a romantic dinner in a crowded restaurant.  Logistics and planning are king here. You’ll need a clear line of sight to the couple of course. No waiters walking in front of you. No guests from other tables standing in front of you to applaud. No one running up to you and grabbing your camera saying “you can’t photograph in here!!” So they have to make sure that their table is reserved well in advance. And figure out (clear it with the management) where you’re going to be. Hiding in a closet? Sitting at the bar? Sitting at an adjacent table? Simple details maybe, but like I said – Logistics ! So you’ll want to arrive at the venue early, speak with the restaurant manager and make sure that everything is in place, including you.

He wants to propose at a family gathering – It’s not so much logistics in this case as it is keeping the family members from standing in front of you with their “big fancy cameras” . One way is to not tell anyone that the proposal is going to happen. Because I can promise you that if everyone knows that someone’s not going to be able to keep the secret and the bride will find out. And by the way – why are you there at their family cookout anyway ? Are you a long lost cousin ? One of the waitstaff ? Are you serving drinks? I suggest that you have a good cover story and bring someone you know with you so that you can interact with them until “the moment of proposal”

OK – He’s proposed and she’s accepted – how long do you wait to go up to the couple ? If they’re alone on the street or in a restaurant you should usually keep photographing until the groom-to-be calls you over. This could be a long time as the couple shares some private time … or it could be right away . At this point it’s an Engagement session with lots of kissing, walking through the park and ring shots. Happy day ! If it’s at a family gathering then treat it like a party and photograph all the well wishers and the crazy party which will certainly break out.

The Chase - before the proposal

The Chase – following the couple with your parade behind you before the proposal

Reasons you may want to have a written agreement and payment in advance: – some of these may make you smile … but once again – you’re preparing for all outcomes

The most obvious reason is so that all the details are documented and so that the groom-to-be doesn’t need to worry about paying you that day.

And then there’s the other reasons:

What if she doesn’t accept his proposal ? Not your fault and you deserve to be paid in full. But what do you do after she turns him down? Typically you need to keep photographing from a distance as they talk – you see it’s easier to delete the photos that you take and that they may never want to see than it is to create the photos that you didn’t take and they will wonder why you didn’t . There is a chance that she will still accept the proposal after a few minutes. No matter what – you do not just walk away without trying to speak with the groom-to-be. Even if it is just to quickly say good-bye.

The groom decides not to propose that day – Not your fault and you deserve to be paid in full. But you can certainly offer to reschedule for a day that you are free,

The groom couldn’t contain himself and proposes before the agreed upon place and time – If it’s still logistically possible – you can meet them and just have a nice engagement session.

Photographing a proposal session requires that you are part sleuth and part photographer. But mostly you need to be prepared. Assure the groom-to-be that you’ll be there and all he needs to do … is propose !

Now, who wants to come along on my next undercover operation?

Here’s a look at the proposal as it unfolded 

The Chase - before the proposal

The Chase – Following, ducking in doorways, creating a parade behind me , before the proposal

The proposal

The proposal

The proposal

The proposal

The proposal

The proposal

The proposal

The proposal

A bit of laughter after the proposal - he's still holding the ring

A bit of laughter after the proposal – he’s still holding the ring

She accepts ! The proposal

She accepts ! The proposal – he’s still holding the ring

She accepts ! The proposal

She accepts ! The proposal and he’s still holding the ring !

The ring is on her finger - after the proposal

Finally the ring is on her finger

Now it’s time to let let them know that you’ve been there and ‘let’s have that engagement session”  – that is if you can get their attention !


The engagement session - after the proposal

The engagement session – after the proposal

The engagement session - after the proposal

The engagement session – after the proposal