Are you really ready for that first wedding?

Started Jul 31, 2011 | Discussions thread
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PenguinPhotoCo
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Are you really ready for that first wedding?
Jul 31, 2011

I just got done with back to back weddings - friday night for 7 hours and saturday for 8.

Each had many similarities - brides from here that now live out of town, both professionals about 29-31 years old, both in long term relationships with their to-be spouses, neither had to pinch pennies.

Friday night's bride was unhappy about everything - florist had trouble getting all real flowers so some were silk, the boutiniers were at the house, not the church, it was hot and humid (90F and 85% humidity) and it poured at the house so no outside pics, her dress had issues, the hair stylist screwed up, mom was late to the house from wherever she was coming from and then ignored the bride (mom was getting dressed).

The ceremony ran 15 minutes over, the coorniator announced at the rehearsal that family pics would be after the ceremony when the bride specifically told her to say the opposite (groom has a large italian family and bride wanted short picture times). So she had us and the coordinator try and give the family a bums rush out the door and of course some got upset so she got upset.

At the reception (a hyatt hotel - by no means cheap, 250 guests - rough guess the reception alone cost $30,000) didn't have enough seats/tables so their entrance was delayed 30 minutes while this was corrected, DJ messed up groom's last name (and his parent, brother, sister....same mistake made 4 times) so that upset her even more (she's very very picky about it's pronunciation).

She sent her dinner back 3 times as her steak wasn't right. The dj started the first dance/parent dance bit and then after broke into a open dance song - I saw her turn red and smoke come out her ears and she went over and laid into him something fierce then she left the hall for 45 minutes. The DJ was a miserable SOB the rest of the night.

It was so hot and humid outside that any outside shots (house, church, park and hotel) caused my lenses to fog up ... no way to quickly fix that.

Carrying gear to the house was easy, the church less so (about 2 flights of outside steps to get to the front door), and the hotel was at the airport - 20 minute walk across the hot parking lot to get to the hotel and then more to the hall, and repeat that on the way out.

Saturday was completely different - everything was at one location, everything went on time, DJ was the best I've ever worked with keeping us up to date on what's happening, when, where and he got all the names right too. LOL. Bride was happy, food was good and plenty of it, cooperative bridal party including the kids, parents were cool and stayed out of the way (of the bride and us). the challenge here was an outdoor ceremony in 89F heat (less humidity, thankfully) and then outside pics, and outside pics before - about 3.5 hours in the heat and sun from say, 2:30 to 5 for us - the bride and party could run into the air or sit in the shade (which wasn't where you could shoot). My assistant ended up inside puking afterwards from the heat.

Are you physically fit enough to handle a wedding?

You may think your first wedding will by like Saturdays, but it may be like Fridays - are you ready for a peeved bride, one that basically pizzes off everyone else around her? Managing people and personalities is just, if not more, important than getting a shot in focus and properly exposed - any $500 camera can do that these days.

Back in June at a wedding with 27 in the bridal party they had 2 limos - the AC broke in one of them - want to handle 13 hot, sweaty complaining people? And they get unhappy which irritates the bride and then nobody wants to cooperate for pictures.

Are weddings fun and rewarding? Most are for sure. But it's a lot of hard work - and all day long you are not in charge - the bride, mom, pastor, the clock , the hall, the dj, traffic, weather...
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Learn the science. Practice the art.

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