Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Weddings: It's A Love~Hate Relationship

“The older I get, the less time I want to spend with the part of the human race that didn’t marry me.” Fawn Weaver

I love a good wedding... I love being a guest at a wedding and I could totally be a wedding crasher. There are so many wonderful details that make a good wedding. I love beautiful fonts, and flowers and delicate jewelry and bridesmaids. I love the funny groomsmen and children. I love old people at weddings and that odd couple... that do not look like they belong... that's what people probably think about me at weddings HA! I have shot several weddings now but still consider myself a total novice. I run on pure adrenaline at the actual event. It usually involves rising early (really early), driving hours away to the venue (I'm not sure why but most of the weddings I've shot have been out of town), stopping at Buccees for a snack, pulling over and throwing up just before arrival and then it's show time. I get sick every time I shoot a wedding. It's the pressure... Will I get the kiss, will I split my pants while I'm shooting the bride and groom in front of the guests, will my camera give out, did I pack a back up card and batteries, am I at the right place on the right date (that has happened to me) the list goes on and on and on. I hop out of my Odyssey, assess the grounds and start shooting details. I meet up with the bride and all her gals to shoot a few pre-wedding preparation shots, then head over to the grooms den... this is always interesting. They never know how to dress themselves... it's quite funny. I try to get everyone ready early so we can do a few pre-ceremony shots, shoot the wedding PRAY I get the kiss (sometimes it happens really fast!)and then it's the family... Oh My!! Everyone thinks I somehow magically know who is supposed to be in which shot and that Aunt Betty doesn't like to stand next to cousin Sue because she hates her and that step parents/ x-spouses are in some photos but not others... It's pure chaos but for some reason I totally enjoy it...

After the ceremony,the family shots, and bridal party I can relax a little and have fun with candids. I stay out of sight while folks are eating as no one likes me when they have a mouth full of food and a plate piled high in front of them. I resurface when coffee is served and start shooting the guests. By this time the old people wander out to the dance floor and the bar is usually open. People start feeling a little loose and the DJ breaks out the line dance songs and before you know it the dance floor is hopping with youngsters and the old people are waiting for the cake to be cut so they can duck out. I wait a bit for everyone to get a little looser before I start shooting the dance floor. It makes people self conciseness if I start too soon. I mingle and talk to strangers like were old friends. By this time it's cake/toast time. There isn't much to these pics but everyone wants them. Then it's back to the dance floor. My back and feet and hands and fingers and toes and arms and head are usually killing me by now. I'll pop some Advil and pray that it kicks in soon. I'm usually ready to go home by 10 but it's usually just cranking up by 10. The DJ has played all the line dances, folks are on their way to the dreadful wedding hang over and just when I think it's time to wind down... I hear, "Hey Big Girl back it up"... No they aren't talking to me... It's the Wobble song and everyone is on the dance floor. This is usually followed by The Dougie dance and if they are really crazy the play list keeps on and on... And you know... no wedding is complete without AC/DC Rock Me All Night Long... That's when I know its going to be a very late night for this tired mamma. Some how through it all I find things very amusing and fun. I'll catch myself laughing out loud. And for some strange reason, maybe because I sing along and usually solo dance with my camera in hand, some drunk single man will think it is his duty to ask me to dance... I almost always decline because I am most emphatically not a guest but a paid worker... but sometimes I break out and just go with it... I LOVE TO DANCE.. camera in hand praying no one bumps me and there goes my lively hood... I would have some "splaining" to do to Ricky when I got home~ The evening comes to end when they break out the bubbles/rice/sparklers/ribbons/bells you name it and the bride and groom escape to their honey moon... I pack it up as quickly as I can, hop back in the Oddessy and tell myself that is the last wedding I will ever do...

I drive hours home, fall in to bed with my wonderful husband and feel like I've been hit by a freight train the next morning. (not because I indulged in the alcohol I may dance but I don't partake in the spirits) I spend the next 4-6 weeks editing images and editing and editing and editing until I can no longer look at the same people any more. Once I have completed whitening and straightening and thinning and sculpting and coloring and shrinking and cloning... I find a stopping point. I wait a few days and then go back to review and touch up any last minute details. I contact the bride to tell her that her images are ready to be delivered. Once the images are out of my hands... I wait. I wait for the call to tell me how wonderful they are or that they hate their images and want their money back... The latter is what I am certain I will hear every time I deliver. (I have not heard this yet) but in my mind it is played over and over like a recording. "These are the worst images I have ever seen!" " I demand my money back!" "I thought you were a photographer, you misrepresented yourself, you are a fraud!"Okay I've been transparent enough. I've also watched a few court TV shows where photographers ruin the wedding images and are being sued by the bride. Now you know all my lame insecurities. Enjoy the beautiful Tiffany... I have one more wedding to edit and one more to shoot and edit and I am no longer in the wedding photography business. I'll stick to portrait and story telling photography thank you very much!!



This tub full of bubbly set off the fire alarms for over an hour and the fire truck showed up... good thing Tiffany is an electrician. She handled it all the while in her wedding robe and heels... it wasn't funny then, but it is now!









That's all folks...


  1. I love weddings too! <3 Wish I could plan my own over again. It would be so different now. :)

    1. I know Christy...there are so many fun things for weddings now.. I would love to have a do over wedding... although we had a pretty great wedding back in the day :) It was fun... I wish I could still wear the dress!!!