photo by @danaemoran
I took away a few points from Tom and Camila's day that I want to share with you all! Hopefully, they will help you prepare for your next wedding. Or they might make you laugh. Either is good. These are some things I wanted to scribble down in the middle of the ceremony to make sure I remembered them for next time. In the midst of the hurry and flurry and curry (oops, forget I said that) of the day, these are some things I discovered in the course of the day. Happy Wednesday!
1. Never wear a dress with sleeves. This is the middle school equivalent of coming to school with the wrong pair of converse -- not that I would know, because I'm homeschooled. Not only will you look uncool, but you will be hot. And sweaty. And that last one is only acceptable when it's time to dance, as long as you are surrounded by other like-dancing people who are hot sweaty messes too.
2. Start your day with cinnamon bagels. No, really! Even half a bagel will give you the added boost that you need to get through the morning. Cinnamon is optional (read: necessary). And if there's the added benefit of fruit, swipe as many blueberries as you can cram into your mouth without looking like a chipmunk.
3. Always have your coffee. Always. If you only take away one thing from this whole post, please take this point. When the designated coffee getter is grabbing a mocha for the bride, politely petition her to pick up a green tea frapp from Starbucks. And if you have a barista friend who scribbles a sweet note onto your cup, that's an added bonus AND a bit of encouragement.
4. Smile. If you accidentally pop your focusing screen down next to your sensor because you tried to slip on an efs lens onto your mk 2 without realizing it's not compatible until AFTERWARDS, do not panic. Smile and hide your shaking hands. And then pop the silly screen back in place and laugh at yourself, because you've got this. When you're faced with the prospect of rain, smile and start scouting indoor locations. When all the wedding guests are cutting a mean rug on the dance floor and you have no idea what to do because, let's face it, homeschool proms aren't always all that happenin', smile. And follow along in the cupid shuffle, because it's as easy as one-two-three.
5. Be loud and in charge during the family formals. Think of how hard it is to get a good Christmas Card photo: twenty plus takes of "say cheese" might wear thin on your patience and you'll end up with grimaces instead of grins. Now multiply that number by thirty, add a hot sticky day, factor it by the square root of dappled sunlight, divide it by the rapidly dwindling time, subtract it by the stares of passerbys you'll get while assembling groups of many numbers, and you'll have your family formals. This is where you need to pull a Fezzik from Princess Bride, cup your hands, and yell, "EVERYBODY MOVE!" It might help if you're 7'7 like Andre the Giant, but if not, fake it until you make it. You're not wearing heels for nothing!
6. Bring more memory cards than you think you'll need. And then double it. This will ensure that you don't have to rapidly transfer seven 4gb cards during the thirty minutes of down time before the ceremony. It will also ensure that you will be able to casually change memory cards with no sweat. Think Adele accepting her awards at the Grammy's. Smooth and effortless. "Let me just switch my card quick...alright!"
7. Wear flats for the reception. After the ceremony is done, slip off (or more appropriately, pry) the heels off of your feet and pull on some nice flats. This is a good time to bring bandaids, because unless you were smart and broke in your heels before the ceremony, you will have blisters galore. If you don't have fat feet like some people (um...me) then feel free to ignore this one.
8. Have a food pocket. I read this post by Kristen and laughed...and after shooting Tom and Camila's wedding, was ready to set my camera bag up with a 40% gear to a 60% food ratio. If you are unlucky enough to have exhausted your vast stores of snacks before the ceremony begins, ask for a granola bar. The bridesmaids are nice, encouraging, and sometimes, they will gift a sweaty photographer frantically transferring images to her computer a granola bar.
9. Practice your sprints. You will be on the other side of the Church, snapping a shot of the couple as they light their unity candles when inevitably, they will walk to the other side for their First Communion as man and wife. When this happens, think back to Kickball in gym class and race around the back of the Church like the bases are loaded and you're the tiebreaker for the end of the year game. When you get to the other side, informally known as "Home Base", resist the urge to yell "SAFE!" as you casually shoot the Bride and Groom. Small fist bumps are allowed here as long as they can be misinterpreted as changing your camera settings.
10. Have fun. Know your stuff, be prepared, be present, but have a good time. There's nothing more frustrating than a crabby wedding photographer (speaking from friends experiences here). The couple hired you to shoot their wedding because they clicked with you, your photos resonated with them, and hey! they wanted you to shoot their special day. So keep that in mind, have a good time, and tell their story like only you can. If you're lucky, you'll even be able to grab a slice of cake...and who isn't happy when faced with the prospect of some chocolatey goodness?
Have any first-time wedding tips? Any wedding stories? Share them below!