I was hanging out at a wedding a couple weeks ago… just kidding, I was working my tail off at a wedding a couple of weeks ago and we had just about finished making everything pretty and I was ready to give myself a huge pat on the back. I love that moment when everything is complete, every petal is in its perfect placed, the linens are unsoiled and perfectly laid, and all the silverware is flawlessly aligned with the edge of the table and the chairs are barely grazing each tablecloth. It kind of makes me think back to Edwardian times when people actually took the time to measure the distance between place settings with a ruler, polished each and every piece of silver and would never think of serving a guest with the wrong hand. I like to think I put that much time and care into each wedding, but not quite.
I love this moment. It’s the time when a tent is gleaming in all its glory, just waiting for the guests to arrive. I stood back in admiration as the photographer next to me began to capture the serenity of the entire scene. And then a guest walked it. While he was a fairly dapper looking gent, he wasn’t exactly complimenting the picture. So I kindly explained to him that we were in the process of taking photographs before guests were seated and asked him to wait just a few minutes before entering the tent. What I didn’t expect was a fuss, “Why would you want a picture without any people in it?! Who’s going to look back and think ‘I’m so glad I have this picture of this fork and spoon.” Clearly irritated, he stomped off and the photographer and I laughed.
This incident has stayed with me. I even started to doubt myself and wonder if maybe he was correct. Do couples really care to have these “empty” and “untouched” photos after their wedding day? From a vendor’s point of view, I love them. You’ll see very few pictures flooded with people in my portfolio. Your dear aunt Sally may have been an absolute hoot and a joy of a wedding guest, but her bold black and white dress clashed terribly with the pale blush and white of your décor. There’s a reason you take control of what your bridal party and immediate family wear, you want everything to blend. So do I. But I didn’t hire the photographer and I’m not paying for his services, so am I just being selfish?
I keep imagining a peaceful mountain scene. It’s serene and still, the mountain standing proudly at attention reaching far into the sky with snow gracing the very tops. At the base is a valley with tall grasses and a river that lays there undisturbed. Maybe a moose comes to drink from it daily or perhaps it’s the favorite fishing spot for a local bear and her cubs. It’s beautiful. Now think about what that same spot would look like if it were a famous tourist attraction. There’d be thousands of people in the base of the image, signs offering rides to different heights and flashy lights trying to sell you fried food. It doesn’t make the mountain itself any less beautiful but there’s a different tone and mood. You and your friends will still take a picture in front of the landscape but that peaceful and calm feeling will be gone.
Both images are from an autumn wedding with Kelly Sweet Photography.
A good photographer will capture every moment of the wedding day. A photographer is an artist. And as an artist they seek to find the beauty in all aspects of the wedding. This time before the guest enter, before your little flower girl spilled soda on her dress and the ring bearer rolled in the mud is important. It adds to the story of your celebration. You spent a painstaking amount of time bringing all the details together, finding those perfect ribbons and table numbers. Make sure every piece of the day receives the credit it is due.0
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