There are a few obstacles on a wedding day that every wedding photographer must overcome to get “the shot.” You know, things like lighting, weather, garbage (you would be surprised how cluttered getting ready rooms look), timeline hiccups, and even uncooperative family members at family photo time.
But we have to get the shot, some way and some how. If we tell you that the best portrait location is in the bathroom next to some tile and there is ample light, don’t think we are too crazy.
And then there are times – like Ben and Jen’s wedding – where something like the Nationals’ rally happen. …A block away from the wedding itself. And streets shut down directly impacting the way we arrive to and from the church venue. Oh, and the portrait spot we scouted the month before? The rally point was planned right behind that area. Yeah, scratch that.
I never mean to stress my couples out, but I did warn Jen: we might have to plan for portraits after your wedding day. Meaning, they would get dressed up all over again just for their wedding portraits. For this couple? I would do anything for this bride. So, I had to put the money where my mouth is with this wedding. I am constantly preaching that it is our jobs as wedding photographers to make our clients look amazing if the world is falling apart around us. While nothing dramatic like that happened, I was concerned about portrait time and leaned into my anxiety of embracing the unknown.
In the end, I arrived an hour earlier than my original start time to photograph the details because my original time was now the depart time from the reception venue to the church. My second photographer arrived an hour after I did at the church to get some details of the church and of Ben reading his letter from Jen. A lot of my original game plan for photos was nixed and most of that we would have to make up later in the day during family formal time.
While we sped through most of our getting ready/detail time, I captured some moments I am proud of. A beautiful bride reading a letter and having a moment with her father who was there in spirit watching down from Heaven. Jen kept his rosary close by her at the wedding, yet another reason I adored this bride. I admire Ben and Jen’s love for each other, their faithfulness in God, and their dedication to the Church. Hearing prayers and bible verses recited during the getting ready portion of the day gave me an overwhelming sense of calming before we arrived to the church. I knew I was among sisters, if that makes sense.
Jen and Ben had their first look before they walked down the asile together. Their first look was beautiful. Jen reached out to Ben and told him to not turn around until she said so. Which made me more excited with anticipation. If you are on the fence about doing a first look, email me. Not an SKP bride? Still reach out 🙂
The service was beautiful, of course, Catholic weddings always are in my opinion. I love Catholic weddings because of the traditions and rituals. As a photographer, I love documenting them just as much. As the ceremony went on, it felt like we were secure and you wouldn’t know the Nationals’ parade was happening a few blocks over. Every so often you would hear a faint cheer.
Unfortunately, we did get a late start to the service which left us minimal time for portraits and the alter and outside, but somehow we did it. We got through the shot list in record speed before we hopped in the party busy and hoped for the best. We ended up bailing the party bus and walking most of the way to the Capitol, but it was worth it. We were greeted with an open shaded area and another miracle occurred…Minimal people walking by. Five minutes of portrait time later, we walked back to the church so Ben and Jen could go to their reception and my time was completed. In the end, they had a friend take care of their reception time.