It was a good wedding in the end. The couple were happy and in love, one of the fathers gave me a hug, there were smiles all round.
One of the photographers was a bit of a dick to us, but you get that with wedding photographers. They tend to think that the day is all about them, and everything must wait on their schedule because what they are doing is the most important bit. It’s not. The “getting married” part is pretty darn important too. And from my side, keeping 100 people happy, safe, entertained, fed and watered takes priority over everything else. If the photographer wants to come into conflict with that stuff, then fuck the photographer.
My husband and I solved this (very common) problem with wedding photographers by getting married at an actual photography studio. That way they didn’t need to drag us away from our friends or generally be a pain – they could just mingle and snap things as they happened and the lighting would still be tolerable. The photographers actually seemed pretty happy with this arrangement, saying that it was by far the easiest wedding they’d ever had to shoot. Perhaps it’s just that I’ve run about a billion weddings by now, but I’m a big believer in finding the right contractors and then working with them to make their lives easier and give them a chance to excel.
After having done so many events, I could share plenty of (possibly libelous) stories about contractors who suck. Weddings get more than their fair share of terrible contractors, but that’s largely because people are unduly stressed and the clients are frequently unable to communicate the scope of what they want. It often has less to do with the abilities of the contractor and more to do with the whole industry that has been built up around pushing people’s expectations with weddings. “What’s that? You decided to arrive by helicopter and have all your guests greet you by releasing helium balloons attached to mason jars with burning candles? You saw something like that on Pintrest?… Yeah, that’s not happening. I don’t care that it’s your wedding day – you should have asked us before you decided on something like that. Flammable gas, fire, wind, and a crowd of people altogether in one spot does not fit my Health & Safety brief.”
And then that bride will go on TripAdvisor and post a one star review saying how horrible we are and that I ruined her wedding day. True story.
I guess photographers aren’t the only contractors who prioritize their work over the needs of other people. But at least I didn’t have 100 people and a helicopter explode in a big fireball…