I wish I could call all these wedding issues, “quirky little pet peeves of a photographic artist”, but the truth is they are just things nobody ever thinks about except those of us deep in the mix of it all. Over 615 Weddings later, I’ve compiled a list of things which I can say generally happen at almost EVERY wedding. As a professional photographer I find myself catching all of these things before they happen and fixing them, but for all the weddings I don’t photograph… Can you remember some of these happening on your day?
This post deliberately has NO photos because I don’t want to make anyone that I’ve photographed, feel bad; whereas their photos might be perfect embarrassing examples to all below. I could have provided hundreds of photos.
- For all the Bridesmaids (and anyone with long hair that is going to be in the professional photos), take OFF your hair ties, elastics, etc. from your wrist. Until Tiffany’s creates a luxury elastic that doubles as jewelry, keep the distractions off your wrists. (I know they are extensions of your body at this point, but it is just for one day)
- I can’t tell you how many nervous fathers give their daughters away then abruptly turn to cross over and sit down, (understandably to get out of the spotlight as quickly as possible). Best case scenario, they unknowingly step on the bride’s dress; worst case scenario they trip, get tangled in her veil. I’ve seen some trip and falls, as well as my fair share of veils getting ripped out at the altar. Dads need to just take their time, slowly walk around and actually take it all in before rushing to their seat.
- The official “bridesmaid walk down the aisle” photo is usually a picture of them looking down at the ground with their bouquet somewhere slightly under their chin. Please, Please, Please girls… look forward, chin up. Look at the groom if you have to. Flowers nice and low out of the way near your belly button. Relax and own the floor for the brief moment you are walking down. (Honestly most people are only looking at your hair then your flowers, then onto the next person)
- For those who are having a roll out aisle runner… The pull string (usually tied together) NEEDS to be CUT so that the runner can be rolled out evenly from both sides. The ushers that are rolling them out need to be standing wider than the roll and the string needs to be wider than the roll or it will bind up and cause all sorts of embarrassment and hassle.
- Boutonnieres go on the LEFT lapel of your jackets. The little slit that is still part of most lapels on suits (not Tuxes, is a styling remnant from the old days when suits had button holes there for the gentleman to grab a fresh flower and place it inside the button hole each day before work or an evening out. That is why they go on the left still. As for pinning the boutonnière on… (Yes Pin, because magnets don’t work btw. You will hug someone and it will absolutely fall on the floor and your magnet will slide down into your underwear), it should enter behind the lapel, through the stem; then back and finish behind the lapel. That way the pin is not visible and looks nice and clean.
- To Garter or not to Garter… No it doesn’t matter which leg a garter is placed. The only prerequisite is that it is high enough (almost slightly uncomfortable) so that it doesn’t relax and start sliding down your leg as you walk down the aisle. (Seen it before)
- Gentleman, (Groom and ALL GROOMSMEN) NOTHING in your pants’ front pockets nor in your top left inside coat pocket. In photos the bulges surely make you look like some sort of smuggler or dealer. Even if that is your profession, leave them out. Places to stash your coveted selfie device can be; back pants pocket, lower inside jacket pockets or in your car.
- In the darkness of an evening dance floor, glow sticks; light up necklaces, etc, DON’T glow in a photograph, and make your accessory look even worse than hair ties. See #1 It is easy to get caught up in the club and throw yourself back to your Rave days, but the pictures are going to make it look a little sillier than you are imagining.
- Stickers… The bottoms of your shoes, cake serving utensils, bottoms of your champagne glasses, well you get the picture. So you tip back that glass of bubbly after a hysterical best man’s toast; and the photograph captures the perfect laughter, sheer joy and bottom of your glass and the sticker that says, “Hand Wash Only”. When you are kneeling at the altar the bottoms of your shoes are there for the world to see… think about it.
- Phones…. Look it’s a camera in your pocket! Well… I get it. If you aren’t going to have an unplugged ceremony; then at least make sure Mom, Dad, Grandparents, and Siblings are NOT on their phone at all. Be part of the wedding’s emotions. Leave the photos to the photographer you hired and let the memories of the day, sink in. Besides there is nothing amazing about a father daughter dance, where Dad is shedding a tear and Mom is in the background; face blocked by an Apple logo.
- Bonus Issue… (and a preview of list “10 More Issues”) Brides, if you switch shoes to anything other than the height of your fitting and official wedding shoes; your dress will touch the ground. If your dress touches the ground someone WILL step on it and your bustle WILL break. It WILL HAPPEN. And you can’t dance with a broken bustle. I am not kidding when I say out of over 615 weddings, 500 had broken bustles. 25 Percent of the time it is because the dressmaker/seamstress didn’t make a sufficient bustle for the style and weight of the dress, (or your enthusiastic dance skills). The other 75 percent could have never been saved because the dance party is just too amazing to miss out on.
I’d love to hear your issues that nobody ever talks about at weddings. Please leave a comment as we refine our next blog post of “Another 10 Wedding Day Issues, Nobody Ever Talks About”