Wedding Jitters – Part 2
August 5, 2018 I was a first time wedding photographer at my first wedding. Hopefully you’ve already read Part 1 of my Wedding Jitters blog so you’re all caught up.
When I left off, I had just finished doing the Bridal and Family Formals and was having a down moment before the ceremony.
The ceremony and reception were held in an old school gym in Dysart where I had created my space on the school stage. Thankfully, I had brought my laptop with me, so during that bit of downtime, I took the opportunity to clear off my memory cards and transfer the files on to the hard drive I had brought along. I changed my batteries and waited patiently for the ceremony attendees to find their seats. I reserved a seat for myself in the front row so I could get the photos of the bridal party coming down the aisle.
Every bit of research and learning I had done to embrace becoming a wedding photographer up until then had recommended not using a flash during the ceremony. So I didn’t. In hindsight, I do wish I had (and I’ve since read about plenty of professional wedding photographers using flashes during the ceremony), but I had my 70-200mm f2.8 lens that I had rented that could help cover for the poor indoor lighting.
When the officiant came in, I was on. I got up from my reserved seat and started moving around the space to get photos of the attendees, of the officiant, and of the groom and his groomsmen as they entered.
The bridal entry exit started and we all looked toward the back of the room, eagerly awaiting the bridal party.
And we waited.
The officiant cast a smiling look at the attendees as he made his way back to the door behind which the bridal party hid.
No, she hadn’t run.
Amusingly, the thickness of the closed doors combined with the wailing cries of the flower girl and the ring boy meant the bridal party had missed their cue and were, as yet, unable to hear the music. Until the officiant poked his head through, anyway.
The music was reset and the bridal march commenced.
During the rehearsal the day before, I had instructed each pair to stop at a certain position so I could grab their photos quick before they proceeded. I stayed close to the side of the aisle but near the front and caught these photos as they made their way up.
When the bride and her father came up the aisle, I turned to capture the photo of the groom as he saw her coming towards him, and the emotion in his face was tender and excited all in one. I turned back toward her and I could see the same excited, tender love in her face as she looked at him.
I could also see it in her fathers face. Her father who was a bit more gruff and somewhat stern, had such a look of love on his face for his daughter. That was one of my favorite moments to capture during the ceremony.
All that emotion. This is the honor of being a wedding photographer. Witnessing peoples joy.
As the simple ceremony progressed, I made my way around the room, even sneaking up on the stage to get a wide angle shot of the entire room, and up behind the altar to capture the bride and groom with the crowd in the background.
I tried to be the most inconspicuous wedding photographer.
Well….I wasn’t fully successful.
Kneeling in the aisle to capture the bride and groom with the officiant, I tried to move backwards while keeping low as to not obstruct the view of the attendees. My heel caught and I fell backwards on to my backside.
My cameras were fine, and I was fine, but I was no longer inconspicuous. The attendees immediately around me made an audible noise. I quickly scrambled back up in to position, raised my camera, and whispered, “I’m fine! Keep going!”
I kept moving around the room and snapping photos. And I was mostly forgotten after that. The Bride and Groom exchanged their vows, they exchanged rings and they kissed.
I waited at the end of the aisle to capture each pair as they left the ceremony and exited to the hallway where they lined up for a reception line.
I followed them out in to the hall and captured a few photos of the reception line then took a moment for downtime, to get off my feet. My legs and my feet hurt, my left ankle felt swollen (I had broken it in April 2018). I needed the short break.
There was a brief period of time between the reception line and the beginning of the reception. I hadn’t had much time to get photos of just the Bride and the Groom, so I used that time to snatch them and take them outside for some photos of just them.
Dysart isn’t the prettiest little town so I had to make due. We couldn’t go very far either with the limited time we had. I found the nicest spot outside of the school in an open grassy space. Thankfully it was near sunset so the sky was quite alive with color, and shadows on the clouds. We captured some couples photos and photos of their rings on their fingers before I returned them inside to have a rest of their own before the reception.
The night wasn’t over for me. I had agreed to stay for the reception and part of the dance until after the bouquet and garter toss.
There was more to come.
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