Wedding Tips: What To Do When Everything Runs Late

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It was pitch black, indoors, and the coordinator was breathing down my neck like a panther waiting to pounce.

I was dripping sweat, twitching with nerves and wanted to bite her head off. “Just give me 5 minutes!!” I was screaming internally. The ceremony was over, and I had a matter of seconds to capture some intimate photographs of the bride and groom before they headed out for their first dance…

It was just one of those weddings, the schedule was 2 hours off from the beginning, light was fading, it was freezing outside and the bride was super stressed. Here I am, in the middle, trying to capture amazing photographs and not react to the nervous energy all around me.

  What do you do? 

1. Prioritize. At this point,  2 hour late, I just needed a few portraits- it was now or never. When you know what you need, you can make it happen. Get rid of the peripherals and get the essentials. That may mean, eliminating the bridal party photos or tucking away the bride at the very last minute. Yes, I have done it.

2. Communicate the time you need. I always communicate ahead of time with my brides, sending timelines, photo schedules etc weeks in advance so they know exactly how long things take and how much of my time they need to invest in. Clearly communicate expectations and what will happen if things don’t go as planned. This ensures that if things are outside of your control, they aren’t disappointed because you have properly set expectations ahead of time. It’s better to appear as the hero and get everything in unexpectedly than look like a failure. Under-promise, over-deliver.

3. Relax.

Take a deep breathe. Talk yourself out of panic mode. “You got this, just get what you need”. If you’ve set your expectations ahead of time, you can move ahead knowing you did your best with what you were given. Be a source of calming energy, vs anxiety. In the case of the anal coordinator, I chose to quietly remind her that the bride and groom had invested a lot of money in their photography, and I wanted ensure they received what they paid for. Professional, courteous, but with a backbone of steel.

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October 18, 2013

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