Words are not really something I struggle with.
Okay, occasionally, my vocabulary falls a little short, but I definitely can chat it up with the best of them. A few friends would probably claim that I can talk to a brick wall (which is so not true – I can talk *at* a brick wall). However, when events happen like the one outlined here, I have a hard time formulating the proper words on multiple levels. I’ll try to just stick to a factual Reader’s Digest, so hang in here with me. It’s worth it! 🙂
Being a photographer of people, especially weddings, is a part of your soul. It is ingrained in you. While I’m on a personal mission to attend a wedding as a guest with a good lookin’ man by the end of the year (no, seriously), I’ll probably chat it up with the photographers at the reception, anyways. Though I don’t get asked to attend or capture all of them, I am acutely aware of what friends are engaged and when their weddings will be happening. I seriously can’t help it.
And so, when I received a Facebook message at 10:58am on a Sunday from the about-to-be Katie Douros, asking me to call her ASAP, I already knew it was her wedding day. By grace, I was sitting at my computer, with plans to process images for pretty much the rest of the day. I called her immediately and a shaky voice answered. Before she completed the entire sentence of “My photographer got the date wrong”, I was changing out of my yoga clothes and into wedding clothes and scouring the apartment for bobby pins to pull my hair back. I am so thankful I keep my workhorse camera bag ready to go at all times.
Yes, their hired photographer got the date wrong. As this person lived five hours away in South Carolina – and the ceremony was in five hours – all of the pre-wedding photos would have no photographer. Katie was en route to get ready as we chatted on the phone. I asked her for the address of where she would be and the contact information for the hired photographer, so that we could determine a game plan.
Not thirty minutes after I talked with Katie on the phone, I walked in to the room where her hair was being done. And seeing me gave her permission to release the stress. Cue all the tears. We have a running joke amongst us wedding photographers that we are part photographer, part hair stylist, boutonniere pinners, stylists and therapists. It takes a special person. As I bear hugged that beautiful girl, letting her know we had it all under control, I had one of those fleeting moments of “This is why I do this”.
Jon + Katie’s bridal party was absolutely amazing. Their radiant ladies and hilarious gentlemen helped the day move so smoothly, despite the speed bumps. I cannot even begin to thank them enough for being such bright lights of support that day! As I showed up to the groomsmen’s house, Jon looked at one of his groomsmen and asked what I was doing there. “She’s not our photographer,” he said. Knowing what had happened, his groomsman smiled and replied “Now she is.”
Through the power of social media, two other beautiful women came running to save the day. The lovely and talented Lauren Jolly Thomas captured church details and onward while the beautiful Cindy Parkhurst Schepers came barreling up the interstate from the coast and met me for the first look and stayed until the very end. Jon and Katie now had not just one photographer, but three! As I had an evening session I simply could not reschedule, I gave everyone a rough play-by-play 20 minutes before ceremony and hugged them. The original photographer had arrived (after much pleading on my behalf – and by pleading, I mean I’m pretty sure I could have been nicer) and those three ladies stayed for the remainder of the day.
As I strive to say only true and necessary things, let me just say the following. First, Jon and Katie are incredible. She really might be the sweetest person I’ve ever met. Ever. Despite the crazy and the overcast skies, this girl was BEAMING. She was silly and dancing and loved every single second. Going through their images has already been a joy. 🙂
Secondly, events like this are exactly why I operate our weddings like we do. We are on board from day one working alongside our brides to answer their schedule questions, share our wedding vendor knowledge and work on their photography lists. When things happen (and they always do) we already know the schedule and the plan and can step alongside to make the day the best it can possibly be. We have served as wedding coordinators (when one didn’t show), flower delivery folks, bourbon suppliers, dress steamers, chauffeurs when taxis never came and the list goes on. While we certainly understand budgetary concerns, if photos are important to you, look for someone who operates in a similar fashion. No matter what your overall budget, your photographer should be communicative, knowledgable and a strong partner.
Wedding days are important. They carry weight. Images are so special.
I was so glad I was in town to be a part of the team to capture this one.
Jon and Katie Douros, congratufreakinglations!!!
We are so thrilled to have spent the day with you.
Tons o’ Love,
Your Dream Team
Queen Bee Note:
As the schedule speed bump threw the day off quite a bit, time was short (and it was pretty frigid) for bride and groom portraits. So, on a really sunny Sunday a month later, they got back in their clothes and spent the day with five of us photographers – including me, Cindy and Lauren! Some of the images below are from that day. We just couldn’t narrow their blog post down to the one day. 🙂