I had an opportunity to be 2nd shooter for a local photographer yesterday and had a fabulous time as well as having learned so much from the experience.
The beach wedding took place at 3 p.m., and barely a breeze to be found. It was so hot, we had to put rocks on each corner of our yard, just to keep it from rolling up . . . so you know it was hot at the beach at 3 p.m.
Wedding Planner Rule Number 1: Never plan a beach wedding during June, July, or August between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.. . . . UNLESS, you offer ice cold bottled water to all your guests. It is actually dangerous for some individuals and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
I arrived at the beach ceremony site at 2:30 pm and in plenty of time to get some pre-wedding shots of the groom and his best man and father. The wedding ceremony site was set up with a decorated arbor and 8 chairs. I found out later that there were many more chairs that had been rented for the ceremony, but no one got them out of the van.
Wedding Planner Rule Number 2: Hire a wedding planner to take care of the entire set up of chairs, arbor, etc., and clean up after the ceremony.
The ceremony was to begin at 3 p.m. but the bride did not arrive until almost 3:30 p.m. while all of her 150 + guests were standing on the pier in 98 degree weather, waiting for direction as to what they should do. So . . . nobody did anything. Nobody knew what they were supposed to do. The bride was sitting in the car while her Dad was out at the beach talking to people. I finally took it upon myself to summon the Dad back to the car to walk his daughter to the ceremony site and also tell all of her guests to go on down to the ceremony site so the bride could make her appearance.
Wedding Planner Rule Number 3: Hire a wedding planner to make sure everyone is where they are supposed to be at the time they should be there. The ceremony should begin at exactly the time specified.
The ceremony began while the musician played the horn of a song I did not recognize. The older relatives were seated in the 8 chairs, which were placed so far back from where the couple stood, that other guests stood in front of the seated guests. There was a huge trash receptacle to the right of the brides entrance which will most likely, NOT enhance the professional photography.
Wedding Planner Rule Number 4: Hire a wedding planner to make sure all chairs are placed properly and the ceremony site is not crowded with beach goers trying to walk through the site. Also, she will make sure the bride does not have to make her appearance next to a trash receptacle.
So the ceremony finally began. No one was smiling. Everyone was squinting and dripping sweat. The bride’s bouquet was still in the car. Her wedding dress was beautiful, although not a perfect fit and caused her to pull at it constantly.
Wedding Planner Rule Number 5: Hire a wedding planner to make sure no one forgets anything and the dress is altered properly to fit.
I thought the bride may have started crying at one point during the vows, but it may have just been sweat rolling down her face. The Groom and his Best Man wore tan suits with long sleeve shirts underneath. They wore black dress shoes.
Wedding Planner Rule Number 6: Wear only light weight wedding attire for hot summer weddings. Barefoot or sandals are preferred.
When the ceremony ended, the couple stood on the pier to thank all the guests for coming. Afterwards, we were able to get some excellent beach photography of the two of them together, although it was unbearably hot and all they wanted to do was get into the air conditioning at the reception.
The reception was held at a golf and country club nearby and was decorated quite beautifully with the newest colors for wedding chic. The food was beautifully presented by the caterer and the wedding cake was gorgeous with it’s beach theme and shells adorning the tiers. A DJ was also playing background music as the guests arrived thirsty and hungry while the bride and groom had more photographs taken outside.
Wedding Planner Rule Number 7: Hire a wedding planner to direct your guests into the reception and have them begin eating while the bride and groom finish their photography.
When the bride and groom arrived at the reception room, each member of the wedding party was introduced and then came the announcement of the newlywed couple. The couple and their immediate families were seated at the head table and after a prayer was said by the pastor, everyone lined up at the food table.
The happy couple danced together and then other couples joined in. No father-daughter dance or mother-son dance. The garter was thrown and the cake was cut before the last photographs of the families were taken outside with the golf course as a backdrop.
Wedding Planner Rule Number 8: Hire a wedding planner to take care of the organization of the reception so everything flows smoothly and everything happens in the order in which it should.
No doubt, this couple needed a wedding planner. I didn’t see a lot of happiness in the bride’s eyes and I am sure she was under too much stress from all the wedding decisions. The bride and her parents and her sister were seemingly at odds. This should have been the most wonderful day of their lives, although it looked to be the most stressful day of their lives.
You really do need a Wedding Planner.
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