Our response to the Vogue article
Vogue recently posted an article titled The 10 Wedding “Rules” to Break, which boldly claimed that “it’s 2016 and your mama’s wedding is officially a thing of the past”.
We are huge advocates of making your wedding day uniquely special. During initial client meetings, we love hearing about all of the plans couples have for creating a day that highlights their personalities, family traditions, and unique love story. We’ve been to weddings where the bride and groom spent the whole day together (no fear of bad luck there), where the groom’s father led the guests in the Lord’s Prayer, and where, instead of dancing, the guests played board games in an Irish pub. Weddings aren’t a one-size-fits-all event; nor should they be. Feel free to break some of the “rules” that don’t fit anymore and do our own thing!
However, we do take issue with the fourth item on Vogue’s list – hiring a professional photographer.
We realize that we have a biased view and a vested interest in convincing clients that they need a professional, but hear us out. Give us four paragraphs to explain why we think you should seriously consider hiring a professional to take pictures at your wedding.
Paying for peace of mind is worth it
You will want at least a few great pictures from your wedding. Perhaps you’ve invited Annie Leibovitz to be a guest at your wedding and you’ll end up with some great images from her. But for everybody else here in the real world, your bridesmaids will be too busy getting dressed to take pictures of your mom helping you put on your pearl necklace. And you probably won’t want your groomsmen jockeying for position with their phones while you and your bride-to-be share a tender moment before the ceremony. During the reception, your friends will be enjoying all of the amazing food and drink you arranged, which means that none of them are going to pull you aside for an epic portrait at sunset. Plus, once everybody has had a few drinks, the quality of their pictures may not hold up. A professional photographer will focus on what you want and will be there to make sure you get it.
Don’t turn your guests into free labor
You will put a lot of energy into creating a great party for your loved ones and everybody should be free to enjoy the experience. Regardless of whether you like the idea of having a personalized Instagram hashtag or wish everybody would put their phones away and just be present in the moment, you definitely don’t want your guests to feel obligated to take pictures for you. Putting out disposable cameras or insisting that people tag you on social media puts unnecessary pressure on your guests and you all end up losing something from the day. Instead, invite your guests to enter into the fun of playing lawn games, dancing the night away, or making a short-but-unforgettable toast.
Our job is to see what others might miss
We’re going to be there for the big moments, like your first kiss and the bouquet toss. We’re also going to be actively looking for the little moments that you didn’t even see at the time. Did you know that your grandma hugged your mom while they wiped away tears during your father-daughter dance? Did you see the funny faces that your flower girl made during dinner? Did anyone really appreciate all of those hours you spent re-creating signs from Pinterest, complete with cute names for all of the drinks? We did. We were there for all of it and we’re going to make sure you see it in your final images. It’s not just about documenting what happens on the day, but also giving you a way to appreciate it after the fact.
We want to preserve family memories
Let’s talk about your Grandma. Maybe you have a really trendy Granny who is on Facebook or perhaps even Twitter. She uses hashtags, understands all of the memes, and uses her iPhone better than most 30-somethings. I’m willing to bet that she still wants a beautiful picture of the whole family together at your wedding. She’ll probably even print it and hang it on her wall. Grandmas are like that. Plus, she won’t be around forever, so having a well-shot picture of the two of you dancing will be something you’ll cherish for decades. Trust us.
Feel free to break the mold and create your own special day. Wear yellow. Or running shoes. Request charitable donations instead of gifts. But consider hiring a professional photographer to join you for the day. In the long run, I think you’ll be glad that you went old-school on this one.
Special thanks to Rachel, Ellen, Priscilla, and Jennifer for bravely letting us use their images for this post.