Being a good wedding guest – Part 1

Photo by Eau Claire Photographics –                        This photograph was used because faces are blurred out the bride and groom can not be identified. This does not show the scope of what we see every weekend and the invasive nature of some versions of modern technology. But this gives you a good idea of how intrusive devices can be!

Photo by Eau Claire Photographics – This photograph was used because faces are blurred out the bride and groom can not be identified. This does not show the scope of what we see every weekend and the invasive nature of some versions of modern technology. But this gives you a good idea of how intrusive devices can be!

As we continue to move into a world filled with entitled attitudes and social media addicts, the wedding industry is seeing the full scale of boundaries being crossed and the simplest of etiquette and common courtesy evaporating not just from our youth, but from generations that should know better. The scope at which this affects our jobs is one of the most dominant reasons these poor characteristics stick out to us. Once upon a time, you were invited to a wedding, you attended, brought a gift, ate the free food, enjoyed the open bar, and that was it. Now, we (sometimes) have to worry more about the bad behavior of the guests and their lack of common sense than anything else. And that’s a damn shame.

I’ve written this blog before, but many years ago. I didn’t think this would come back around so soon, but as it turns out, there are so many guests practicing bad habits, this blog calls for multiple entries. This first one is dedicated to the photographers out there (and videographers) who work so hard at every event to get the perfect shot, to be there at just the right moment, and who pride themselves on catching the emotion when it happens so that these moments can be remembered forever.

When the clients hire these professionals and they commit to doing their best work and capturing said moments, they aren’t told that they will be dodging IPADs the size of televisions, IPhones from all 200 of your sorority sisters, the “professional” camera of your cousin who wants to use your wedding to see if this is what he wants to do with his life, and most recently, your brother who only takes photos with THE SELFIE STICK. What’s the harm in all 250 guests having one or more of these devises at your wedding and joining in on the photo fun? Where should I start?

Before each wedding, the bride and groom discuss a schedule with us. They give us a shot list for formal pictures and that shot list tells us who will be in the group photos, what time the photos will be taken, and where those photos will take place. Especially when I am involved, the scheduling, timing, and details being listed out are what make it possible for the bride and groom to have the day they want and deserve.

Nine times out of ten, brides and grooms will express to us their desire to keep the photo session short. They want to get to the reception and have a fun night, but they do want to make sure everything is captured and that they have time to experience the moments that they feel are important. When guests, even family members, are making the process longer by getting in our way for group shots, it only hurts the bride and groom.

Making us continuously ask the group we are photographing to only look at the professional photographer slows things down greatly. If we are taking pictures in the church after the ceremony, as a rule, we only have 15 minutes. As a guest, sticking around when you aren’t in any of the pictures isn’t necessary. As a matter of fact, it’s distracting to everyone involved because of your IPhone that’s in the photographer’s shot, or because you stuck around to chat with the people taking pictures (that’s part two of this blog.) Say your “hellos” at the reception. And for the bridal party, the photographer is catching the shot for you, I promise. You do not have to ask your significant other to stick around to take a shot with your phone. If you want a shot of whatever group they are photographing, I’m sure you can purchase it online when the photo gallery goes up. If you don’t want to spend the money, it couldn’t have been that important of a shot to waste 5 minutes of the bride and groom’s time on their wedding day.

My absolute favorite is when a guest not only interrupts group photos, but also then has the nerve to ask the photographer to take the picture for him/her and then hands the photographer his/her IPhone. This is more insulting than the guests can even understand. Some photographers are great sports and, especially if there’s down time during a reception, they don’t mind taking a pic or two with someone’s phone. But when they are in the middle of taking their own picture and someone hands them their IPhone, to me, it is beyond rude. Personally, I think for every shot they take on a guests’ phone, they should be paid for the image and the inconvenience of interrupting their job.

With all of that being said, by far, the biggest interruption the photographers (and videographers) have when it comes to bad guest behavior is the photo bomb guest. These are not the guests you think they are. They aren’t purposely in your shot. For some reason, they think they are invisible, but instead they have photo bombed the perfect shot of the bride coming down the aisle, or the bride and groom feeding each other cake, or the first kiss on the altar. You name it, they are there for it with their massively invasive “picture-taking” device and they have no idea that anyone else around them exists, let alone is trying to do a job.

This issue is about more than having an unplugged wedding. That in and of itself is a totally different topic. Enjoying the moment and making memories instead of always having to capture them immediately is a problem all it’s own. I am all too familiar with the reality that some couples do want their guests to post pictures on social media. Some create their own hash tags for that very reason. And there’s nothing wrong with that; when it is appropriate and not invasive to the vendors doing their jobs. That is the bigger issue concerning these guests and their quest to be involved in every photo-op of the wedding. Missing a shot, or veering off of the schedule because of an overzealous guest is something that we all know could come back on the vendors when the clients don’t get the shots they asked for or aren’t given what they were promised. But the clients have to have our backs and know their guests well enough to know what information they need from the start of the wedding day.

I realize that there are obstacles in every profession. And in the wedding industry, we have our fair share of things we cannot control (shout out to mother nature.) Having a guest photo bomb the bride coming down the aisle, or set us back a few minutes on the wedding day is certainly not the end of the world. But for that bride and groom, it might be that one shot that means the world to them.

I watch these brides and grooms agonize over who will make the invite list. So be the guest that does what they were invited to do; enjoy the moment with your friend or family member — laugh, cry, dance and drink! And remember that a lot of time, money, and planning went into this one day. Do not be the guest that makes it all about you. As vendors, it’s definitely not about us. It’s about doing what we are paid to do. Let us take care of the details, the pictures, and the video. You just make the memories, and we’ll capture them!

 

 

Dress of the Week – Last week of April

J'Aton Couture

 

This J’Aton Couture wedding dress came to me via one of my faithful followers and I’m sure glad she sent it my way.  I was happy to pick this beautiful dress as my “Dress of the Week” with no problem at all.  Obviously the detailing is what catches your eye and makes this dress as appealing as it is.  But I also love the flow of the skirt.  I definitely had the expectation that this would continue the trumpet shape and I am glad I was wrong!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz Fest 101

Although I am a New Orleans native, I did not grow up going to Jazz Fest each year like other locals. It actually wasn’t until just 5 years ago that a great friend of mine convinced me to step outside of my comfort zone, and I’m glad she did. Before then, I was too anxious about the crowds, not much of a live music lover, and I hated the thought of hanging out in the heat while sitting in grass. Thank God Jazz Fest came along to save my sheltered, judgmental little soul!

Now that I know better and have an open mind and heart, I’d like to share my successes with everyone. Enjoying Jazz Fest is very simple. It comes down to what you wear, what you drink, what you bring, and who you go with.

What to wear to Jazz Fest:

Wearing the correct clothing is by far one of the most important details for a successful Jazz Fest experience. Most of the time, fingers crossed, you’ll have a beautiful, sunny day. Making sure you are not adding to the heat by wearing something too heavy or uncomfortable will make things that much more enjoyable. And preparing for the weather in case it isn’t perfect is another absolute must. Here’s a list of what’s most important:

  1. SUNBLOCK – Even if the sky is a little cloudy, trust me, the sun is still shining on you. You will need sunblock!
  2. Proper clothing – Again, dress comfortably. Wear something lightweight and casual. Shorts are usually the best, but as a hater of shorts, a sundress works just fine! Definitely wear a comfortable, cool top (i.e. a tank top, or a strapless shirt if you are worried about tan lines.) Guys, t-shirts and shorts are perfect. Do not try to get fancy. It’s hot out there.
  3. Shoes – Flip-flops are great and tennis shoes will work as well. Some people will tell you that wearing comfy socks and tennis shoes are best because they are better to walk in. That seems so hot to me. I’d rather risk the walk and wear flip-flops. No matter what, please do not be the girl wearing stilettos to Jazz Fest. If I’m not wearing heels, it’s not a heel-worthy event! The majority of the walking paths are dirt and grass, and heels are not necessary—nor are they cute out there. No one will be impressed! And do not go barefoot. You are at the racetrack—where horses race. Consider what you are walking in – yuck!
  4. Essentials – Sunglasses, hats—anything to help block the sun.
  5. Rain plan – In the event that it is raining OR has rained causing the “Jazz Fest mud pit” rain boots are 100% necessary. If you choose to wear something like flip-flops, they will more than likely be lost in the mud and you will spend the rest of the day bare foot.

What to drink at Jazz Fest:

This is very simple. Stay hydrated! Beer booths are all over the fairgrounds. So if you are a beer drinker, you’re in luck. You may bring in your own sealed bottle of water, but no other outside drinks are allowed. Aside from beer, booths are scattered throughout the fair grounds selling daiquiris, margaritas, wine, water, lemonade, tea, and soft drinks.

What to bring to Jazz Fest:

There are many restricted items on the list for Jazz Fest. Here’s what you can bring in:

  1. A small bag or backpack – The size is 17x12x10. If you bring in a bag, consider bringing the following:
    1. A koozie
    2. Antibacterial hand soap
    3. A roll of toilet paper
    4. SUNBLOCK
  2. A small ice chest – This must be a soft ice chest, and it cannot be bigger than a 12 pack size cooler. Inside you can only have sealed water and ice. No other drinks are allowed from the outside.
  3. A chair – You can only bring in a single, standard collapsible chair.
  4. Blankets or ground tarps – If you are securing a spot for yourself or a group, you will want to bring in a blanket or ground tarp. The size cannot be larger than 6×8. I would also recommend picking a color or pattern that stands out. Finding your spot once you leave it is sometimes difficult!

Who to take to Jazz Fest:

Aside from wearing the proper clothing, choosing the right people to spend the day with is the most important thing. Most people would not think this is a big deal, but I feel like this can either make your day or break your day. Having a large group is always the most fun. But you have to make sure that you do not accidently allow a “Debbie Downer” into the krewe.

You do not want to be with the friend that hates crowds, hates the heat, constantly complains, doesn’t want to sit in grass, can’t use a port-o-let, or generally can not sit still and just enjoy the music, the day, and the food. Based on these things, I would have never invited myself to Jazz Fest! You also do not want to be with a category five clinger.

You do want to be with people that can be on their own while you are grabbing a beer or food. Bring people who are fun, relaxed, down for whatever, and have a similar plan for the day that you do—or people who do not have a plan at all. That’s even better.

No matter who you go with, what you wear, what you bring or drink, have fun! That is most important. And just pay attention to these last tips, and you’ll be fine:

  1. The only opportunity to potty is a port o let, so please be aware of that.
  2. Feel free to stake out a spot and leave your blankets and chairs to go check out some other stages. For the most part, people are respectful of other peoples’ set ups.
  3. Take a nap, get up and dance, eat a little of everything – feel free to feel free for the day. Don’t worry about the time or anything else!
  4. Cell phones do not typically work very well once you get out to the fair grounds. So make a plan with your friends before you get out there, just in case you have to meet up, and your phone isn’t working.
  5. Come out with a good attitude. No fighting and no complaining. Make friends with the groups around you. Everyone is there to have fun and enjoy the music. So enjoy it!

Dress of the week – Second Week of April

2014-Popular-Lace-Mermaid-Wedding-Dresses-High-Collar-Sexy-Backless-Long-Sleeve-Chapel-Train-Bridal-Gown

 

This week’s “Dress of the Week” comes from the Berta Bridal Collection and it is all about the back and the lace!  I actually tagged this picture weeks ago, but hadn’t posted it yet.  One of my loyal subscribers submitted it to me as a pick for “Dress of the Week” and then I knew that I had to post it for sure!  Beautiful winter dresses are often so hard to find, but this one is nothing short of perfect!!

 

 

Dress of the Week – First week of April

Martina-Liana-Wedding-Dress-2015-blush

 

Obviously, the back of this Martina Liana dress was the initial reason I picked it as the “Dress of the Week!”  Upon further investigation, I found images of the front of the dress and fell in love with it even more.  The details of the straps and sash make it hard not to love this dress, but what I love the most is that it’s different.  The blush shade and the details of the skirt make this dress unique, yet it still contains the traditional elements that any bride looks for in a wedding dress!