What made this wedding special?
Was it the weather? Certainly not, – the sun made fleeting appearances, but it had threatened rain and even thunderstorms all day.
Was it the setting? Partly. It was a new never visited before venue for me and I like that because it means it’s totally original. Other than a quick glance on-line when they enquired, I (purposely) had no other pre-conceived ideas of what this place was about.
Was there anything completely unique about this wedding? Well for me, actually yes and that is the ‘first look’ sequence we built into the wedding day. This is quite common in the US, for the couple to meet prior to the ceremony with the groom waiting and the bride arriving for that ‘first look’. But that alone did not ‘make’ this wedding.
So what did?
If you have read any of my other ‘Featured Wedding’ posts or spiel elsewhere, you will already know the answer. It’s the couple themselves. Every. Single. Time.
Connections. Rapport. Trust. Desire to achieve the maximum potential from the wedding day without detracting or taking over from it.
So this post is not about their wedding day, – that story is told far better than my mere words in the production above and in the pictures below.
No, this post is about how we achieved the end result which can be achieved at any wedding, anywhere, providing YOU make it happen.
As I say to all my clients, I turn up at each and every job with the same enthusiasm, the same tools, the same (but ever-increasing) skill-set, but what makes the difference is the part YOU play.
The perfect result is achieved by doing the following:
1: Having a desire for great wedding photography in the first place. Not just ticking a box alongside a dozen other wedding day ‘needs’ but by having that desire in the first place. Some may not have it so strongly to begin with, but in the planning of their wedding, will develop it. Some never have it in the first place and I can predict with 100% what the result of that will be and that is, A: never achieve more than an average result, or B: not actually book me in the first place.
2: Having booked me (or the photographer who was/is ‘the one’) by then understanding what your part is in regard to achieving that perfect result is, because it’s not simply turning up on the day and expecting the magic to just happen. Yes, some stuff does just happen, – that’s called circumstance or luck. For it to happen across the entire day requires intent. Intent requires; planning, discussion, organisation.
3: I provide all my clients with a brief but detailed breakdown of how I will…or at least can achieve the best possible results possible. I’d estimate around 75% follow that advice to the letter and make me and integral part of their wedding plans from the very start. Approximately 15% make me a large(ish) part of their planning, but also do other stuff which may or may not pan out. The remaining 10%? They do their own thing and the result is never complete and often requires a great deal of discussion after the event when IT’S TOO LATE.
4: Meeting prior to the day. It’s essential. I have no issue in reporting that the weakest 3 weddings of my 2017 wedding season all shared one thing in common. All 3 couples opted not to meet prior to their wedding day despite being urged to very strongly. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water… Coincidence? I know with complete confidence, not. A proper meeting prior is ESSENTIAL, though I haven’t found a way to make it compulsory!
So to conclude, Tamasine & Paul. Did the results from this wedding happen by circumstance/luck/magic? No. They happened because Tamasine & Paul wanted great photography in the first place. Then, despite having a wedding planner, they were keen to trust my advice in pretty much all things. (By all things, I don’t mean flowers, dress, food etc, but timings etc). They ran ideas by me in the build up to their wedding, the day prior on site and on the day of their wedding (due to the mixed weather). Ultimately 2 factors combined, – they trusted me and they were just a lovely couple. Now that is what I call a marriage made in heaven.
I didn’t mention the venue once in this post. Until now. It was Manoir de Clenord near Blois in the Loire region. Great place but as with all the best results, absolutely nothing to do with the results.