Does not exist.
At least not for everyone.
Your ‘perfect’ wedding may very well be different from ‘my’ perfect wedding. Based on a discussion recently with a bride though, what makes a ‘perfect’ wedding?
Well first of all, it is no single element.
A wedding is essentially made up of 5 W’s; Who, What, When, Where and Why.
The most important of these in my opinion is Who.
The least important is Where.
Now for any couple getting married, other than setting an actual date, Where is probably the most important as its ‘The Big Thing’ that everything is based on/in/around.
But for the photographer/videographer, it does not carry anywhere near as much importance as getting the other 4 W’s maxed out.
Who, as I said, is in my opinion the most important factor because communication and relationship is the key to unlocking results.
It is possible…and I have achieved great results from weddings where we have had little prior communication, (but those days are few and far between) but dialogue leads to the best decisions.
The lower the communication, normally the less there is of any kind of relationship the result of which typically means opportunities missed or not realised at all.
The next most important element is combining; What, When and Why all into one category.
This category is that actual planning stage when the choices are considered and decisions made into what happens, when and why it happens, where it does and at what time.
And that leaves Where.
As mentioned above, it’s not that Where is not important but rather it can be the icing on the cake and all of the other elements can compensate for a less than great venue, but a great venue can never compensate for a poorly planned wedding or uncommunicative couple!
Throughout my time in this industry (fairly considerable), I have been to pretty much every type and size of wedding and the one’s that were the most memorable, the most ‘perfect’, at least nine times out of ten were because of Who and not Where.
I can’t list or link them all but instead have picked 3 recent one’s that for me sum up the ‘perfect’ wedding:
Eline & Pieter: Actually one where there was less prior communication than there might have been but the wedding planner said, “don’t worry, she loves your work and will be very easy to work with”. And that was the case. Great planning, location, timing for the date but most of all, great ‘Who’.
Tanya & Tim: For me, the coast is my favourite place and the Ile de Re very special so to get the opportunity to do a wedding in such a location was great, but what made it even more special was again, Who, – Tanya & Tim who insisted I stayed with them and ate with them as a guest all weekend long. Before we’d even met.
Becky & James: Aww, Becky & James. I didn’t have a huge amount of input into their wedding…until I turned up the day prior and completely transformed where their ceremony took place and it was unquestionably the right decision to move it. And you guessed it, the day was so fabulous from start to finish because of all the Who’s at this wedding.
To conclude. The best advice I could ever give any couple is select and book everything from the heart. When it comes to the capture & preservation side, other than wedding planners, no one has as much insight into weddings as us photographers/videographers do because we are observers and observers from the inside. This means over time, we accumulate an enormous wealth of information and advice that can be given. It’s always your wedding however, so your choices.