The Bride is not ready. Now What?

This couple was not only on time they did not mind seeing each other before the wedding.

Nothing guarantees the success of the wedding photography more than everyone being ready and on time. If you photograph weddings you probably have experienced times when the bride or groom were late.

Sometimes they are running only a few minutes late and sometimes hours late. Early  in my career I realized that the more late they were the more of a negative impact to the photography. Worse yet, the photographer is usually the one left holding the bag when the couple come back from the honeymoon.

Several years ago a bride asked me why there were no photos of her at the house. I almost started laughing but realized she was serious. On the wedding day  I waited with her parents in the living room for 2 hours. She returned from the beauty parlor 5 minutes before the church which was 20 minutes away.  She got dressed and we hurried out the door. No house photos.

Although rare this happens to me about once every 2 or 3 years. So what do you do?

1. Make a time schedule of when and where you need everyone on the day of the wedding. Do this about 2 months before the wedding. If she has a wedding coordinator do this before the coordinator does her schedule. Otherwise you might have to go with what the coordinator schedules. At the very least you’ll have to explain why your schedule is different than the coordinators.

2. When you get to the house make a point of announcing it. ” Okay it’s 3 o’clock the photographer is here. “Where is the beautiful bride?’This just lets everyone know you where on time.

3. If the bride is late don’t panic.  Explain she needs to get ready. Stay calm and be willing to go with the flow. In the meantime take photos of the invitation, flowers, shoes, flower girls,  and other details. After a 10 minutes ask how she is doing.

4. If sheNina and Andres is starting to run really late calmly tell her ” I don’t want to panic you but if you don’t get ready soon I won’t have time to take photos”.

5. In the rare event that she gets ready so late that it’s time to leave for the ceremony let her know that it’s her decision. “To take the photos I need ‘X’ amount of time. Do we stay and take the photos or do you want to leave for the ceremony?”

In doing this you are giving the bride the opportunity to decide what is important. Being late 10 or 15 minutes is one thing but in extreme cases you want to let the bride know that you were on time and did everything possible to do the photography.

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