Sunday, 19 April 2015

Wedding disaster - Brides beware!

Im sitting at my desk, its 8.30pm on a Sunday evening, the kids have been bathed and bedded and Im ready to continue with the work for the evening. Im in my 'happy place' editing a recent wedding - I cant help but smile through most of these galleries, when I re-discover so many happy faces and moments....the phone rings and with a complete, underestimation of the conversation that would follow I answered.

Cue a slightly distressed/agitated voice.....after a lengthy conversation, I discovered it was an enquiry for a Session for a newly married couple, although they were reluctant at first to ask - I gleaned that they actually wanted to do this session in their Wedding Attire  has they had recently received their images from another company and she said she 'wept'. The magical moments she had witnessed and hoped had been captured where nowhere to be seen within her Gallery, neither was the artistic vision she had hoped for. All in all, the couple stated they did not want to display these images in their home of a day they remembered so fantastically.

Listening to the distress in this woman's voice as she continued with her story, my heart absolutely went out to her. I knew I couldn't replicate her wedding day and feelings that were felt and expressed that day, but we could certainly get dressed up to the nines, head to her wedding venue and provide her with the Couple images she initially desired. My ability for empathy has always been high, but really I felt sad, knowing all too well the magical moments captured for a couple and their family on their big day. To experience all the excitement waiting for your 'record' of your day to arrive after your honeymoon, to be left sorely dissappointed and in tears. :-(  :-(

This isn't a blog post about 'blame' so I dont want to enter into whether the bride or supplier is at fault, but to use this experience to educate, advise and perhaps warn brides to be. This also isn't a blog post to promote my own services (my photos displayed here are just because I think it always makes an article look prettier!), truthfully one photographer does not fit all - we all have our own style, vision, ethos and budget which means I won't be suitable for everyone. Which Im ok with, although if everyone followed some of the following advice when searching for their suppliers, everyone would be more likely to end up with the right suppliers for them.

Research, research, research - Being able to produce one show stopping image from a wedding day, does not mean you will produce exquisite images from THROUGHOUT the day (Check suppliers blogs for full examples of Wedding Services) Nor does it mean you have the technical knowledge in challenging lighting conditions, the experience of such a fast paced event with no chances to re-run or stop events and to still provide an artistic vision which is an enjoyable experience to clients. Thats just skill, we havent even touched on the 'style' factor yet. Its important for couples to spend some time researching different styles available from suppliers, Google is our friend and you can find a heap of info and keywords that are relevant to your search. Not to worry if this is all a little overwhelming, there are lots of event planners who do one day consultations and could perhaps guide you with these various styles - helping to iron out any disappointments before they happen.

If you can meet your suppliers in person do! While I wholly advocate word of mouth, I believe its been a key factor in growing my business, consider all these 'suggestions' but meet them all too, to see how comfortable or natural you feel around them. If a couple and I, haven't warmed to each other, laughing heartily by the end of a consultation, I tend to think that perhaps we aren't the best match. I invest in my couples day, as much as they invest in me for their images - I have and will continue to refer couples who I believe are searching for something different to my style. Not all suppliers do this, so the responsibility lies solely on the couples shoulders to ensure their EXPECTATION from their day MATCHES (above and beyond) what they will be provided with on the day.

Please dont be heartbroken, from any aspect of your day,  being unfulfilled to your expectation. First prioritise your requirements from supplier (i.e. Style, Budget, quality etc) and research/enquire accordingly. Please check your supplier has all the relevant insurance ( you dont want to be 'that bride'), purchasing Wedding Insurance is always a smart move for couples themselves also in case of any disappointments. And has the relevant experience for what you are expecting. Its reasonable to assume that if you are using a fledgling Wedding Service (whatever category) your expectations may not be as high as from an established supplier, with a proven track record. Although at the same time, dont assume that an established supplier is better because they have been around longer....research! Ask them for portfolio examples and you'll soon see if the overall style and skill, fits your vision for your day.

With this discussed case and the limited information on it I have, honestly, I think there has been miscommunication. I think the brides expectations were much higher than her supplier could provide, although through lack of research etc the bride was unaware of this. Equally disappointing her supplier didn't advise her of this either, or perhaps was unaware, again through miscommunication. So talk, talk and talk some more with your suppliers, I do this and chat regularly with my brides before and after booking - some are from as far away as 2017/2018 Weddings, then you will know if you are 'on the same page' pretty quickly! And I hope to not hear of anymore wedding disasters, my poor little heart and empathy levels cant take it! :-(

Footnote: Because of the public nature of this post, I have decided not to post any images of couple after session (unless specifically requested to by them) so as to spare any feelings for couple or for any other suppliers.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Leigh and Scott Hudson, Spring Wedding at The Byre, at Inchyra - Angie B Photography - Wedding Photographer Perth Scotland

When I first met Leigh and Scott for their consultation, we drank tea, blethered - I met their bouncing boys. I heard all about their plans for their super intimate, laid back wedding at a rustic venue - when leaving I knew I wanted to be involved. Luckily they felt my style was a good fit for their day and it wasn't long before I got the invitation to be their photographer (insert happy dance) :-) and have been looking forward to their day since....Fast forward to Thursday 2nd April 2015.

Forecasts predicted doom and gloom, which I positively ignored and did little Angie B 'sundances' the day before (only clients are privy or subjected to these) ;-) Having conducted a pre-wedding venue visit, I knew there were plenty of photo opportunities inside and out, but I really wanted to make the use of the beautiful grounds of The Byre, at Inchyra and I was not disappointed. The sun shone for them and we had what felt like the first real day of spring sunshine.

I arrived to a happily relaxed bride, Leigh with her bridesmaid Camille who were being pampered by the skilled hands of Top Drawer Make up and HairGeek (having worked with these lovely ladies - I can recommend) and its always nice to cross paths with familiar friendly faces. Bridal Prep often becomes one big girly session!

After spending some time with the bride, I left the grand manor house of Inchyra and walked round the grounds to meet the groom, Scott at The Byre - where he was greeting his guests with no nerves in sight. Scott and his groomsmen were so relaxed. they were able to wind the photographer (myself) up at any given opportunity! ;-) (Dont worry boys - I wised up to that quickly and always enjoy exchanging quips!)

Before we knew it, it was time for a Wedding! Leigh looked stunning in her Classic gown, so happy I swear she 'glowed' and left little trails of happiness where she trode.

Dont believe me? Check below! :-) See 'glowing'!
Sometimes I wonder if clients reading my blogs think - 
Can Angie really love every wedding? and all her clients? 
To answer this, Yes. 
I wholeheartedly do and all for different reasons.
I believe because of my photography style, my ethos and just because 'like attracts like' - I have been gifted with clients that I couldn't have 'hand picked' better myself! Clients that are the type of people that could have very well been friends first if met under different circumstances. Clients dont only invest in me for their big day, but I in return invest in making their day the ultimate day for them in anyway I can and providing them with images that will evoke those special feelings of this awesome day. The muffled laughter with the girls prior to the ceremony, how protectively your father held your hand guiding you down the aisle, the private moment with your mother - beaming with proudness.....over the years of covering weddings and due to my style, I have a knack for knowing and being there, where and when these moments happen.

Leigh was piped into the ceremony by the wonderful piper, Jack Stewart. I love this part of the day - as soon as I hear the bagpipes, my excitement level doubles (if possible) I know the magic is just going to start!

Scott and Leighs completely individual ceremony was conducted by Scott Burton of St Mathews Church, Perth yet another part of their day which made me smile broadly, nothing ordinary here and plenty of giggles and laughter. When Rev.Burton proceeded to whip his guitar out and sing "Amazing Grace" a la burton style (to the tune of 'the lion sleeps tonight') - I wanted to clap along myself! I may or may not have sung along tunelessly too....:-) Yet another feature of the Hudson's day that made it just so 'them' - a fun loving family - wanting to enjoy their love and day with the closest around them.

After visiting The Byre, at Inchyra on only a couple of occasions now I still cant exactly pinpoint why I have such a fondness for this place. But I can tell you LOTS of reasons why! I can understand why Leigh and Scott, fell in love with the Byre as the perfect venue for their luxuriously, rustic, relaxed day. I was initially shown around by the Lady of Inchyra herself, who is such a welcoming host and it was quickly clear to me, how much pride and care herself and her staff take, in providing first class, personal, unforgettable days for many couples. 
The Byre has been restored to the highest standard, maintaining many rustic features although somehow remaining somewhat of a 'canvas' allowing it to easily be customised/personalised by each couple. I cant imagine there has been two weddings the same ever there. 
For Leigh and Scott there was fairy lights twinkling in the wooden rafters - shimmering above all the guests, Fragrant spring flowers were throughout - supplied by Hayley Allcoat Floristry, troughs filled with water and floating candles - the atmosphere was so relaxed and romantic! 
Willow sculptures adorn the inside of the 'atelier' of the byre and within the grounds by the talented Trevor Leat - Willow Artist . No other than a 'MoonGate' has been crafted by Trevor, which when as tradition tells, should bring any newly married couple Good Luck to walk through. (Which even if you aren't superstitious - can't hurt and makes for some amazing images) 

Food - there has to be a better word to describe the delicacies and artful treats that were supplied by caterers  Lazy Sunday but my descriptive vocabulary is not enough. I'll allow you to look (and drool) - all I can say is you have my word, that it all looked divine and tasted like a little piece of heaven. 

Leigh and Scott achieved their laidback, relaxed day of their dreams with the help of Kirsty of El Weddings , someone Ive worked with several times now and can recommend her friendly, professional attitude and that girl knows everyone and everything wedding related! Between the three of them - the suppliers that were selected for the day, felt like just one big family (could it be any better?) Good Food, wine, laughter, family, friends and dancing were key for the day and were achieved in abundance. What an unforgettable day they had - I hope I have captured it just they way they wanted.