Getting Married is a big step. Planning a wedding is equally daunting affair. So many things to remember, so much that can go wrong… And every bride deserves the perfect wedding day she has dreamt of since she was a little girl.
Articles & Photograhy by Warren Williams
In this wedding feature, we offer a few hints and tips from the professionals to help you make the most of your wedding experience.
It’s raining on my wedding parade! What now?
Okay, so you’ve been at it for months, preparing the absolute perfect wedding day. The venue is perfect, his mother has stayed away from the dodgy hat she was going to wear, the flowers are done and you even hit goal weight a week ago (to the surprise of some, but they’ll never admit it). So all that’s really left is for you to wake-up to a beautiful day, slip into your gorgeous dress and arrive to the beam of a slightly startled groom whose heartbeat is somewhere in the upper 100’s. But at that very moment, when everything seems perfect, the weather guy decides not to play along (and it doesn’t look like it clearing – not for the next 3 days). And at precisely 2:00pm on your wedding day it starts to bucket down.
Oh well, it’s only a bit of rain so there’s no need to worry. Really! I’m serious! Rain on your wedding day can be absolutely awesome if you take a moment to embrace it and say: ‘oh, what the hell!’ You see, a bit of rain and wind (even a lot of rain and wind) can create conditions that are rare, unexpected and extraordinary opportunities for photographs – some funny, some dramatic, some just purely astonishing! But you really do have to embrace the weather for a decent crack at getting the best shots. Imagine for a moment if you will, walking down a small gravel road, huddled under an umbrella as the rain pelts down around you. Now imagine the wind whipping that umbrella inside out. Now imagine your new hubby reaching up to correct the umbrella, or stretching over to cover you with his jacket. Click! Click! Click! Job Done! Great Shots! Forever.
That’s the romantic version anyway. The reality is that you need to be prepared for rain. And it happens, believe me. Of course, any photographer worth is salt will have packed a few brollies just in case. But you should pack a few as well anyway. It’s way too late to start looking for umbrellas once the rain starts. And you don’t want that nice hair-do ruined in a matter of seconds now do you? It’s also good to remember that it’s not the photographers job to run around looking for cover for you – it’s his job to capture all the hurrying and scurrying around so that you have a fantastically memorable record of all the panic and chaos going on around you! So yes, if it rains, let it rain and be very happy that there is a massive array of reflections, raindrops and people running for cover.
Act like a child on your wedding day
Now I know you’re probably not married yet, but today I’m going to speak to you about children. (Hang in there with me, there’s a reason for it). You see, I’ve always marvelled at the capacities that children have. Take their capacity for innovation for instance. It’s amazing. Kids are supremely talented. They’re willing to take chances, to take risks, to live on the edge, to truly try and fly. If they don’t know how to do something, they’ll at least have a go at it. By way of example, let’s take a nursery rhyme. If they don’t know the words, they’ll take a hack at them. ‘Hickory-dickory dock, the mouse ran up the cock.’ Oh really? Oh, okay then. You see, kids aren’t afraid to fail – they’ll have a shot at it no matter what. And herein lies a lesson for all of us: if you’re afraid to take a chance, you’ll never come up with anything original or creative. And that’s a fact, Jack. Now let’s fast-forward to your wedding day…
It’s 5:30pm, your vows are over, signing of the register is done, confetti lies strewn everywhere, family and friends are hugging, kissing, drinking bubbly, looking smooth (and the Best Man has already started hitting on your good-looking friend from work). Right! Time to go to work, so your photographer whisks you off for the formals. Click, click, click, stand, pose, this angle, that angle, this barn door, that pond, click, click, sunset shot, kissy-kissy, huggy-huggy, job done.
You go on honeymoon, your photographer develops your beloved photographs and then you wonder why they look fairly to moderately okay. Be honest, they actually look quite crap. So you blame your photographer. Ja, you’re right blame the photographer. But only 50% right. You need to take the other 50% of the blame. Unless of course you made a conscious effort to take the first paragraph above to heart. So read it again, I’ll wait for you.
Okay now that you’ve hopefully read the self-help course in paragraph 1 again, here’s the lowdown: Unless you are willing to see the world through the eyes of a child, throw caution to the wind, forget everything you know about conventional ‘stand and pose’ wedding photography you will never, ever, ever, not in a million years get the outstanding, edgy, creative photography that truly reflects who you, your partner, your family and your friends really are. Play! Be Fun! Be Happy! But most of all, take a chance or two and innovate! I’m not saying you need to be silly and stupid – just be prepared to take yourselves a little further. They’re your wedding photographs and you’re going to have to look at them for a bloody long time, so best YOU make them exceptional because nobody else will. And challenge your photographer – make him sweat a little. Who said you can’t come up with some ideas on your wedding day?
I challenge my couples all the time to think on their feet and they love it because it turns the formals into one, big, happy adventure. We have a motto in our family that works for Helen, myself and the kids: LIVE. LOVE. LAUGH. Try using it on your wedding day, then try using it throughout your married life. It’s worked wonders for us. I hope it does for you too.
We have a motto in our family that works for Helen, myself and the kids: LIVE. LOVE. LAUGH. Try using it on your wedding day, then try using it throughout your married life. It’s worked wonders for us. I hope it does for you too.
Warren Williams is a specialist wedding photographer who works across South Africa, but concentrates mainly on the Cape Town, West Coast and Garden Route areas. He has shot a fantastic variety of weddings, giving each a warmth, poise and character of their own. He is well-known for his ability to capture brides, grooms, their families and their guests as they really are. The result – photographs that have true depth and character.