You love your family. You really do! And they love you, too. Which is why they descend upon you like a plague of locusts, intent on wishing you well, hugging you, giving you advice, warnings, repeating the same tried-and-true cliches, telling you stories about their own marriages, asking you endless questions about things like where the reception is and why didn’t you wear white instead of ivory?
All at the same time.
And the clock is ticking, your coordinator is trying to get everyone settled down, and the photographer (me), pressed for time, tries to direct you into some picture-taking. Since that’s what you hired me for, after all.
- Rule #1: Don’t make eye-contact with the locusts… er, your family, as you escape down the aisle.
Your family lines up, boisterous and happy, and blinking and making faces at the camera. When they’re done, they settle down to watch the rest of the pictures getting taken. They talk about the wedding, their pets, their families, their jobs, and wish loudly for beer or wine. Can you hear the photographer? No. But you think that you can read her lips. Maybe. Did she ask you to hug your hubby, or did she just call Grandma chubby? And behind the photographer, Aunt Maude, Uncle Bob, and Cousin Sally are all shouting at you to “Look over here!” so they can take sup-par badly angled photographs on their $80 digital vacation cameras, trying to copy what you’re paying the photographer to take on her professional equipment.
Unfortunately, with the well-meaning chaos your family provides, it’s nearly impossible to relax enough for a good smile. Your pictures look good, but you know your own face well enough to see the wildness in your eyes, the edge of grimace to your smile, the tension in your shoulders and the white knuckles of your fists strangling the bouquet. Forty years later your grandchild looks up at you and asks, “Why were you mad, Grandma?”
- Rule #2: Once a family member is no longer needed for portraits, they’re hereafter classified as “distractions”. Distractions should really go enjoy the cocktail hour.
When necessary, I can and will direct your family out the door, to provide you with as stress-free an environment as possible, to prevent the above from happening. But if you wanna cut me a break, you can always give Uncle Bob a job; Designate him as the GTOU, or Get Them Out Usher. Preferably, your GTOU will have a booming voice. If he’s got experience directing troops in a battlefield, that’s always a plus. The GTOU’s job is to direct people who are done with their picturs toward the alcohol. Who can argue with beer?
- Rule #3: Reduce the chaos and designate a GTOU.
The last person the GTOU should direct toward the booze is himself. Yes! You can finally breathe. Who’s that standing next to you? Oh, right, your new husband – he’s been here the whole time. Now that the defening chaos has been traded for a bit of quiet, you can have a few minutes of romantic smoochy-time. Pay no attention to the flash going off at a discreet distance.
This is the first moment you’ll be able to relax with each other and enjoy the fact that you are finally Man and Wife. Later, when you get to see the intimate, stress-free portraits of you and the hubby, you’ll be glad you gave yourself the time to make that special moment with no distractions. Or locusts.
Rule #4: Don’t forget your husband.Share on Facebook