November 21, 2023
Now, before we dive in, we have to say this: our incredible listeners never fail to amaze us. You guys really came through with the wedding photography horror stories for this episode, and let us tell you, they are absolutely bonkers! We’ve got tales that’ll make your jaw drop, your eyes widen, and your heart race faster than a bride chasing her runaway veil.
Picture this: hella overbearing mother of brides, ring catastrophes, rude as heck wedding planners, and more. These stories are filled with unexpected twists, hilarious mishaps, and some seriously jaw-dropping “you won’t believe this happened” moments. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions, and we can’t wait to share them with you.
A planner I worked with was photographing the “unplugged ceremony” with her phone IN the aisle next to me. I prob wouldn’t have felt a way about it but she was so unprofessional the whole wedding & made me have to work twice as hard. Also was trying to crowd the brides getting ready room taking photos beside me on the phone. Lol.
I had a DJ give the bride a full-on old-school microphone to walk down the aisle with?! I had to jump in & say um NO. someone will bring it to her when she gets to the altar.
My first elopement ever I was wearing a black knee-length dress, at a National park & was taking bridals before the ceremony. I backed up & was not paying attention & tripped over a tree root, fell on my butt & pretty sure I flashed the bride.
I leaned over to grab something shiny in the sand once at an engagement shoot & pulled out a used tampon applicator. Horrifying.
This one was a session but worth mentioning, I arrived at the beach for a family shoot and as I was paying the meter, a seagull pooped on my head. I had no choice but to roll with it and shoot the session, then drive an hour home to shower. Thankfully it got me some rapport with the kiddos right off the bat.
A few years ago, I was second shooting a Greek Orthodox wedding and learned the most important lesson ever: always, always find out the rules of the church before the ceremony!
The church had a strict “you can’t move at all” policy that the lead photographer was not told about, and neither was I. We were doing our thing, and suddenly the bishop stopped the ceremony and literally came down off the pulpit, stood over the lead photographer, and yelled at her about being a distraction and to stop moving RIGHT NOW.
Two things made this horrendously worse:
First, she was right next to the father of the bride, kneeling down and this guy was very intimidating in his bishop’s robes and hat thingy.
And second? This church was painted with a HUGE mural of Jesus right above their heads (think Sistine Chapel) with the twelve apostles surrounding him.
So when the bishop was thundering and yelling down at the crouched lead photographer, it was like Jesus himself was yelling at her too.
All I could do was stand staring, in absolute horror. This was nearly 8 years ago and let me tell you, I have never photographed a church wedding without directly speaking to the officiant about their rules and regulations ever again.
Back in 2021, I had two weddings that were rescheduled from covid that ended up rescheduling to the same weekend, one on the east side of the state on Saturday and one on the west side Sunday. I think it was 6 or 8 hours of travel between the two. It ended up being the hottest weekend that year as well— Saturday was 102 and Sunday was 113. Sunday’s wedding was off the grid, full outdoor ceremony + reception. At the Sunday wedding, it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced with the heat so high + the humidity at like 60/70% (humidity not uncommon for the part of the state but the 113 heat was a record, we rarely get over 103/105 degrees) I ended up passing/blacking out mid-ceremony. Luckily I had a second shooter so that was extremely helpful and was able to do so without no one noticing. Though family portraits were right following. Little did I know until weeks after, my camera had malfunctioned and it didn’t write those files onto my card. In total, I think I was missing 10 images/ groupings total, but they were the only formal pictures taken that day with important family members.
My husband and I were doing the getting-ready shots and everything was going super well! I got a text from my husband that there was an issue with the groom’s suit. It turns out that he didn’t check the suit bag after he picked it up from the cleaners. The cleaners gave him the wrong suit. It was on a Saturday and the cleaners were closed. There wasn’t an emergency number or any way to contact them. He just rolled with it and wore someone else’s suit for the wedding. Thankfully the size was close-ish and wasn’t super noticeable that it didn’t fit.
This is a real email from a real mother of the bride because I didn’t see a payment come through & sent a reminder email and then quickly after an email saying I made a mistake
“Wow! Why do you suppose an annoying, dried-up, crusty, insignificant, old-boomer like me, not even worthy of 9 seconds of your time—–can figure out how the Honeybook system works and you aren’t able to.”
Like literally I was so confused HAHAHAHAHA I was so nice to her the whole time, I don’t know what she was talking about.
Oh, another one from the same crazy mother of the bride:
“Our family photo… Since we were stuck with only one pose, I trust that you now can grant me more touch up to my chin and arm, and touch-up my husband’s chin more flatteringly will work. If these touch-up areas are not completed, I will demand the raw SD card and be on my way.“
I tripped and fell during the ceremony when the bride was walking down the aisle she didn’t even see me, but later asked why my knee was bleeding ahahaha
I’d say one of the craziest moments for me would be the wedding ring saga.
It began with the bridal party getting ready at the reception location, which was 20 minutes from the church. I took detail shots, handed the box with the rings and accessories back to the bridesmaids, and didn’t think anything of it. Fast forward to 10 minutes before the ceremony. The groom comes to me and asks where the rings are, to which I say, “The bridesmaids had them last.” Well, we realize that the whole party was so eager to get on the party bus, absolutely NO ONE thought to double-check where the rings were. So they were still at the reception space…20 minutes away.
Of course, I wasn’t the only one to blame, but I felt TERRIBLE for not double-checking before we left that the rings were secured by the best man. So I went down to the basement to tell the bride what had happened. She proceeds to dry heave into an unsuspecting trash can because this news put her nerves over the edge In an effort to console her I say, “No one can really see the rings during the ceremony,” so she can “borrow another couple’s rings and everything should be ok.” Yeah, that comment DID NOT help because this was a Catholic wedding and the Priest blesses the couple’s rings as a part of the ceremony which was really important to her!
Sooo the ceremony begins, everyone in the bridal party is on edge because of the rings and one of her superhero uncles is out breaking speed limits on gravel roads trying to get these rings back. Mind you it’s 20 minutes there AND 20 minutes back and he only left 10 minutes before the ceremony. So I knew it was highly unlikely he would make it back before the ceremony was over. But this is when a little miracle happened…the priest preached THE LONGEST homily I’ve ever seen in a Catholic Mass! We thought he knew about the situation, but it turns out he absolutely did not English is just his second language, so he has to really slow things down to be understandable. All I can say is BLESS HIM because – I kid you not – ONE MINUTE before the ring blessing the bride’s aunt calmly walks up the aisle and drops their rings into the best man’s hands like a ninja. At that moment, everyone’s shoulders relaxed, I stopped holding my breath, and the rest of the day was just peachy.
So the moral of this story is to ALWAYS announce loudly to both parties where the rings are after you take detail shots…unless you want to cause everyone (and you) some major anxiety!
At the very first wedding where I second shot, the main photographer’s battery died right before the first kiss, so I had to step in. I was able to get the shots and all was good for the rest of the day…until we were packing up. I went to give all the cards to the main photographer and I was short a card, of course, it was the card with the first kiss. I searched everywhere and was trying to stay calm, but people started noticing, and soon the entire wedding was searching for the card, including the bride and groom. we continued the search, but after a while, we couldn’t find it and just had to move on.
Fast forward two weeks. I am at a family session, and I go to put my lens hood on my camera….and an SD card falls out!!!! I immediately stuck it in my camera, and lo and behold it was the missing card from the wedding! To this day I have no idea how it got stuck there, but so thankful that I didn’t actually lose those memories! Of course, I immediately texted the lead photographer and sent him the SD card so she could send the gallery!
A few weeks ago it was ceremony time and I was in the aisle getting shots of the grandparents being escorted down when the coordinator comes out of the room where the wedding party is waiting WITH HER DSLR CAMERA AND A FLASH ATTACHED and started taking photos of people walking down the aisle, literally in the background of all my shots. She proceeded to do the same thing during the cake-cutting and I had to awkwardly step in front of her. It was so uncomfortable + unprofessional
I hung a dress up on an inside barn door-style bathroom door, and the back of the dress was really pretty. So I wanted photos of that. So after I flipped the dress back around to the front, there was STAIN-like wood STAIN on the dress. The wedding was at the groom’s parents’ house and the mom was in shock because they had sealed the door before it was put up. It took them an hour to get the stain out and I was freaking out the whole time.
The hair & makeup team ran an hour behind & shifted our wedding timeline, but I got everything back on track before the ceremony and the coordinator came up to me and said “Girl, I had a timeline!!” As if accusing me for things running late?? At this point, I was a little offended but more confused because this was our first interaction of the day. She had 2 assistants I was working with up to this point, but hadn’t even seen her until this point. I just shrugged it off.
The time for the ceremony. The bride’s mom requested I not be in the center aisle (understandable) and I told her I would hang back as much as possible & only be in the center aisle if & when necessary. She seemed okay with that answer. The bride’s aunt went up to read scripture but stood behind the bridesmaids. I had to step into the aisle, about 4 rows back in order to get a good photo of the aunt reading. While I’m taking the photo, that same coordinator came up behind me, tapped me on the shoulder & very loudly (I’m convinced the entire guest list heard it) said “Remember, the bride’s mom doesn’t want you in the center aisle”. At this point, I’m just mortified. My whole face is beat red, I’m sure of it. I was mid-snapping the photo too, so now I have to do the walk of shame out of the aisle, as I’m sure that everyone saw the interaction and is now watching me.
A few hours later, during dinner, this same coordinator came into the back room where the vendors were eating. She looked the videographer dead in the face and very rudely said “Who are you???”. He chuckled a little, clearly uncomfortable, and said “Um…the videographer” She left shortly after, and all of us vendors had our jaws on the floor. Not only was that so rude, but how did this coordinator with 30+ years of experience go the entire day without knowing who the videographer was?
Needless to say, I will do everything in my power to never work with her again.
When a relative of the wedding brought her camera to the wedding, and was uncle bob. Followed me everywhere, asked me about what gear I used, and what my settings were.
I posted the sneak peeks after the wedding on Instagram, and she screenshots one of my images and puts a black-and-white filter over it.
I messaged her and told her to take it down, because it was my image, and she kept insisting that it was her image. We kept going back and forth, and I told my sister about it. She messaged her saying, “You thought you ate”, and then the chick that stole my image said why am I trolling her and then said that she did not take my picture and that I obviously know it’s not my photo because “ I trolled her “ She was a real pain in the butt, with some problems. I ended up blocking her.￼
I shot a wedding for a very good friend in relation to my husband’s family. Shortly before the wedding, the family was warned that the bride’s grandfather would be attending. He was estranged somewhat from most of the family due to a very ugly divorce from the bride’s grandmother. There was either a restraining order between him and his ex-wife in place at the time of the wedding, or there was one in the years before at one point. Either way, the relationships were fragile, and he was making threats to someone about coming to the wedding and hurting certain people there. I was given minute instructions by the bride and her mom to NOT put him and his ex-wife (grandma) together in any photos. We made a detailed list of the photos, making sure we planned photos with and without him in a nonawkward way. Get to the wedding day, and angry grandpa is there stalking around. Some of the bride’s uncles followed him obscurely with their concealed carry just in case. Yes, it was a hot mess. Photo time rolls around and the family including Grandpa is standing outside waiting to be placed. I am placing people on my list, and have it all arranged when one of the aunts brings him over. “he is in this picture too.” I said very kindly but firmly, “No ma’am….he will be in the next set.” The aunt literally got in my face and said” This is family he HAS to be here.” I said, “No ma’am. The bride and mom of the bride expressly said no photos with grandpa and Grandma in the same photo. There will be one with him in it, just not this one.” She grabs Grandpa’s arm, hauls him over, and places him not only in the photo but besides his ex-wife. I was trying to decide if I would have a screaming match with the crazy aunt, or not make a scene and go against the bride’s wishes. Mom of the bride catches my eye and says “Just leave it. It’s not worth the fuss.” So the photos were taken. The crazy aunt also nearly got into a screaming match with the wedding coordinator. Let’s just say we all breathed a sigh of relief when the reception was over and Grandpa left.
My second shooter was amazing and took incredible shots. She had a CF card and I used SD cards, so I took her card after the wedding intending to buy an adapter to transfer my photos to my hard drive, then send the CF card back to her after. She messaged me two days after the wedding and said she needed her card for an event in a few days and could I send her card back asap. I sent her card back and sent her a voice text telling her I didn’t download her photos yet so I needed her to download her photos onto a thumb drive and send that to me. I even sent money for her to send me a thumb drive back. Some time passed and no thumb drive. I messaged her, she flipped out. She had formatted her card, and not downloaded the photos. Somehow the fact that I didn’t HAVE the photos downloaded got lost in translation. I lost all her photos. Thankfully there were no formals missing except a few of the groomsmen she had done separately. I had done some of those but she had some gorgeous shots that were all lost. I gave the bride half her money back and my second shooter paid the bride back (the bride had paid her separately). I swore I was done with photography and I stopped doing photography for two years. I hate this story so so much and I hate even seeing this bride anywhere because she was a friend of mine and so disappointed. But if it helps anyone else to ALWAYS always download the photos right away and clearly communicate with your second. 🙈🙈
Sharing Your Why Freebie: www.theheartuniversity.com/why
The Heart Shop: www.theheartuniversity.com/shop
In addition to a FREE 7 day trial, get 35% off your first two years of HoneyBook!
If you want to connect with us and other listeners in the Heart and Hustle community join our Facebook group here.
PODCAST10 for 10% off anything from The Shop!
WASSUP FRIENDS. We’re Evie + Lindsey, co-founders of this wild partayyy called The Heart University. Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs to kick freaking BUTT in their businesses, dive down into the heart of their why and how, and serve you with all possible tools you’ll need to up-level your business game and CRUSH those goals of yours.
Whether you’re coming to an in-person workshop, joining our online course, or soaking up all the strategies via this blog or our podcast, we’re STOKED you’re here + can’t wait to see you out there kicking butt.
GET OUR 'TOP 5 APPS WE USE FOR INSTA
GRAB OUR FREE GUIDE BELOW ON THE TOP 5 APPS WE USE IN CONJUNCTION WITH INSTAGRAM TO UP LEVEL OUR INSTA GAME! TRUST US, YOU'LL BE A PRO IN NO TIME!
ARE YOU RIDING FRONT SEAT ON THE INSTAGRAM STRUGGLE BUS LATELY?