I was in the middle of a catch-up, mid-week dinner out when my friend asked if I had any weddings at the weekend. As casually as I could muster I replied, "Oh yeah, I have three." "What, THREE?!" was the reply.
Ok so it's not exactly the ordinary thing, shooting one wedding Friday, another Saturday and finally one Sunday, but last year, when I booked these weddings I just fell in love with each bride. They were all so kind and lovely and really wanted me as their photographer... I just couldn't say no!
I have an issue disappointing people - I HATE to do it!
A year later the weekend was coming round quite fast, and most people might start to get nervous, however I don't know why, but all I got was excited! This previous December I shot 3 weddings in 4 days, and although I was slightly tired on that 5th day after them all, I was running on adrenaline and absolutely loved them all! After that I knew I could make a triple hitter!
I didn't go into the weekend completely blind though, thinking 'oh I'll manage it,' I did a whole load of preparations in the run up, knowing the more prepared I was the smoother it would be. So, to anyone out there wondering if they can manage three weddings in a row, let me give you 3 small tips to help your weekend flow easily.
1. Do your homework! No-one wants a photographer coming into a wedding day not even knowing the couples name because all weddings flow into one. Each and every couple have their own story, and I truly believe a photographer should be there to capture that story and tell it through imagery.
For each of my weddings I create a 'cheat-sheet'. A piece of paper with EVERYTHING I need to know, it includes my couples suppliers, the family formal list and just little notes like what package my couple's gone for and any little notes I may need to remember. Honestly, this is just good practice for all weddings, but ESSENTIAL for double and triple hitters to keep your mind sharp!
2. The water and the shoes! Hydration and comfort is KEY to making it through three weddings. Try and carry a water bottle EVERYWHERE and keep sipping. I used to be horrendous at staying hydrated, but after working a wedding when I was incredibly ill, my saving grace that day was carrying water everywhere with me and no-joke, that water bottle got me through a wedding where I was sick an hour before leaving! I was on my feet all day running round without a shred of food inside me, but I made it thanks to staying hydrated, (and adrenaline!)
Staying hydrated for all three weddings PLUS comfy shoes is the biggest tick on a triple header wedding. I make sure I have spare shoes in my car at all times, and when I say spare shoes I mean - spare shoes for my outfit AND also a pair of black Nike trainers. I've been known to stay in Nike trainers some wedding days when I'm running everywhere, when I'm hill climbing or when I just have achey feet.
3. Seconds give piece-of-mind. At the start of the year I had 2 other photographers starting out asking if they can second shoot/shadow me. One, Chloe, I'd worked with on a few weddings in 2018, I knew she had a good eye and she's already second shooting for me in October for the 'grooms prep' stage. I really wanted to take her through a morning with a groom prior to that wedding, so my lightbulb went off and thought, ahhhh Chloe can join me on the third wedding out of the three! It'll help both her get more experience and me having a backup on the final wedding. After I booked Chloe in, Rebecca, the sister of one of my wonderful brides who was starting out in wedding photography got in touch with me after her sisters wedding to see if she could shadow me to get more experience and to gain confidence. That second lightbulb went off in my head and I thought, I know the perfect wedding! So wedding number #2 had a second shooter now too!
Long story short, if you have any doubts in your mind, or worry that maybe you won't be on your complete A-Game, definitely bring back-up in the form of a second shooter. They have your back in terms of photographs, but also a friendly face to keep your spirits high.
In the end I breezed through all three weddings, and even though I won't be booking three in a row every weekend, I know I can easily do it again, especially when all my couples are just so unbelievably amazing like this past weekend's were!
And so, to finish off this tip-of-a blog, I want to showcase all three of this weekends newly married couples. A massive congratulations to them all!
Above: Danielle & James at Dalston Hall on the 3rd May 2019
Above: Amy & Nick at Armathwaite Hall on the 4th May 2019
Above: Jodie & Stephen at The Daffodil Hotel on 5th May 2019