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The Irish Bride
by Dan Kapsner, dankphoto@aol.com

Complete Article: The Irish Bride - Wedding Photography Follies.  One photographer's story of "on-the-fly" problem solving.

Some years ago I photographed a wedding for an Irish bride.  Her name was Deirdre, and she had a lovely, lilting voice and a relaxed, easy manner. We met long before the wedding day to discuss her wishes,  and agreed upon a plan to do a number of posed photos with the bride and groom on the morning of the wedding before the ceremony.  About a week before the wedding I checked in with her and reviewed our plans to be sure we were in agreement.  After the call we were all set to go--or so I thought...

The wedding was at the main Chapel at Fort Lewis, a lovely old church with well kept grounds and a timeless feeling to it.   I arrived early, unpacked my gear, and scouted the area for some good locations.   Then I took some candids of the bride and bridesmaids getting ready in her room, followed by shots of the groom dressing with his groomsmen.

About fifteen minutes before the formals were scheduled to begin a lady introduced herself to me as the bride’s mother.  “I understand you’re  taking pictures of the couple before the wedding,” she said.

“Yes,” I told her.  “That’s the plan".

She made a tisk-tisk noise and shook her head.  “Well,” she said apologetically, “I’m afraid that just won’t do.”   She must have seen the surprised look on my face.  “You see, we just don’t do that in Ireland."

“I see,” I said.  “What do they do in Ireland?"

She said on the wedding day the bride and groom never saw each other before the ceremony,  and that any photos of them together were taken afterwards.   I took “never” at face value, and realized I would have to come up with a Plan B fast.

“We have a good-sized list of posed shots with family, friends, and attendants,” I told her.  “And I hate to see the guests kept waiting too long after the ceremony.  If the bride and groom don’t see each other, would there be a problem doing some of the shots where they don’t appear together before the wedding?"

She said that would be okay as long as they didn’t see each other.   It was a little tricky, but we managed to pull it off and get some nice shots individually and with their respective families and attendants beforehand.   Half an hour before the ceremony was scheduled to begin we broke off as the guests began to arrive.

The ceremony went without incident and we were able to get the bride and groom, their immediate families, and attendants together shortly afterwards.  We photographed them with families first, because they had to see to details at the reception, then did the shots with attendants, and finally we did different poses with the bride and groom on the grounds.  The weather was perfect, the grounds were beautiful, and the photos turned out wonderfully.

Now whenever things don’t go according to plan at a wedding I reflect back to that day and how we changed our plans on a moment’s notice; I think of how well things worked out by the simple act of being flexible and honoring the wishes of the family.  To this day these remain my guiding principles.

Dan Kapsner Photography, Olympia, WA  www.dankapsner.com/

Copyright NWweddingplace.com 2008. All information contained herein is intellectual property and copyrighted by www.NWweddingplace.com. For information regarding use of this article, please contact article-inquiries@NWweddingplace.com.



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