Avoiding Wedding Catastrophes

The weddings I’ve done have all taught me a lot about coordination mistakes that can lead to unpleasant wedding situations. The worst situations can occur when it appears that everyone is on the same page, but you forgot to clarify some element of the wedding that was really important to you. Below, I detail some coordination mistakes that have led or nearly led to wedding disappointments so that you can learn from them!

Story 1

For this wedding, I arranged a group call with the bride and groom and the other photographer a few days before the wedding. Among the important aspects of the wedding day was the fact that the groom did not want to see the bride until the ceremony, but he still wanted to do a private reading of vows with her before the ceremony. The other photographer was changed between the group call and the day of the wedding, but I was not made aware of this. After Getting Ready pictures with the groom and his groomsmen, the other photographer began the process of arranging the First Look. I intervened swiftly, double checking with the groom that they did not want the First Look but still wanted a private vow reading. We were able to make sure the bride and groom did not see each other until the ceremony.

It’s important for you to coordinate important aspects of the day with your vendors. Stay abreast of new developments with your vendor team and how they might impact the aspects of the day you prioritize! Think about how those new developments could potentially impact your plans. Ask your vendor point of contact how they handle new developments. Never make assumptions about these.

Story 2

For this wedding, I arranged a call with the bride and groom and made sure to tour the locations. Everything was set for a great day, including a 30 minute private bridal portrait session at the waterfront! On the day of the wedding, the makeup artist arrived one hour late, throwing off the entire schedule. To make matters worse, the florist messed up the ceremony decorations and the reception decorations were not entirely what the bride had requested.

Always make sure you coordinate and communicate directly with your vendors so you’re both on the same page. Check that expectations are realistic. Respectfully clarify what any difficulties might be in accomplishing the task without losing confidence in the vendor. Ask to see previous work!

Story 3

For this wedding, I arranged a call with the entire photo/video team and bride and groom. We discussed some of the unique aspects of the wedding. They did not want a First Look. Instead, they wanted to exchange the bride and groom for pictures with each other’s bridal party before the ceremony without the groom seeing the bride. He would finally see her during the ceremony. During the day of the wedding, there was some confusion as the other photographer apparently had not entirely understood this request when we discussed it over the call. I quickly intervened and ensured that the bride and groom got what they wanted.

Make sure your photo/video team understands your requests. There are several ways you can do this. You can introduce hypothetical situations to them and ask them how they would work through those. You can also ask them questions about their existing plans that accommodate your requests. Don’t be shy about the questions you ask them! It’s your day, so make sure that they’re treating these requests appropriately.

Story 4

For this wedding, in addition to the usual pictures of the ceremony, the couple also wanted an angle from the balcony. Unfortunately, they never had the photo/video team tour the venue. They probably never asked the venue about this either. On the day of the wedding, the photo/video team had to communicate that this angle would really just not be possible. The couple was fine, but you could tell they were disappointed.

As you plan your wedding, continue to coordinate with your vendors to make sure your expectations and priorities are realistic and do not conflict with each other. Make sure you have plans in case there is some conflict. Have your vendors coordinate with each other so they know what to expect from each other.

Story 5

I arranged a call with this couple and made sure I understood what was important to them: portraits and candids of family and pictures of details. Often, I like to work with the other photographer to get as many poses of the couple and family as possible. However, in this case, I knew that if I stayed to do this, I would miss opportunities to get details shots. Because the couple had clarified how important these were on the call, I left to get those pictures while the other photographer stayed with them to get the family pictures. Although I missed out on some really nice couples pictures, I was able to stick to their priorities and make sure they were satisfied. Had I not done the call with them, it’s very possible I would have missed the pictures they cherish so dearly.

As you plan your day, make sure you coordinate with your vendors so they understand what your priorities are and their relative significance to each other. These might be big priorities, like a request to keep the bride from seeing the groom until the ceremony. These might be smaller priorities that are still quite important but not as big a deal, like what types of pictures you prefer or angles you really want to get. Their job will be to self-organize to capture the day according to your priorities.


I’m passionate about helping you achieve your wedding day vision and capturing your story as a couple through my lens. I like self-development, copywriting, and photography…

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I am excited to discover more about you & your story.