*PHEW* This was a doozy!
Let me tell you, this wedding was the hardest wedding day of my career. It had *nothing* to do with my clients, so I figured you might get a chuckle out of this story. I was not chuckling on that day but now that I’ve survived it, it’s certainly a story to tell.
So it all started from the day before, when a client sent a really, really, really stressful email that messed with my head. So I didn’t sleep super well, especially when I have an alarm to wake up early. I had to drive to Dallas for Evva and Sabino’s wedding, so I knew getting an early start on the day was important. I make food, I make my dinner to put in a lunch bag, and head out an hour early. You never know how I-35 is gonna go, so I made sure to cushion the time. Thank the gods I did.
I get on the highway and it’s SO WINDY that day. 40mph winds, plus driving 70mph…it was a mess. I hear this noise from the front of my car but chalk it up to weird wind effects. Right after that noise begins, my partner, who had been driving behind me, calls to tell me something is hanging from the bottom of my car. See, three days before, I had my oil changed. Turns out, the place I went to never bolted down my skid plate. We pull over and I happen to have some tape in my car, so my partner helps me tape it up. It’s pretty secure, so I’m confident it will be okay. I take off on the highway and make it about fifteen more minutes before the sound comes back. And this time, it’s with a vengeance. Suddenly, a few minutes later, a whole chunk flies off from the bottom of my car, tossing in the wind on the highway. This time, the noise is REALLY bad. So I slow down and pull into a parking lot for antiques. Already eating into that cushion time (and barely out of Austin), I ask some random men to help me. At that point, the entire front of my skid plate is off, minus some stubborn bolts in the back. Four feet of it is dragging on the ground. I had multiple people just tell me to drive with it but I knew if it flew off on the highway, I could actually kill someone. That clearly wasn’t an option.
I call Valvoline, the culprit for this disaster, and the manager at the location I had gone to told me to find a Valvoline. So I drive about thirty miles an hour to the Belton location. It takes forever because I’m going so slow. Finally, I find the store and to my horror, it’s at least five cars deep per line. Even at the fastest rate, that’s 15 minutes per car, which equals to well over an hour’s wait. I begin to panic. I get out of my car and beg them to take me next, citing that my disaster is Valvoline’s negligence. Too bad, so sad, is basically their answer. I’m bawling at this point, absolutely panicked. I’m never late to weddings and it was becoming more and more clear it would happen. I’m sitting in my car, having a panic attack, when my partner calls me and is like, “I called this muffler store and they said they can help you right now!” So I head there and I have tears streaming down my face. Imagine my utter relief when they were able to help me right away. They helped me with a huge smile and I was out in ten minutes.
Sadly, despite having added an hour padding, I was fifteen minutes late. Not the end of the world but I had to make sure to take a deep breath before showing up. Unfortunately, it was freezing and gross in Dallas. Even a bit of snow as I went into town. So all of our plans to shoot outside flew away as fast as my skid plate. Everything, including all first looks, had to happen inside a tiny apartment. Okay, no real biggie, I made it work. We head to the venue after the getting-ready portions. Luckily, it was all planned to be inside to begin with, so that was a relief. I set up my lights and begin getting the detail shots. The ceremony begins and that’s when things go downhill. Suddenly, in the middle of the ceremony, my flashes decide they’re going to start beeping. At first, I don’t know what the noise is. I’ve never heard them make noise, and I don’t even know how the hell to turn it on. I try a handful of shots but the beeping was just too intrusive. I had to make a choice: keep using my flash or abandon the flash in favor of trusting my amazing cameras. Naturally, I chose the option that helped everyone else enjoy the wedding. I turned them back on right before the first kiss, figuring the clapping would cover the sound. Luckily, I was right.
EVEN LUCKIER, the DJ offers to help look up some sort of guide of how to turn off the beep. Turns out, it involves hitting multiple buttons at once. I’m still flummoxed as to how that happened then. Mercury in Retrograde, most likely. The DJ is the hero and everything else goes smoothly. My flashes are working again and I am starting to be afraid of the world, but keep going.
After dinner, the dancing starts. For whatever reason, people decided to forego the dance floor in favor of a cluster of cocktail tables. Weird but whatever. It’s my job to shoot it. I’m taking photos and the bride comes up to join her friends. Naturally, I’m all over the place, trying to get photos. The bride walks to the outside of the group but I keep taking photos. Some people push their backs more towards me, so I back up right into a cocktail table.
Knocking. Over. A. Full. Glass. Of. Red. Wine. Onto. Evva.
A guest, who had put the glass there, hadn’t seen the three-foot spill of red wine all over Evva’s beautiful satin dress. She snatched up a jacket and kept going, “no, it’s fine! Keep taking photos! It’s fine!” I look at Evva, who looks at me, and I look at her, and neither of us knows what to say. All I can do is look at the guest and go, “no, everything is not okay.” Evva rushes off to a room and I go find the planner. I’m like, “Hey, tiny crisis…Evva has red wine all over her dress.” The planner goes, “oh, no problem.”
Ten minutes later, THE RED WINE WAS GONE. Miracles of miracles. I spent those entire ten minutes afraid of being screamed at. It had happened recently at a wedding, where a drunk bride yelled at me in front of other people, over a complete misunderstanding on her part. This particular day had been so difficult, I knew if I was yelled at, I would probably have a complete breakdown. Luckily, everyone understood it was a complete accident. *phew*
Thank the gods the rest of the day was perfect. The people that day seriously saved my ass and I’ve written all of them five-star reviews. Despite all of it, I love Evva and Sabino’s images. It was easily in the top three hardest weddings of my career, but I’m still proud of the outcome. Even when the world is falling apart, I do my best for my clients. I figured it was worth sharing with you, dear reader, so you can see how the end result came out. And understand that I’ve got your back, even when I want to curl up into a corner and demand Murphy’s Law to go bug someone else.