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The Bride's Guide Blog

Etiquette: "Can We Borrow Your Photographer?"

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A recently married bride told me that she'd been a little peeved at her sister-in-law on the wedding day.

Since everyone was all spiffed up for the big event, the SIL thought it would be a great time to get a nice picture of her little family. She asked the bride's photographer if he'd take a picture of them -- "It'll only take a moment."

But the bride and groom were racing the fading light to get their outdoor portraits taken, and the 15-minute delay came at a very bad time. Plus, the photographer was distracted from his primary task. It may have seemed like a simple request, but it was a real pain.

Unfortunately, the photographer wasn't fast enough on his feet to say "No, not right now," and the bride felt put on the spot -- neither of them expected this. But you are forewarned now, so be sure to discuss this with your photographer. As Erin Melenbacker of Melenbacker Photography points out, the photographer already has a client: you. Let him be the bad guy.

Maybe you'll want to schedule some photos like this on purpose -- a print would be a neat gift for your bridezilla-tolerant siblings. Melenbacker says the formal-family-portrait time is the best option -- everything's all set up. But, she warns, these shots will take more time than you think, so be sure you're realistic about how that will impact the time left for candid photography.

What sorts of family photos are you planning to take?

Comments (3)

  • I went through this same thing during my pre-ceremony pictures and during my dinner and dessert receptions. Since I've heard of this same thing happening to so many others, I made sure to let them know that we wanted to stay on time, but if there was free time, there are certain families (our extended family and close friends) that I would love to be able to do this for. Before the ceremony, I pointed out who the various families were, and he did a great job at being the "bad guy" for others, but in a very considerate way. He was able to accomodate everyone who asked, but never took time away from the main reason we were capture our special day!

  • [...] Etiquette: “Can We Borrow Your Photographer?” by Talley Sue Hohlfeld Yesterday we received a call from Talley Sue Hohlfeld from Martha Stewart Weddings with a situation that had happen to one of their brides. A family member had asked to “borrow the photographer” during the wedding day for a quick moment to get an image of their family. The timing was less than convenient and left the bride feeling hurt when the photographer accepted the request. We talked about advice for future brides that could help them avoid this and general photographer’s etiquette. [...]

  • Melenbacker Photography -- the most talented photographers I have ever had the privilege to work with! They did my sister's wedding and did a fabulous job! We could not have asked for more -- and if we HAD asked for more, they would have moved heaven and earth to accomplish it! :)

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