Being a guest rather than photographer:
Pro: I could clap and participate in the wedding. This may seem silly, but for the first kiss, pronouncement as man and wife, introductions… those are all moments I am normally capturing with a camera. As a guest, my hands were free to clap and cheer, and that felt wonderful!
Con: The view isn’t as good. When I am the photographer, I get to move around to find the best angle. That’s my job in fact. Without looking through a 200mm lens, it was harder to see the bride or grooms faces.
Pro: As a guest, I could eat without feeling self conscious! It’s kinda funny really. As a guest, I wasn’t nearly as hungry, but probably ate 3x as much as I needed to. As a photographer, I am often staring longingly at the hors d'oeuvres, wondering if anyone will judge me for grabbing a carrot. It’s not to say that we don’t eat when I’m working, but we eat much faster. Often, when we have time to be seated for a meal, I feel guilty, as though I should be doing something, rather than eating.
Con: There were a few moments I wished I had a camera in my hand. Watching Mike wipe tears from his eyes as Abby walked down the aisle, I was torn. Part of me was so happy to be there as a witness, and part of me wished I could freeze that moment with my lens.
Perhaps my favorite part of being a guest though, was that I had my husband by my side. Working weddings every weekend, I get to hear lots of amazing love stories, romantic songs and see beautiful venues. They often remind me of my own love story, and make me wish I could dance that slow song with my husband. Well, this time, I did. I could hold his hand during the vows and laugh with him during the toasts.
It was such a wonderful way to end “wedding season.” So thank you Mike and Abby! I am so glad you found each other. Your love is a beacon and an example to others. Thank you for inviting us to bear witness to it on your wedding day.