The Calm Before The Storm


Ah…The Calm Before The Storm.  There is something so pristine about a ceremony venue before it fills with guests.  It’s almost as if it’s waiting with baited breath to start the joyful union of two souls.  Soon, it will be filled with the bride and groom’s nearest and dearest.  The friends of their parents, their our friends, and family will find their seats and wait with great anticipation for the excitement to begin.


Weddings touch us.  They bring back the happiest of times for us all.  Maybe you remember being the flower girl at your aunt’s wedding, or the ring bearer at your uncle’s.  Perhaps you are daydreaming about your own wedding, and the joy you felt that day.  Or, holding your baby girl, you hope to someday be “Mother of the Bride.”


I’ve been “Mother of the Bride” twice now, and as happy as I was on MY wedding day, I think I felt every MORE joy, holding the hand of my husband as we watched our two girls marry their soul-mates.


When you meet with your photographer for your “Pre-ceremony” pow-wow to discuss your wedding photography “vision”, (and if your photographer doesn’t suggest this, request a meeting), ask for a few shots of the “Calm Before the Storm.”  Ask that he/she please take a few photos of the tranquil perfection of the venue before the guests descend.


I have included a few pictures that I have taken from weddings I’ve  worked.  Some are from churches, some outdoors.  They are all beautiful in their own way.  Then top photo was taken by the lovely Patty Cloherty, the remaining photos by me.

I rather like the outdoor wedding, but as we are Roman Catholic, one must be married in the physical building of the church.  A compromise perhaps?  How about a wedding with just the bride, groom, parents and priest in the church, and then the next day, a blow out outdoor wedding?

How To Be A Good Wedding Host

I wrote a couple of posts about being a good wedding guest…how about one about being a good host?  I was reading an article from she and it raised some good points.  I have taken a few topics from the article and will give you my perspective on the issues and perhaps some personal antidotes…

Please be sensitive to guests’ special needs, whether it be dietary or physical.  I’m working with a bride who’s wedding is approaching.  She has already assigned a special chair for an elderly guest on the end of an aisle.  It’s that type of thoughtfulness that your guests will remember.


Sadly, meal requests are often overlooked.  My aunt attended a wedding recently and was horrified to learn that the mother of the groom’s special meal was forgotten – she has a peanut allergy!  Not only insensitive, but deadly!  As the bride or hosts of the wedding, if you see that a guest has a special meal request, make a note of it in your wedding diary, and remember to remind the catering staff the week of the wedding.  Or better yet, have your wedding coordinator make that reminder call for you!


This came to me from my oldest daughter, who is entering the wedding frenzy era of her life.  Said my oldest, “I wish the bride and groom wouldn’t choose foods that aren’t notorious for sticking in your teeth!” “What exactly do you mean,” KK, I asked.  “Well, think how glue-like spinach is to your teeth, or how crackers with seeds seem to find their way into an unseemly spot!  Really!”  You know what, I agree!  Let’s avoid those foods!

Woman with lettuce in teeth, close up

“Cocktail Hour” is too long.


Ok, I know the above photo is the ideal place for a wedding reception cocktail hour.  But even it could get a little old if guests are waiting TOO long for the bridal couple to make their grand entrance.  Try to keep your “Cocktail Hour Photo Session” as short as possible.  Get as many individual shots as you can BEFORE the wedding.  This way the cocktail hour picture session can be reserved for the  bride and groom together, with their families, and attendants.


Wedding Guest Tips Part III

More tips on being a good Wedding Guest!


silver cloud photograph

Follow direction.  More and more brides are deciding to have photos taken BEFORE the wedding ceremony.  This means the party WITH the bride and groom can begin immediately!  If you are requested to find your seat at the reception site as soon as the couple is pronounced “Man and Wife” then do so.  Do not wander over to the bar and demand a cocktail.  If the bar’s closed, it’s closed.  It’s very hard for an catering employee to refuse a guest, so don’t abuse your power.



I’ve been guilty of this one.  If the wedding dinner is a buffet, don’t serve yourself up as if it’s all you can eat night at “Golden Corral”.  Remember, the hosts of the reception have paid a “per head price” for each and every guest and an unlimited supply of food is not available.  Think before you serve yourself.


If you are a smoker, please respect the hosts’ and venue’s non-smoking/smoking areas.  Most venues make accommodations for smokers.  And if you partake of “smokeless tobacco” products, follow the rules for them as well.  And please, just because you may be out of doors, (either at the outdoor venue, or smoking area), this is not an invitation to ground out your refuse wherever you may be.


romantic decoration

Provided you are assigned a table, and most hosts choose to do so, find it as soon as you enter the venue.  Set yourself up, and use this as your home base.  Do you use others’ tables.  I know it may be convenient to place your purse or drink, (or even used ‘Cocktail Hour’ “treats”), on someone else’s table, but don’t.  It’s bad form on more that one level.


And the photo above?  Well, I just really liked the flowers and wanted to share them with you.  🙂




The Bride With Two Dads

The bride with two dads…In today’s world of blended families, brides often ask the question, “Should my dad, or my step-dad walk me down the aisle?  Well, the young bride I worked with last weekend had the perfect solution.  She had both of the men who raised her enjoy the honor.


(Above is the ceremony venue before the gusts arrived.  Lovely!!)

The two dad’s had different styles, and that was ok.  Their style of dress reflected who they were.  And their daughter seemed to embrace that.  The love they showed her in a candid moment which I captured below, told their story.  They both cherished her and wanted to be a part of this most special moment.  Together, they walked her down the aisle to start the new chapter in her life, with the love of her life.


Look how they dads are both tenderly adjusting her veil.  That simple gesture speaks volumes.  And the photo below, so very sweet.


Below you see the beautiful couple exchanging their vows.  And if you look at the lower right of the photo, you can see the two dads sitting side by side, sharing together this joyous occasion.  I don’t know these men, only met them at the rehearsal. They were both lovely, but to me, their relationship is a mystery.  I do know, though, that on this particular day, there was a strong sense of camaraderie between them.  They did it right.  Their daughter came first.


And below, a close up of the beautiful couple.  As they said the vows they wrote themselves, there were few dry eyes.  Their words were sensitive, funny and heartfelt.


And the cake below…well, I included it just because I love wedding cakes and wanted to share it with you.


All photos: Mary P. Karnes