I was different than many brides in that I actually didn’t have much say in my wedding photographer (or I thought this at least). I was a Disney Bride and chose to utilize Disney Fine Arts & Weddings Photography. Like everything else Disney provided I figured we’d have the best of the best. Not to mention, the Enchanted Rose package was very alluring. We received coverage at our welcome party, the entire wedding day, and a private park photo session after our wedding plus books and digital files of all photos. Why would I pass up this seemingly easy and great option to look for a different photographer? Man, am I kicking myself now.
Photo Planning Conference
About a month before our wedding we received notice of who our lead photographer would be. We had to schedule a video conference with him almost immediately. Disney brides, heads up…. They typically want these meetings done during normal M-F business hours which is certainly tricky if you also work during that time. Nonetheless, my fiancée and I figured it out. He came to my work and we grabbed a conference room to take the call mid-morning then. Our time came and went, nobody was joining the video conference. I was frantically calling every number at Disney Fine Arts. Twenty minutes late my cell phone was ringing with a Florida number… Our photographer! He said sorry he was late and oh by the way he doesn’t do that video stuff….. Nice! He reviewed the timeline of photography we had already received, said he had our requested shot lists and quickly got us off the phone. We’d touch base before the wedding.
That didn’t happen. Our welcome party came and we got to meet him in person. His focus that night was to capture us with the fireworks. We thought it would be cool but it actually wasn’t so great. During the entire Illuminations performance we were posing, holding very still, and we weren’t able to enjoy time with our guests. Some other random photos of guests were taken throughout the night, but no others of the groom and I, our families, or wedding party. I guess I should have been very adamant and asking for this to occur. Who knew?
Getting Ready Photos
Every girls dream is to have those iconic stepping into the dress photos right? Your mom, sister, or close friends lacing or zipping up the back, the tearful glancing into the mirror shot, laughter as your evil sister pulls the corset too tight. Well, call me the bride that got zilch of that. I was instructed to not put on my dress under any circumstances until he got there. I was ready with hair and makeup done, waiting to step into the dress. When our photographers arrived, they were a bit behind schedule but I didn’t think much of it. They got the still shots of the dresses, accessories, and rings, a few fake ones applying hair and makeup, a few of us girls in our floral robes. He kept saying alright it’s almost dress time! But then it wasn’t. Suddenly, he checked his watch and said we have to run, good luck. (I’m a schedule girl so I can tell you it was 6 minutes early from his timeline. Of course, after he was already late.) We were shocked but we’re also trying to tie up some last minute preparations of the various girls so we didn’t argue. What can you say when some supposedly amazing world renowned photographer runs out of the room? I was left with no iconic photos, but luckily my awesome videographer, E.F.V.P, was there to save the day and preserve the memories.
We did not do a first look, so we had separate family and bridal party photos before the ceremony. Looking back, I can see how many my husband has with his guys and parents and compared to mind, the ratio is pretty far off. I’m not sure why this is the case, but it definitely bothers me. I had 4 photos with my girls total. None with my Aunts and Uncles who I made meet us in the Grand Floridian Lobby, none of just my mom or my dad and I. But don’t worry, there are plenty of awful twenties style photos of me I’ll never do a thing with!
The Bride and Groom
I didn’t think being traditional and not doing a first look would impact our photo memories but I’m near certain it did. After our ceremony at picture point we were excited and relieved, just so glad the hard part was over and we can enjoy ourselves. So when we were made to stare in opposite directions, or awkwardly arch backwards we didn’t care much. We thought it was weird but what did we know?
Do know, if you feel awkward you will definitely look awkward and you won’t want the photo. We have one, and I mean ONE, photo from Picture Point where we are both looking head on at the camera and smiling. Isn’t that what it’s all about? For me at least it is. Seeing the joy on our faces and having a portrait to hang or use on a Christmas card!
I can see clearly now, our lead photographer had his own agenda. I may not have realized it on my wedding day as I was just trying to go with the flow and not be Bridezilla, but the end result is proof. He wanted photos in his style, for his portfolio and didn’t care at all what I thought or had said. I don’t believe all Disney Wedding photographers are like this. In fact some of the fun shots on Instagram prove it. But as a Disney Bride you should still do your research, ask your planner early about who is available that day, and demand a more in depth conversation with your assigned photography team. Photos and video are some of the best way to remember your wedding day and you don’t want to mess them up!