How to photograph double wedding weekends
This morning as I walked through the grocery store (had to get more Halo Top ice cream!), I ran into an old friend and co-worker from when I was a youth pastor. She asked me “you seem so busy! Are you finished with wedding season??” I gave my usual laugh and said “not quite!”
The truth is, this Fall has been my BUSIEST wedding season ever. With 10 wedding in 10 weeks (and 1 more after Christmas), I’ve been tested on my post wedding workflow. We’re now half way through, and I’ve edited and delivered each wedding to my sweet brides! Phew!
I’ve had a 2 week break in the middle of my 10 weeks, and that is because I booked TWO double wedding weekends this Fall! I’ve already photographed one weekend in September, and my upcoming weekend this month is so special…because one of those weddings is my brother’s!
When I first started shooting weddings, photographing two on the same weekend was unimaginable. Add in that it’s a sibling’s wedding, and you’ve got yourself a whole other ballgame!
However, when you’re approached by TWO incredible brides who you adore, it’s impossible to say no. Since I booked each of these weddings far in advance, I knew that with the right preparation, I could give still each one of them an amazing experience!
Having shot two double headers last year, I had some great insight going into it (I also read some great blogs!). And coincidentally, this is one of the BIGGEST questions I get asked by aspiring wedding photographers – how do you do it??
Before I get into the tips, I do want to share some advice on things you need to consider before BOOKING a double wedding weekend. There are some questions you need to ask yourself before saying yes to multiple weddings:
- How close are the weddings you’ll be shooting? This September, my Saturday wedding was in Alpharetta and my Sunday wedding was in Big Canoe (North GA). Both venues were north of Atlanta, and I live south of Altanta. Going into the weekend, I knew that it wouldn’t make sense for me to go from Alpharetta back to Griffin only to drive early in the morning to North GA. Instead, I purchased a hotel room and cut my drive in half after the Saturday wedding so I could rest a little longer on Sunday morning before heading out. Just a little note: I chose to do this for myself, and I did not charge either of my brides for this room! This was something I wanted to do to keep myself fresh and give my brides the best experience possible.
- Are you typically too worn out to move after shooting one wedding day? Wedding days are tough, especially if you’re a photographer. We’re constantly on our feet walking around, holding heavy equipment and carrying bags. If you are easily worn out on a wedding day, then you need to really consider if shooting a wedding after you’ve already shot a wedding is something you can do. Hopefully, the tips below will help!
Okay, now that the advice has been given, let’s get to the tips!
6 Tips for shooting a double wedding weekend
- First and foremost, before you begin shooting, remind yourself that this is the most special day for each of your couples. They are a new love story, a new couple and they deserve your best attention to detail and service. It’s easy to get into “work mode” and focus on the schedule and getting things done, but it’s so important to come back to their level of excitement for the day to begin!
- Stay hydrated and EAT. Pack a small cooler for your car and include water (water, water, water!!) and small snacks. Remember, you’re going to be working hard for 8-12 hours, and most of the time, we go at least 5-6 hours before we get a chance to sit and grab a bite. It’s important to remember that you need energy to be in the right headspace and serve your couples well!
- Wear comfy shoes! I can’t stress this enough. You get bonus points if they’re cute, but more than anything, they need to be comfortable. I wear the same pair of shoes for each wedding that I photograph, but I also carry with me an extra pair of comfortable shoes that I can slip on at the reception (I call them my party shoes!). On double wedding weekends, it’s so important to keep your feet happy!
- Tylenol or Advil. After carrying a heavy camera bag for 8-12 hours, you need something to help relieve the muscle pain! Pack some pain relievers so that you can feel fresh for your next wedding. I always carry a little bottle of Tylenol or Advil with me in case I need something to take that ache away.
- Bring extra memory! One of the worst things that can happen to you on a wedding day is that you run out of space on your memory cards. Figure out how much memory you’ll need (factor in your second shooter if you have one!), and add 50% just to be safe.
- Hire an assistant. This past September, I hired my assistant for the full weekend. We drove together, stayed in the hotel together, and crushed the Sunday wedding together (Heather, you’re amazing!) Having an assistant around helped me keep my sanity and made it super fun! Heather was so attentive to making sure I was well hydrated and well fed. She was helpful in carrying equipment, fetching family members, and making sure everyone was on time. It’s tough to do some things alone, so don’t. Grab a friend to help you through!
If you prepare the right way, shooting a double header weekend is exhilarating and FUN! Having the right mindset changes everything. Choose to celebrate with your couples and focus on the joy of the day!
Here are some previews of those incredible weddings!
On Saturday, we photographed Joanna & Mark’s wedding at Country Club of the South!
And on Sunday, we celebrated with Lyndsey & Taylor at the Chimney’s at Big Canoe! (fun fact – this is where my brother is getting married in a couple of weeks!)