Here Comes the Bride?

The Photographer was asked to take pictures — to be the photographer — at a friend’s wedding.

Very exciting to be a quasi-professional, invited to take photos of someone other than his spouse!
I volunteered to be The Photographer’s Assistant. My jobs were to: carry equipment; stand for test photos in various lighting schemes; help organize family members and the wedding party for formal photos, and; make sure that we captured each of the key moments or subject groupings on a list thoughtfully compiled in advance by the bride and groom.
The bride’s stunt double

We thought we thought of everything
The Photographer and I checked and organized all of the equipment well in advance: step ladder, light stands, umbrella, off-camera flash, Swiss Army knife, camera, 2 lenses, diffuser, batteries for camera and flash.
I took one of the cameras to District Camera on my lunch-hour so that they could untwist an unruly filter from one of his lenses.
Hot Tip: They did this using a rubber band to provide just enough grip on the rim of the filter. So clever!

We also reviewed the list of key shots carefully. I made a study of royal family photographs to see how the Windsors arrange themselves for large wedding photos.
Note: The key to large group photos is that a few people must sit in chairs. Children can sit on the floor.
Let it never be said that The Photographer’s Assistant isn’t worth every penny of her pay

The one thing that we didn’t discuss was: WhaT tO WEar.
I assumed that we were working the wedding, i.e., staff. So I wore a white top and black pants.
The Photographer wore a suit and tie. I was surprised because he doesn’t like wearing ties, but I thought he looked very nice. It also seemed reasonable to me that The Photographer would look higher-status than The Photographer’s Assistant.
I should have probed more deeply. It turns out that we were guests.
Oh no. I wore enormous, black penny loafers to a wedding.
Oh well

Had I realized that we were attending in dual-capacities, I would have worn fancier pants and shoes.*
But the white top was a conscious and deliberate choice. I figured The Photographer and The Second Photographer (another friend of the groom) would appreciate a model wearing white to help them adjust the white balance and flash on their camera settings. I walked down the aisle — very ceremoniously, before the guests arrived and without music — more than a half-dozen times.
I think I was a convincing bride. I know I was a useful Photographer’s Assistant.

While helping the two photographers, I eyeballed the seating and realized that the chairs on one side of the aisle had been set too close together. So I directed the staff to re-space the rows and then helped them do it when they seemed to be struggling to re-envision the floor-plan.
One the one hand, I felt a little bossy. But on the other . . . spatial relations and executive planning are two of my strengths.** Imagine the scene if 100 guests started filing in, tried to sit, and realized that there wasn’t enough legroom for them to drop into a seated position. Think of a full flight and all of the passengers in window seats getting up at the same time to go to the bathroom.
I think I was pretty convincing as a Wedding Coordinator. Bossy, but nice.

It was a beautiful service and reception, with the most delicious food from Eco Catering.
One thing to know about this white top: that flamboyant flamenco sleeve was made to wipe plates clean.
I had to eat very carefully
The Plate Wiper

This top is actually two tops: a cotton apron-tank over a long-sleeved silk blouse. I saw the apron-tank in ShopBop’s year-end sale and realized it was a very workable substitute for a prohibitively expensive backless tank by Cecelie Bahsen. I’d never wear it without something underneath, but I knew it could be made appropriate! In the summer, I may wear it over a sleeveless, ribbed tank top.
* It was O.K., I think because: (1) the wedding was at 10:00 a.m.; (2) the bride is an architect and the groom is a talented amateur photographer, so the creative professions were well-represented among their guests. It was a hip crowd, not a stuffy crowd.
** That’s why I am so good at picture-hanging and packing for trips.
White top: Rachel Comey Spark Top; Grey blouse: Isabal Marant from TheRealReal; Pants: JCrew; Wildly inappropriate shoes: Does it really matter now?; Bag: Humawaca (in Buenos Aires!)

6 thoughts on “Here Comes the Bride?”

  1. It’s all charming: the story, the dual role helper (photographer’s assistant and wedding planner), the architectural outfit. This is why we are devotees of the Directrice!

  2. I hope this doesn’t come out wrong–but that top really makes me laugh. (In a fond and affectionate chortle.) It’s such an extravaganza! I can’t stand wearing sleeves that dangle at my wrists, which is perhaps a shame. I lose out on so many sleeve options. You look charming and creative. And bossy is a good word these days.

    This post arrived via email, FYI.


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