4 Critical Things to Remember for Your Southern Wedding
You did it! The date is set. The venue is locked in. Or the segment of beach. You've got a wedding planner, right? Is there anything you are forgetting...? You are going to kill this wedding thing. Too easy.
But it's the South. Presently it's July and you may be putting the final touches on an August or September Wedding. Maybe that venue has been locked in for months, and you are circling back for the 100th time on the seating chart. There are a few little things that you must absolutely remember when that Southern Sun is hitting your beach wedding or cooking the tent on your reception outside. Things that would be so easy to forget. These are going to sound so simple... but trust me, you don't want to miss them.
1) Bug Spray
Coastal South Carolina is known as the Low Country for a reason. There is standing and slow moving water everywhere. And where there is standing water and heat, there are bugs. Sure, you can borrow some of my bug spray, after all when I'm taking your beautiful wedding photos I want to make sure you are not swatting at bugs or getting bit repeatedly. But I don't have enough for your whole wedding.
I was out shooting for fun one evening on Isle of Palms long ago and the mosquitoes were so bad they chased me right into the ocean (I thought I could get away). I had my tripod above my head, and I waded in, in my clothes, so the water was lapping at my shorts. I was 20 yards into the water. And the bugs were still attacking my face. Miserable.
What if you wedding was happening there? Right at that moment? It was the Isle of Palms front beach after all. Great location. It was a beautiful Sunday evening. A Super Moon was getting ready to rise.
Yes, you might have gotten a kick from my antics before I knew better to take bug spray with me EVERYWHERE. But you might have suffered as well. Don't Suffer!
If you really want to get ahead of the problem, check out one of the Mosquito prevention services in the area. For a very reasonable price they will bug bomb your area and guarantee it mosquito free for the duration of your event.
2) Sun Screen
I was walking through downtown Charleston the other day with Laura and her parents and we saw a horse drawn carriage pulling a newly married couple about town while a guide dutifully informed them about the history and the architecture and the sheer awesomeness that is this city. Very romantic. In theory. The first thing I noticed? The Bride's back and shoulders were fried. I mean cooked. I mean red like you fell asleep on the beach.
This was despite being tan in the first place.
If you or your guests are going to be spending time in the sun for the ceremony, the reception, or other post wedding activities, do not forget sunscreen! Little travel bottles make great gift bag gifts for guests, or you can strategically locate sunscreen stations. Don't underestimate this. The bride mentioned above was in for a miserable evening. Don't let that be you.
3) Big Hats! Really, Really Big Hats!
This recommendation does double duty for your wedding. Big hats make for fantastic style which leads to good looking pictures for your wedding. They also keep the sun exposure risk down. And your outdoor wedding pictures may not have as many people wearing sunglasses and hiding eyes if there are big hats shading them. Plus they are just plain fun.
You can buy a set for your guests to wear to create a look that matches your wedding, or you can put the recommendation out to your guests if you are so inclined... they will thank you.
There are also a number of local Charleston shops where you can find good hats. My favorite is Goorin' Bros Hat Shop on King Street.
4) Experienced Photographer
"Wait Dan. This sounds like a shameless plug." Well, on the one hand it is. I am after all in the business of providing outstanding wedding photography services to amazing brides and grooms like you. There is a point to this though.
1) Is your photographer experienced with outdoor weddings? Have they had to point their camera into the Southern Sun that is the beautiful backdrop to your altar? How about where you plan to take your engagement photos (Included with all my wedding packages by the way)? The picture of the first kiss is not nearly as impressive when we can't see who you are because the exposure is so bright. The picture will look amazing though if your photographer knows how to compensate for this.
Of course, silver lining here, you could wind up with a photo like this when the sun is your backdrop.
2) Have you ever experienced walking out of your house or a store when the humidity and temperature both say 97 and had your sunglasses fog over? Has your photographer dealt with the rapid humidity change of taking their cool/cold, metallic equipment including lenses with 18 pieces of intricate glass through this change? In my experience, if you are not prepared for this, it can take 15-30 minutes for the lenses to get acclimated. While image recovery on the computer has come a long way, taking pictures through fogged glass, is, well, not ideal.
To keep this reasonable in length, I'll leave it there. But there are a host of challenges with which experienced outdoor Wedding and Portrait photographers have learned to deal.