The story of a (nearly) ruined Wedding Day - Part 2

Nobody needs a wedding album, just stick it on a usb drive which we'll loose in a week..

Mary was a little bit stressed, but knew that she will be able to find a photographer to take photos on her day – even if it is last minute.

“Don’t worry Mary, my friends friend takes good pictures, he only started recently, but he bought a very good camera, I could ask him, it’s even possible he’ll do it for free? Look he has some of the photos on Instagram. And his camera is so good! With a good camera, anybody can do it really..” Karen said.

“Oh, these are quite good” Mary said. “He will do it free you said? That’s excellent… If you give me his number I can call him and ask him myself”.

So Mary called Trevor, the guy with a good and expensive camera:

“Hi Trevor, this is Mary, not sure Karen told you about me, she said you take some good pictures and you recently bought a new camera?”

“Oh hi Mary, yes Karen mentioned something, yes I have a great camera takes professional pictures. I really want to get into paid work and it would be great to take photos of your wedding.”

“This is great Trevor, would you be able to meet with me and my fiancée to discuss the details? The wedding is quite soon, and with all that planning I have quite frankly totally forgotten to book a photographer (*nervous laughter*)”

“Yes, definitely, are you free tomorrow at 6pm?” Trevor asked.

“That’s perfect see you then!”

Mary was super excited. She was sure that Trevor will be the right choice, because she has seen his photos on instagram AND he came highly recommended. And, obviously anybody takes great photos with a professional camera, right?

So Mary met with Trevor to discuss the details. First Mary started to describe her perfect wedding trying to get Trevor excited so he’ll agree to take the photos for free. After all how can anybody decline to photograph such a lavish ceremony. It will be great for his portfolio and Mary will tag him in some Instagram photos she'll post.

“And after the church, we have this beautiful marquee outside, free all night bar which is literally on the beach.. It would be great for pictures. I can’t afford to pay you, because I’m a bit low on the budget, however we are happy to pay for half of your flight, then you just need to cover the cost of your hotel? It’s only coming to around 45 EUR per night… especially if you’re looking to build your portfolio it’s an investment really… and I have such an amazing venue, it will look great on your page!”

Trevor couldn’t show the couple much of his work as he didn’t have a website or a facebook page yet, nor did he have a printed portfolio,  so he only show them few photos on his mobile phone.

Deciding these were good enough for Mary, couple agreed that Trevor will be taking their wedding photos in sunny Italy. “How amazing, a nearly free photographer – this couldn’t go any better!” Mary was jumping up and down with excitement.

Taking into consideration the price of the flight, couple got themselves a bargain. How amazing, all they spent was £159 and he was even covering his own hotel/food/transfers!!

The day of the wedding arrived and enthusiastic Trevor arrived with his one camera and kit lens. (No backup equipment, no insurance, just a single camera and a single lens).  The very good camera in question cost him £400 including 1 slow kit lens. For those who don't know, iit lens is usually a very basic plastic lens which comes with an entry level DSLR cameras. These are great to use on holidays, but do not produce the highest quality images on a professional level. But what does Mary know? It looked like a professional camera, and Karen said everyone can take great photos with it.

Mary was too busy and nervous to notice that Trevor is struggling really and mumbling to himself something under his breath while taking the photos. If Mary paid attention she would hear what was Trevor saying to himself is “I don’t understand why these photos are coming out so blurry… not sure why it is…, this is an expensive camera, it usually takes great photos on AUTO mode..."

Trevor however continued taking photos and didn’t say anything to Mary as not to alarm her. In the church, which was quite dark, he was asked by the priest not to use flash and only stay in the designated spot. This made him a bit nervous because he knew his 18-55mm lens won’t allow him to zoom in very close.

Trevor didn’t understand why the auto mode on his camera kept suggesting he uses flash, and camera refused to take photos for the most of the time. He was getting a bit stressed as most of images were too dark, grainy and blurry. Some of times he couldn't even press the shutter release button, it seemed the camera didn't want to take photos for whatever reason.

Still however, the bride and groom were too nervous about the ceremony, to pay attention to the photographer who was sweating cold sweat. They didn't have any doubt that an expensive camera will do a great job.

After the ceremony, Trevor was happy they’re outside again in the daylight and he took few good shots of the family and the couple. “Phew… at least these will be good” he thought to himself.

When the reception started, he took few more shots, grabbed a drink and put the camera on the table while he helped himself to food several times. As he was placing the plate on the table he knocked a large glass over which spilled wine all over his camera. He frantically jumped up, dragging the camera off the table onto the floor. Plastic on the side of the camera body cracked. A silence erupted throughout the venue while bride and groom stared at him in horror. Trevor picked the camera up, his heart beating like a drum, turning the camera on and announcing with a relief  “all good… still works.. just need a quick wipe.."

The reception returned back to normal, however Trevor stopped taking photos and only done a snap or two every now and then. This was mainly due to the fact that it was getting too dark and he didn't really know what to do in such situations. He started drinking and enjoying himself and had to be frequently asked to take photos of the guests, the cake cutting and the first dance. During these occasions he looked like he was struggling with the camera settings while the posing guests had to wait a long time for the photo to be taken. The photos he took of the first dance only came out as black frames, he didn't understand why.

Still everyone had a great time and Mary didn’t think anything of it. After the wedding they went on a honey moon and couldn’t wait to come back and see all those free professional wedding photos that Trevor took.

In the meantime, Trevor returned from his, nearly free holiday. He didn’t copy the images on the hard drive of his computer right away, because he still had two weeks time until Mary and her husband are back from the holiday. And he's not a professional, so why should he need to edit them? After all this was a free shoot and he done the best he could.

Three days before he was meant to meet the newlyweds, he decided to copy the photos over to his PC. He opened the SD card compartment only to find it slightly wet. Nevertheless, he dried the Sd memory card out and put it into the card reader of his computer.


“Hm… this is strange” Trevor thought to himself. He took out the card, cleaned the contacts and re-inserted.


Slightly surprised, but not overly worried he tried the process few more times only to be shown the same Error message.

So Trevor thought he'll take the card to a specialised store and he was sure they will be able to help him with this. After all, the card looks fine so there must be something wrong with his computer or software he's using.

“Unfortunately we weren’t able to copy the images from the card, there seem to have been a water damage to it and it’s not readable I’m afraid…” Trevor was informed by the specialist.

His heart sunk. What is he going to do now?



Read the first part of the story here. 

Next week: A package which was too good to be true.

The story of a (nearly) ruined Wedding Day

Wedding Cake is for life... but the photos will be eaten on the day

These stories contain various scenarios of a wedding day and a pre-wedding planning. While I'm no expert on wedding planning, I have seen the clients often making wrong choices when it comes to whom do they book to capture photographs of their special day.  

While the actual story below is made up, just to give us a full picture, the endings are not. Although the names have been changed, the endings are true and they indeed occurred to clients which I have met over the years. Although you can't do anything to change the past, you can indeed learn from other peoples mistakes. 

Once upon a time there was a very nice lady called Mary. Mary dreamt of having a perfect wedding since she was a little girl. She knew what flowers will she have, how will the invitations look like, what sort of venue she wanted to book, how many guests will be enjoying a beautiful meal, and how wonderful will the memories be, which she plans on cherishing for a lifetime. All the ideas were there, written in a book titled “My perfect wedding day”. The book contained all the details, magazine clippings, images, drawings and ideas. The biggest dream however was, to get married on the beach, at sunset.

As the years gone by, she met a perfect partner (in every single way), the one to share life’s moments with – the good ones and the bad too. When the time was right, wedding planning was underway. Mary didn’t want to have an event planner, because this was her special day, and she wanted to have it her own way, she wanted to plan every single aspect of the wedding, and ensure it will be the most perfect day of their lives.

Mary’s partner loved simpler things in life, while Mary wanted a lavish ceremony with all the trimmings. Her partner decided not to get involved much in the planning, and left it all to Mary who was enjoying every part of it.

Mary had quite a healthy wedding budget at her disposal, which was great as it meant she will have the wedding she always wanted to. Part of it came from her own savings, (her being very smart and saved most of her adult life); other part (as a backup funding source) came from parents as a gift – to make the transition into her adult life easier, and something to give their daughter to remember them by. This was quite a helpful sum.

"Budgeting for a wedding won’t be so difficult" Mary thought to herself, knowing she has more than she needs. Or did she?


The first, and the largest proportion of the event was securing a wedding venue, hotels & flights abroad. She decided that she will pay for hotel for her wedding guests, as she wanted to ensure they can all afford to come. It also seemed to her that the venue gave her a reasonable discount. She was determined that her perfect day can only be perfect if the wedding is on the beach, at sunset. That way, it’s highly unlikely a bad weather would spoil it. Not sure how did a sunset play a role in this, but this is Mary's story not mine so I won't interfere.


Flights for herself and her partner had to be 1st class, because after all this is a wedding not a budget holiday or a cheap last minute break.


Next thing on the list was a wedding dress and outfits for bridesmaids. Nothing less than a designer gown was acceptable, so the amount of money needed was quite significant (not even including jewellery and shoes, this was a huge chunk of the entire budget). But nobody will stop Mary from looking like a princess, queen and a fairy at the same time.


Mary got a bit of a shoch when she got informed that the costs of a wedding venue and hotel, didn’t actually include the food/drink and service on the day. Luckily she knew that there still is her large backup funding source, so why not to choose the best tier and a wedding reception package? Caviar/lobster and champagne, you name it - Mary got it.


‘Oh yes! I need a beautiful designer wedding cake, like they bake in Fortnum & Mason for example, can you imagine I would just have a basic one for fifty quid??  That would be so embarrassing!’ Mary thought to herself. Luckily there was a very good baker she found abroad who could do this for a fraction of a price - but it was still little over £50. How wonderful!

Then came the important bookings for the day, car, band, flowers and smaller expenses such as stationery - wedding invitations, guest book, wedding card box; and extras such as flip flops, decorations and other bits. It was all perfect and how excellent, there was still a little bit money in the budget. ‘This is perfect, I have extra for emergency expenses’ Mary was convinced, this was the case.

Showing off to her friends and family, that she managed to organise and plan her entire event herself, without minimum outside help, Mary was extremely excited and couldn’t wait for their big day to come.

Few weeks before the event, she had a hen do with her friends, which was also kept classy and in style. Gorgeous champagne brunch and a spa break, which she paid for her and her bridesmaids herself. Why not? ‘I can splash out on things, there is still money in the budget – yay!’ Mary said to Karen as she was enjoying a bottomless bubbly in the worlds renowned brunch place-  Posh & Richie.

“I’m so happy for you Mary, can’t wait for the wedding! Oh btw… who did you book as your photographer?”

Mary’s eyes widened and jaw fell to the close proximity of the table. “OH NO! I completely forgot about that!!” Mary bellowed.

Now I offer you three alternate endings of this story. Which one would YOU choose?

NEXT WEEK: I'll provide you with the first version of ending - A Friend with a Professional Camera.