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How to Find the Perfect Wedding Photographer: Embracing the Unexpected

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Leann holds onto her veil in the wind. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Leann holds onto her veil in the wind.
The bride’s dress won’t zip up. The brother of the groom had a little too much to drink before the toast. The flower girl’s hair catches on fire. The maid of honor loses the groom’s ring. You name it, it’s happened at a wedding.

But if you’ve developed a game plan for your wedding, including with your wedding photographer, you can enjoy the day and embrace the unexpected.
Sarah gets a bandaid before her ceremony. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Sarah gets a bandaid before her ceremony.

No wedding day is perfect. Some are awfully close, but never perfect. I can remember my own wedding day, and as much as I’d like to believe it went off without a hitch, it didn’t. Nevertheless, my wife and I were married and our friends and family shared in the moment with us.

I’ve written in previous posts about the importance of the wedding couple developing a relationship with their photographer in advance of the big event. On the wedding day, the couple truly understands how important this is. A good photographer doesn’t just bring a camera to the wedding, they bring a smile and a positive, engaging attitude. At any large gathering, there's nothing more contagious than enthusiasm. 
Amy looks at the sky before her wedding at Snow Mountain Ranch. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Amy looks at the sky before her wedding at Snow Mountain Ranch.

Tackling the Unexpected Together

By projecting energy and confidence at the wedding, a good photographer also gives couples someone to lean on when something goes wrong. This helps to ensure that they’ll be celebrating the moment, rather than worrying about the details, when the unexpected happens.

Sometimes those unexpected moments make for great pictures, too.
Alison and Nicholas dance in the snow on their wedding day. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Alison and Nicholas dance in the snow on their wedding day.
At Alison and Nicholas’ wedding in 2005, the couple had scheduled a ceremony on top of a mountain pass, followed by an outdoor reception. But it snowed that day. So their ceremony was held in the local church and the reception was held underneath a tent outside. Alison and Nicholas embraced the unexpected and stepped outside the reception tent and into the falling snow to enjoy their first dance together.

If you and your photographer have built a relationship of trust before your wedding day, seeing your photographer at work will make you smile, too. Your time with your photographer will be one of the highlights of the day — and the end result will be unforgettable. 
Ashley and Chris' wedding ceremony with rain clouds approaching. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Ashley and Chris' wedding ceremony with rain clouds approaching.

On Shannon’s wedding day, I arrived to photograph her getting ready at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. As we neared the start of the ceremony, the hook on the back of Shannon’s dress broke. With her bridesmaids holding her dress together, Shannon made her way to the chapel and found some thread and string.
Despite a dress mishap, Shannon and Peter had a magical wedding day at the Air Force Academy. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Despite a dress mishap, Shannon and Peter had a magical wedding day at the Air Force Academy.

Despite the dress mishap Shannon and Peter had a fantastic wedding day that was recently featured in The Knot Colorado.
Jen and Mike enjoy their wedding in the snow. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Jen and Mike enjoy their wedding in the snow.
Flower girls goof off at Haley and Dan's wedding day. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Flower girls goof off at Haley and Dan's wedding day.
Next: Seeing your wedding photographs

Sean Cayton is a wedding photojournalist of 19 years and operates a successful, award-winning wedding photography studio in Colorado Springs. He's also an award-winning photojournalist. Sean is happily married to the love of his life (also his business partner) and is father to three beautiful children. When he’s not working, Sean can be found outside flying kites with his kids, hitting golf balls or casting a fly rod to hungry trout

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