Confessions of a Wedding Videographer: The Rise and Fall of the Bride

I used to take photos for newspapers, so whenever I needed extra money I would do photos and videos for weddings. It was pretty much a word-of-mouth thing, although I would usually have a standard advertisement for my services running in a few local papers.

It was not typically hard, although it was time-consuming and you needed to make sure you shot the highlights, a lot of the bride and groom (of course), as many family members as possible, action shots (mostly the dancing), the cute little kid stuff, grandma doing the Irish jig and anything else you would expect a bride and groom to deem memorable.

When shooting weddings, I never knew exactly what to expect, other than how many people would be attending and where the wedding and/or reception was located. But frankly, nothing could have quite prepared me for this particular wedding. The couple saw my ad in the local paper and called me. I met with them, told them the price and what to expect, and they signed a contract on the spot.

It all started out as a fairly typical wedding with about 150 family members and friends, bride and groom, groomsmen and bridesmaids. The crowd seemed to break up into two separate camps -- like in 'West Side Story' with the Jets and the Sharks. As I learned through simple eavesdropping, the groom's family could not stand their son's choice of a bride.

Apparently the bride was painfully aware of this, as every time I spotted her she was downing another shot of something. I guess she was putting away so much alcohol as a means of fortifying herself for the evening. She was never without a drink in her hand! I do try to get shots of the bride and groom unencumbered of items like beer bottles and wine glasses, to make for what I think is a better video. This wasn't going to happen, as she never let the booze out of her clutches.

But after a few hours the bride couldn't even hold a glass, and she was having an even harder time holding herself up. She was tripping on her train, her veil was all amiss and I was trying desperately to find "normal" looking shots, but they were becoming non-existent. So I basically was running around taking tons of footage of everyone else I could find, including the seemingly sober groom in most of the shots. I tried getting shots of the bride from the side, the back and in distance shots so as not to close in on her inebriated condition.

Suddenly, the bride collapsed into a heap on the dance floor, completely passed out -- flowing dress, long train, veil fanned out around her body on the floor. I froze, and I didn't dare take a picture of this, for I thought it was too awful, a horrible memory for both of them.

Then in one fell swoop the groom came over, picked his bride up off the floor, swung her over his shoulder and walked out of the reception. Now, that I caught on video for posterity.

Next: Confessions of a Wedding Planner >>

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October 11 2011 at 5:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

HA!! I've been to a few weddings like that. From 94 to 2006 I was shooting weddings and getting tired of it. Only the info I had from my experiences was to funny and valuable for others who were considering marriage. So, I wrote "Notes of a Retired Wedding Videographer" lol a good quick read both men and women can enjoy.

July 06 2010 at 3:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Grooms are no different. One of my nieces got married, and the groom had just returned from an 8 month Iraq tour about 2 weeks before the wedding. He and his best man did 2 shots before the wedding to steady his nerves (the bride's uncle was the officiating priest), and once they got to the reception, the whole head table started doing shots. Sometime after all the food, dancing, and speeches, the groom got carried out to be laid on a picnic table because he was so drunk. By the time the limo got there to take them off, they poured the unconcious groom into the limo and his wife commented about the 3 kids she had (she had 2 minor children that grandma and grandpa were watching for her). Fortunately for them, this was the formal wedding. They had had a private wedding by a justice before he left for Iraq to make sure my niece and her 2 boys were taken care of in case something happened, and so they'd have medical benefits.

July 05 2010 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Kristi : what does "worte" mean ????

July 02 2010 at 8:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What does the amount spent on a wedding have to do with this? NOTHING. And to put things in perspective. Nothing worse than a drunk, in any situation. For a women to drink herself into unconsciousness is not only dangerous but down right trashy. Can't think of any woman I know that would drink to excess. I'm 68 and have been around a long time. Worked in bars & clubs for years.

July 02 2010 at 6:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The actions of the bride on her wedding day is a tribute to why the groom's family have issues with his choice of a wife. She's a drunk. He's marrying a problem, not a wife. I've seen this before. A buddy's son, married a few years back, same issue. Coming out of the church, the bride was handed a beer by her friend. There she stood, beer in hand, on the church steps. That marriage lasted 11 months.

July 02 2010 at 6:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hey it was her wedding and if she wanted to get loaded so be it. I'm sure he knew she liked to Pound down a few drinks. Weddings are so overrated these days people spend thousands of dollars to get married and then live unhappily until divorce. Come on people get a grip a wedding should be between close family and close friends. Forget about inviting people you can hardly stand from your work. And STOP SPENDING enough to put a down payment on a mansion.
For those of you that are appalled about the spelling and grammar in the blog ...GET A LIFE. If I want to misspell or use words that doesn't exist it's my prerogative. Go give your cat a bath, wash your hair but quit griping about grammar and spelling this isn't an English class.

July 01 2010 at 8:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

SOMETIMES, it's necessary for the entire family and the bride /groom-to-be to go through several counseling sessions BEFORE commitments are made, for we do IN-FACT marry the entire family, and at the very least the father / mother in-law; for as these two go so will your spouse !

IS IT WORTH THIS MUCH TROUBLE ? I guess that ONLY the probable bride / groom would need to answer this question, but if we need to medicate ourselves to face any kind of reality (perceived or otherwise) then we need to ask ourselves the following serious questions:


July 01 2010 at 7:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

can we all get along? is not deep maybe some like to cut corners or dont care... . wats te big deal?ReLaX** n Be HaPPy!~

July 01 2010 at 7:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Imagine if she walked over to other side to talk and instead puked all over them? now that would have been memorable!She had good reason to want todrown her sorrows , give her a break on er wedding day? pple is just PATHETIC! Kudos to the groom for picking up the pieces after her. now that is true devotion.

July 01 2010 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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