Picture the scene… I’m in a candle lit wine cave in north Yorkshire. Outside the sun is shining, the champagne is being poured ready for after the ceremony, and the guests have congregated in this beautiful wedding venue to see their friends get married.
But there’s no windows because…well, it’s a wine cave. It’s full of very expensive wine. The kind you can’t buy at Asda on special offer.
So, to light up the wine cave, it’s filled with lots of candles, which are all flickering and giving it a warm, gorgeous glow and setting the scene for this beautiful romantic ceremony. The flower girl has dropped petals down the aisle, the bride is beaming, the groom is feeling a tad nervous. Flowers are dotted amongst the candles and everything is just perfect.
It’s a small space, but I manage to squeeze myself somewhere near the front ready to capture this significant moment between the couple. The guests are waiting with baited breath, I’ve got the camera jammed to my face ready for the moment they say I do… and then we all smell burning…
Turns out my hair is really flammable when dipped in a naked flame.
The registrar spots my hair going up in flames, throws herself towards me, and starts battering me about the head with her ceremony folder in order to quell the fire. The bride and groom are shocked, I mean no-one expects the photographer to set themselves on fire mid ceremony!
But I survive… there’s no burns, I’ve lost a bit of my long messy hair, but all is fine. Apart from the horrendous odour. Turns out scorched hair smells really awful!
Thankfully bride and groom are understanding and the anguish turns to laughter. The ceremony continues but everyone takes the piss out of me for the rest of the day. The groom cannot stop laughing. We head out into the sunshine, drink champagne, and have an amazing day.
Years later, the groom still posts “on fire” on all my instagram images.
This is him sobbing with laughter… I’m joking. He’s emotional watching the bride walking down the aisle.
Anyway, the point of all this is that something going wrong on your wedding day should not be a big deal. If the flowers aren’t quite the shade of pink you envisioned on your mood board, just relax. If the cake falls over mid cut… don’t worry. If the band gets stuck on a motorway somewhere, don’t fret. Everything will be fine. I’ve been at weddings where everything and anything has gone wrong. Flooded receptions where guests have had to wade through ankle deep water to lift tables out of the way, bridesmaids going into labour the morning of the wedding, a bride whose dress had been sewn incorrectly and we had to take it apart to get her in it, mere minutes before the ceremony. Dad forgetting his shoes, grooms forgetting their speeches, page boys and flower girls having meltdowns as they walked down the aisle. There’s always something going ‘wrong’ and the best thing you can do is relax and treat it as all part and parcel of the crazy story that makes up your wedding. It’s these parts you and your guests will remember for a lifetime – rather than the perfect napkin or the lanterns in the doorways . Even me setting myself on fire is a bit of a talking point even to this day.
Just remember that you’re marrying your best friend… there will be booze, there will be food, there will be fun. Hopefully there won’t be the smell of burning hair…