It’s not just a stereotype that brides handle most of the wedding plans. It’s pretty much an unspoken law. A future groom may hear his beloved say, “Honey, these are our decisions to make together,” but she will usually say this right before she gives you “that look” and tells you exactly what she wants.
But while the bride is the most important person of the wedding day (and she knows it), it just so happens that the groom, despite his accessory role, does hold some weight during the decision-making process.
The Man Who Matters
To get an idea about just what the husband-to-be gets to do for the big day, I read a few wedding magazines and scoured well-known wedding websites.
I never knew a groom needed to know how to knot a bow tie, and most likely must teach his groomsmen as well, or that he often helps decide on food selection, and makes arrangements for the bar and the tunes, which are, of course, the most vital components—forget about the dress).
All joking aside, the groom can play a crucial role when it comes to the images of his special day. In my experience, the bride and groom usually agree on photography. Whether we’re discussing color versus black-and-white, or traditional versus photojournalistic, our couples often have a shared vision for their photography, which they freely impart within the first five minutes of our preliminary meeting.
During this meeting, it’s important to show the groom that he matters, too. I start by directing some of my questions to him to home to break the ice. I’ll ask him things that may have nothing to do with the wedding, such as, “When did you graduate? How did you and your fiancé meet?” These questions immediately get the groom talking and believing that I care about him as well, which, of course, I do.
Eye contact is also huge, as is creating a comfortable and copacetic environment that will prompt easy discussion.
A Connection That Sells
Once I have the groom’s attention, I can begin to sell, because now both of them are listening. They both must believe in what I say. If I extend myself and make the experience more personal for the bride and the groom, they will be more attentive and excited to hear about my work. If they ask if I’m married, I know I have a good shot at getting that job.
Once you have the attention of both bride and groom, it’s a good time to sell the possibility of adding a second photographer. A good way to do this is to remind the groom that having two photographers means equal representation: One photographer will focus on the groom and his family, while the other will focus on the bride and her family.
When a groom wants more details, I’ll discuss how a photographer will cover him getting ready and concentrate on his family during the party. I’ll explain that an imbalance of photos, too heavily weighted to favor the bride, is not an accurate story of the day. Adding a second shooter will ensure that everything requested will be captured. It will also leave time for more creative images, which might normally be overlooked due to the time constraints a solitary photographer faces.
To make a long story short: A personal connection is the first and most crucial factor in earning a job and winning the trust of my clientele. The best photographs happen when a couple trusts me and my work—and better, more natural photographs result in bigger orders. They’re happy with their photographs, and I make a living. It’s a win-win situation.
By making sure you pay attention to the guy in the tux, you’ll have both parties on board to get the images everybody wants.