As wedding photographers, we know that there is a hierarchy of importance for wedding photography subjects. The bride tends to be at the top of this, followed by the groom, and continuing downwards in a pyramid of sorts that includes bridesmaids, groomsmen and immediate family before moving on to the remainder of the guests. For every couple, this pyramid is a little different, as someone’s importance often escapes the more simplistic labels we put on things. The mistake that wedding photographers often make, however, is to focus on the bride and groom so much that we forget to take time to immortalize the emotional impact the wedding has on everyone else. Parents are often feeling the biggest emotions on the wedding day – feelings so big they rival (and sometimes even surpass) those of the couple getting married.
One of the best things that we can do, as photographers, is to immortalize these big parental emotions for the bride and groom. Chances are, they’re not getting a chance to see them: they’re so busy with the timeline and the responsibilities that they have on the wedding day that there’s little time to stop and observe their process. I guarantee you, however, that they will swell with emotion when they look back at that photo of Mom glowing with excitement as she smiles while watching them through the window. And for the brides and grooms that will continue on to have children of their own, this moment will take on a whole new meaning in 15 years, and then again in 30, when they’re watching their own children walk down the aisle.
So, no matter how easy it is to get wrapped up in the bride and the groom and in being creative and artsy, we urge all you photographers out there to remember to take time to observe the parents, the close friends, the people whose continued love will be something worth remembering.