Too Many Images.... Weddings
My sister and I were recently reminiscing about her wedding, a billion years ago. We were discussing it mainly because I was preparing for a marketing shoot for a wedding/event venue -Twin Fields Farm in Southern Pines, NC - that recently began its plan to reopen after a few years of being dormant and we were hoping to bring in a horse for my model bride (my favorite model and daughter, Felipa was to don a wedding dress yet again. She has honed in on her own real wedding dress, we think) to hop up on to, cowboy boots under the dress at the ready, the train of the dress draped over the haunches and even a side saddle. A dreamy scene, right? Well, we didn't get the horse for our marketing shoot, but it was dreamy anyway. My sister, however, did get the horse with the side saddle - no boots. There is a nice small series of images, although not like today. It occurred to me that my sister's wedding was the first wedding I shot, I will refrain from telling you how many years ago that was. I think it was around that time I swore I would only do "fine art photography." Such a young pup to be so arrogant and narrowminded.
I do have a bit of a tumultuous relationship with photographing weddings, some 30 years later. I think perhaps it's the industry of it. Kids are paying tens of thousands of dollars on weddings. They going into debt for the wedding. It still catches me off guard. You can tally the dress, the venue, the food, the, eh-hem, photographer! Just to name a few items on the massive list.
It makes me a little more than crazy to think that couples are gouged when it comes to wedding prices. But I am not here to grouse, well maybe a little, because at the core of that magical day or moment, wrapped in layers and layers of expenses and industry just like the layers and layers of tulle, is hope in the future.
Let that sink in for just a moment... hope in the future...
It is stunning with all that swirls around us in the news, our communities, everyday struggles, and it comes down to those few images that are supposed to last a lifetime. I LIVE for those moments, those precious few images among thousands. That look in the groom's eyes when his bride is in front of him at the altar is stunning. Don't even get me started on the look on a father's face when he hands over his daughter... it makes me cry just to write it. A wedding is a cathartic event. Two individuals have enough hope in the future to work together through thick and thin. Parents, though they have already let go of their children do so in a more finalistic fashion, different from sending them off to college, a marriage places the responsibility for that "child's" wellbeing squarely in someone else's hands (can you tell I am going through this). It's a thing.
Out of thousands of images I capture on a typical wedding day, how many do you suppose are the most memorable? 1/2 a dozen? More? So yes, absolutely, too many images but so worth it to capture those indelible moments... those fractions of a second.
Regardless of the industry of weddings, I believe and see the hope in those images I strive to capture because there are never too many images...
As Always, Kyra Rodriguez
I had to do some due diligence:
Average wedding cost for 2022: "just over 30K in NC" (via heartofncweddings.com ) - between $3500-$7000 for your friendly photographer. BTW - I don't have the heart to charge that much yiiiikes
Average wedding cost for 2020: $29k (via Bride American Wedding Study 2020 - pre-pandemic numbers?)
Average wedding cost for 2014: $31, 213 (via The Knot)
Average wedding cost for 1990: $15k (via Condé Nast)
So you can see numbers vary wildly depending on who you ask and whether you are talking median or average. A lot of folks don't spend anywhere near the average and others much more.
I was somewhat surprised that location is a big factor as well. In New Jersey (highest cost ) you will spend substantially more than in Utah (lowest cost). An example in Manhattan, in 2014 the MEDIAN was 55k - makes you think of that movie... Bridewars.
No matter how you look at it, it is a chunk of change.
And because I am curious and often fall into the rabbit hole... the average age to get married in 2021 was: women 33, men 35 (according to The Knot).
Sadly, divorce rates, as we probably already know, are pretty dismal.... but again, its about the hope. We have dreams.