Yes, this actually happened. Decor to the rescue.
I’ve been photographing weddings for the better part of ten years. I’ve been lucky enough to travel across the world doing exactly what I love to do. I’ve been a part of some beautiful weddings, some weddings I never would have thought could have been so beautiful. I’ve met some really great people and made relationships I knew would last a lifetime. Part of this lifestyle means I’ve had to make some personal sacrifices – I’ve missed baseball games, anniversaries and some moments I’ll never have a chance to get back. Of course, this is a choice I’ve made and my family is as much a part of the decision making process as I am. They’ve always been there for me when I’ve come back after a long trip away. Greeting me at the door as I walk up the steps; I know they’re excited to hear about my trip. Well, this last trip I had quite the interesting story.
“What do you mean the rental shop saved the wedding?”
These were the words out of my daughters mouth when I told her how Enchanted Accents saved a wedding. The bride and groom were getting married in South Carolina and had asked me to accompany them from Halifax. I was thrilled to get back to South Carolina, it had been about five years. The wedding planning had been seamless and everything seemed to be moving along perfectly. I arrived a day before the wedding and met with the couple at their hotel. We went over the days plans and talked about how we felt it was going to go. The bride was super excited for some of the formal photos and she was very proud at how she had planned out every detail – this would really help the photographs pop. She talked about how she had meticulously went over the details several times – of course she checked out pinterest for inspiration and found some local decor rental agencies to help her execute. She was planning on meeting her decorator later that day to confirm some layout ideas and see how the decorating was going. I said goodbye and made my way back to my hotel. I still had quite a bit of work myself: gear checklists, double checking my batteries and memory cards, cleaning dust of lenses and sensors, verifying where I would be taking the photos and making sure I had directions for everything. It was about 9pm when I got a text from the bride.
“Can you please come to the venue? There’s been a problem”
I can tell you it’s not uncommon for me to chat with my brides the night before the wedding. We discuss plans for portraits and it’s an opportunity to put their minds at ease. What is uncommon is a hurried text message like the one I had just received. This bride was not a histrionic – I knew if she sent a text like that something was very, very wrong.
“It’s a complete write off, my wedding is ruined”
I walked into the venue and I could tell right away what the problem is. The rental agency had completely promised something they couldn’t deliver. This rental agency (who, against my own judgement shall remain unnamed) had taken on a wedding they had no business taking on. This rental agency was meant for small weddings, this was to be a huge wedding. They lacked the decorations, the staff, and pretty much everything else you would need to deliver what the bride asked for. I found her in the corner of the room crying with her bridesmaids by her side. Her maid of honor was dealing with the rental agency – it wasn’t pretty. I had shot in South Carolina before and I knew I had a hail mary up my sleeve. I excused myself into the adjacent room and made a phone call.
Kindness in strangers is beautiful
I contacted Enchanted Accents, a wedding decor rental agency located in the area. I knew they were a perfect match for the bride – boho and eclectic – just the wedding she was having. I had met the owner of Enchanted Accents the last time I had been in South Carolina at a wedding conference. I knew a bunch of industry professionals in the area that had vouched for them so I gave her a call. It was a hail mary but I knew I had to try it.
“Quick Question: Can you pull off a huge wedding by tomorrow?”
I knew it was a long shot. I was surprised by the answer I got. “I actually never booked this date so I’m available and I have all of my stuff ready to go. Where is the wedding and can I get into the venue tonight?
Talk. About. Floored. They were 100% ready and willing to get down to work. They told me not to worry about the price, they’ll match whatever the last vendor was going to do it for. They told me to stand by and they would be arriving within an hour. I walked toward the bride with a huge smile on my face.
One of the bridesmaids shot me a look of disgust – how could I be smiling at a time like this? I knew she’d understand when I broke the news. I told the bride I had some contacts in the area and a world class decorator was on route this moment with all of their supplies and staff. Bewilderment, followed by amazement, followed by gratitude. I saw so many emotions come over this bride I knew this would be one of the most memorable nights of my wedding photography career.
Right to work – not a moment to spare.
The crew decorated all night long and didn’t stop until the job was done. I left around 1am and they were still going strong. The bride could tell right away by their professionalism she was in good hands. I’m told they didn’t finish decorating the venue until about 9am. They worked all night, and to be honest, it was the most beautifully decorated venue I’ve ever been lucky enough to shoot. This was a story that needed to be shouted from the rooftops – Enchanted Accents went waaaay above and beyond. They literally saved this wedding. The whole trip reaffirmed my faith in humanity. I saw disaster followed by some of the most thoughtful giving I’ve ever seen. It was beautiful and the wedding turned out fantastic.