On days when I'm not shooting weddings, I like to sleep in a little. This past Sunday I wake up to a frantic phone call around 11 in the morning from a bride wondering where I am.
Naturally, I am confused and suddenly in a panic because this is my worst nightmare. Some people fear that they'll show up nude to a test, lose all their teeth or that they're in the front row of an endless Justin Bieber concert; I am afraid that one day I'll just forget entirely about a wedding and my business (and easy access to cake) will be ruined.
My heart races and this woman is in a blind panic.
When you're afraid of something, you do what you can to make sure it never happens. People who are afraid of airplanes take trains. People who are afraid of commitment don't browse wedding photography blogs. People who are afraid of robot uprisings grow beards and live in the mountains. I have alarms, little reminders a week before, the day before and a few hours before I have to head out.
I take a deep breath and stop, the confusion clearing. Why hadn't all those reminders come through? Had I forgot to set them? I ask who is calling. She gives me a name and I don't recognize it. I ask where the wedding is, she gets a little upset (because I should know these things and the wedding is in a couple of hours). I check my e-mail, sure enough her name comes up.
From 2010, a lonely little e-mail asking me how much it would cost to cover her wedding. It turns out she hadn't hired me, or really hired anyone. In the frantic race to the altar, it was a little detail overlooked, a can that kept getting kicked down the road.
A few years ago, Oprah was promoting an idea - the Secret - that you could put out energy and intentions into the world and good things would come back to you. In this case, a year of hoping fell apart.
This story does not have a happy ending. As I hung up the phone I thought about how that bride was feeling the same way I had just a moment before, that she had missed a crucial piece of her plan and a short-lived moment would slip away from her for the rest of her life. Maybe she had meant to book with us all along (I doubt it), but wishes only come true when you work at them.
Hopefully they were able to find someone in time, but for everyone else planning a wedding why not just book now.