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What happens if my wedding photographer is ill?

When you’re planning a wedding, there are a million things to worry about. I should know: I saw Anna fret about all of them. But there is one fear that I can take away for my couples: “What happens if my wedding photographer is ill on the day?” 

As you might imagine, this is a pretty major worry for wedding photographers themselves, too. In the past, I’ve lost sleep the night before a wedding because someone in my family has come down with a stomach bug. My camera bag isn’t just stashed full of camera equipment; it’s also a portable pharmacy. I have a bag within the bag that contains everything from painkillers to antihistamines – just in case. 

Fortunately – touch wood – I have NEVER had to miss a wedding. When my youngest daughter Sophie was due to be born, I had a wedding booked within a few days of her predicted arrival. Ellie had been two weeks overdue and so I was fairly confident that she wouldn’t make an early arrival. Just in case though, I brought along TWO additional photographers so that, if I received an urgent call from Anna telling me that I needed to get to the hospital right away, I’d definitely have the day covered! 

The day I brought Geoff and Ben along to a wedding, just in case.

But, what would happen on a normal day if your wedding photographer suddenly can’t make it, for whatever reason? This is a question you must ask your wedding photographer at the initial consultation. 

My answer to this, other than promising to never be ill, involved in an accident or otherwise incapacitated, is to first reassure them that I’m a part of a local group of photographers who all cover for each other in these scenarios. I’ve helped out at last minute for a friend who had the nightmare of breaking his foot a couple of days before a wedding. He actually attended – that’s how hardcore us wedding photographers are as a breed (ha!) – and I carried his bag for him and took over shooting duties when he needed to rest his foot. 

So it’s reassuring to know that there’s a support network there if I need it. 

The other thing that I always recommend is booking a package that includes a second photographer – in my case that will usually be Chris. The beauty of this is the peace of mind it gives you. We always travel separately, even if we’re going to the same place at the same time, to ensure that not even a car breakdown or road accident will stop you having a photographer at your wedding. 

Booking a second photographer can give complete peace of mind.

Again, I have to stress that this is not a likely scenario – it’s never happened to me. However, we all know that one-in-a-million chances happen nine times out of ten, so it’s good to have a plan in place should the worst happen. Make sure you ask your photographer what their plan is. You know, just in case. 

Then it will be one less thing to worry about and you can get back to fretting about whether the flowers on your cake will clash with the colour of your Best Man’s tie, or some other very important thing like that. 

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