Tuesday, December 13, 2011


(PT. IV)

When I began this series
several weeks ago, I had
no idea that it would be
so well-received. I'm
apparently not the only
person who's fascinated
with behind-the-scenes
real-life wedding tales.

Initially, I was illustrating these stories by posting my own random pics from various weddings in which I've been involved over the years. Unfortunately, I don't have a huge collection of photos from which to choose, and most of the ones I do have either were taken with my phone or with disposable-type cameras. But after speaking recently with a longtime bridal photography veteran, it occurred to me that this series would be enhanced by featuring samples of work by various professional  photographers.

As a result, I'm delighted to have the privilege of presenting the work of John Sluder in this edition of Here Comes the Bride. I've known John for years. His work is impeccable and he is one of my all-time favorite bridal photographers to work with here on Florida's east coast. I hope that you enjoy John's contribution and I look forward to showcasing the work of other talented photographers in future Here Comes the Bride posts.

Bridal photography courtesy
of my friend, John Sluder.

In previous posts, I've commented on how the wedding and reception industry / experience is geared towards the ladies. As I've pointed out, the song ain't called "Here Comes the Bride" for nothing. Fellas, the truth is, as grooms, we're lucky to get an invitation. In fact, if brides effectively could pull it off without us, they probably would. My advice for grooms — do as you're told and stay out of the way. (LOL) Grooms, it will also serve you well to arrive at all wedding-related functions (i.e. the rehearsal, the rehearsal dinner and the ceremony) in a timely fashion — clear-headed, smiling and not reeking of liquor.

Another subject that I also have addressed throughout this series is what I refer to as the "crowning jewel" of any wedding reception — the cake.

Both of these topics will collide in this edition of Here Comes the Bride...

As a wedding reception DJ, I also find myself frequently assuming the role of "event coordinator." I recently was faced with a groom who proved to be a bit of a "challenge" as I attempted to organize the bridal party for the Grand Entrance. He clearly was focused more on getting to the bar than getting to the first dance. "I just wanna get my 'drink on' with my 'boys'," he commented, more than once. In his defense, I'll say that his passionate and well-articulated "mission statement" speaks volumes to the mindset of many grooms with whom I've worked.

On another occasion, the groom and groomsmen arrived at the ceremony an hour late. Finally, their car pulled up and parked in front of the church. As the chauffeur opened the back door of the sleek, white, stretch limo, the groom and his "boys" all spilled out, one on top of the other, into the street — still red-eyed and reeling from their adventurous pre-wedding day all-nighter. Let's just say that neither the bride nor her mother were terribly impressed.

And then there was the groom who, to his credit, did participate in assisting with setting up tables and hanging decorations for his reception. However, as I was bringing in my DJ equipment, I couldn't help but overhear him announce, "I'm headin' to the hotel to git me a beer. I ain't doin' this if I ain't drunk!" He then lovingly suggested to the bride, "Girl, you need to go git a shower, 'cuz you smell like sh*t!"

This one says SO much!

Ah yes, THE quintessential reception photo op — bride and groom, nestled together, sterling silver knife in-hand, slicing up the second-most acknowledged symbol of their blessed, holy union...

Grooms-to-be, if you're reading this, I'm throwing you a bone here and you truly can benefit from my words of wisdom. Despite the obligatory egging-on from your "boys," it is in the best interest of all involved to take the high road regarding the cake cutting.

I remember one groom in particular who had been obviously "getting his drink-on" throughout the reception. When it came time to cut the cake, he surmised that it would be funny to adhere to his "boys'" advice and "smash it!" However, this groom clearly went too far as he shoved both of his bare hands into the cake and pulled out two globsful of white cake and red icing. FYI, icing isn't red naturally. It's created as a result of food coloring — which stains! The groom apparently hadn't considered this as he smashed one handful of the confection into his bride's face and then began flinging the other handful at guests. I can't make this stuff up, folks.

Now appearing to be riddled with bloody bullet holes, the bride burst into tears as her once beautiful white gown became stained from the red icing. Guests gasped in horror as they too became the victims of the groom's lack of judgment and marksman-like accuracy. For me, it took hours after the reception to chisel off the dried icing from my new DJ rig that also now was covered with red stains. Smooth move, dude!

Oh yeah, let's not forget the equally overzealous groom who smashed the triple chocolate cake into his unsuspecting bride's face. Although I wasn't in the direct line of fire that time, the groom did successfully manage literally to shove cake up under the bride's eyelids while smearing the chocolate icing all down the front of her dress and the venue's elegant white drapes.

Thanks again to John Sluder
for sharing his stellar work.

Yes, weddings and receptions are festive celebrations indeed. But fellas, for heaven's sake, hear me now and believe me later, you'll never regret taking the high road — especially on the biggest day of your life.

To be continued...

-Christopher Long
(December 2011)

I'm very accessible and I'm happy to assist folks at any time regarding wedding-related questions, concerns and comments. I can be contacted through either the "Comment" forum of this blog or directly via my personal email address.


Don't miss my entire
Here Comes the Bride 



C'MON! -

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