When I meet with a potential client for the first time, I tell them that my wedding clients really do become part of my family in a way. We become friends. This isn't a marketing strategy, it is 100% genuine. So, when I found myself staring at that positive pregnancy test, my thoughts quickly began to drift towards my brides. I calculated my due date, confirmed it with my doctor a few weeks later and then I really felt I needed to tell some of my brides before I broke the news on social media. I didn't tell everyone personally, just the ones whose wedding was close enough to my due date to cause a concern.
Now, I understand that a lot of people advise against telling anyone before being safely out of the first trimester. I just couldn't reason with that. Some of these brides had their engagement sessions coming up and I just couldn't imagine going about my life acting as if everything was normal. As I so often do, I put myself in my brides' shoes: what would be my reaction if my photographer told me just a few short months before my wedding, after she'd already photographed my engagement, that she could no longer be my photographer on my wedding day? The answer? I would freak out. And be a little upset. I did NOT want anyone stressing out even more about this, so here is what I did with the ones I did notify personally:
- I had one bride whose wedding was a month before my due date, I simply e-mailed her the great news, ensured her it would NOT cause any problems on the wedding day and that I would hire a 3rd photographer/assistant for the day of should I feel I need one.
- Then I had one bride whose wedding is 2-3 weeks before my due date. I've known this bride for a while so we actually met for dinner and I told her my plan - since there is no bridal party, the wedding is all in one location and more intimate than others, I simply hired a 2nd photographer as well as an assistant, both of which, together, could take over the wedding should I become too tired, sick, etc.
- Lastly, and this one broke my heart, I had one bride whose wedding would fall on my due date. Like, no joke, the exact day. Obviously there was way too much risk involved with that one and although I absolutely hated seeing her go, I decided it was in HER best interest to find another photographer.
How did everyone, including that last bride I mentioned, react? To put it simple, with pure excitement. Even that last bride, though of course it meant a few stressful days on her part, was extremely happy for us. The relief I felt is something I can't put into words. I am so glad I chose to be honest and timely, not just for my own sake, but especially for my clients'.
As a wedding photographer, I am so much more than just a hired vendor. These couples trust me to document their love story for them to remember and share for the rest of their lives. I had to prepare myself for negativity and anger/frustration, but I didn't experience any of that. What it all meant to me was that I had an amazing grouping of brides. I've received such an outpouring of love from everyone, it's been really fantastic!
Of course, not every pregnant wedding photographer will experience this exact reaction, but I still encourage you to simply be human. And have a solid contract in place, just in case :)
If you're like me and are completely stumped on exactly how to tell your brides the news of your pregnancy, feel free to e-mail me! I'd love to offer advice and even send you a sample of the e-mail I sent out.