I Caught My Wedding Photography Nightmare on Camera

Being a wedding photographer for me is one of the best, if not the best, jobs in the world. As expected though, the best job in the world also has its negatives, and one of them is the reoccurring nightmares the night before a wedding day.

In my dreams, I’ve often turned up to weddings without my cameras, gone to the wrong venue, my car has broken down on the way and I’ve missed the wedding and then the classic lack of clothes or wrong clothes fiasco. You think of a terrible wedding day for a photographer and I’ve experienced it in my nightmares — as, I assure you, every other wedding photographer has.

But it wasn’t until last October that a wedding nightmare actually happened in real life.

“Crashing” the Ceremony

I had a great couple and an incredible wedding venue to shoot. Everything was going well and I was in the prime mindset to have another great day. During weddings in the UK, it’s standard for a wedding photographer to stand at the front of a civil ceremony often behind or to the side of the registrar/celebrant.

Some years ago, some “smart” person thought it would be a great idea to bring the moon door (a circular gateway often adorned with flowers) into the wedding venue dressing world. I do think they look great but for me, they’re pointless, they sit directly in the way and don’t feature in any of my photographs except for the exit photo back down the aisle. Plus who wants to see a 6’7″ guy fighting with circular foliage when they’re trying to watch their friends marry?

With their prominent position, it’s sometimes tough to get decent angles of my couples. It’s not rare for me to be almost mounting these decorations or for my bottom to be gently grazing them.

So here I am, bottom-grazing the moon door while the couple repeats their vows when all of a sudden I hear a crash. I soon realize that my booty has in fact sent a floral arrangement flying off the moon door and to the floor. Everyone stops and looks at me but I don’t wake up, this isn’t a dream this time.

@adamlowndesphotography Wedding Fail #Weddingfail #weddinggonewrong #fail #weddingaccident #failarmy #weddingmistake #weddingday #weddingtiktok ♬ Frolic (Theme from Curb Your Enthusiasm) – Luciano Michelini

Not really thinking for anything other than a millisecond, I make some quick-witted comments about how this has never happened before and look to the registrar to confirm as I’ve worked with them countless times before. They don’t really say anything, so I make another gesture of should I fix it or shall we just move on? All comments were met with laughter and smiles.

Probably because of my earlier faux pas, the registrar then goes on to call the groom the wrong name and laughter follows.

A Silver Lining

Decompressing from the experience; I sat at home scrolling through their gallery only to realize how incredible my booty mistake was. Wedding ceremonies are a nervous time for my couples. They don’t enjoy the spotlight and they’re set to do something they’ve never done before in front of all of their friends and family.

Imagine having to perform but not really knowing what to do other than some rings go on your fingers and you kiss. When this couple enters the room on my computer screen they’re very nervous. They struggle to know how to stand and the registrars aren’t registering this at all. It’s all a bit awkward.

For a lot of the start, the bride unintentionally stands side on or almost with her back to the groom so she can see the registrar also who’s standing off to the side. Then the moment happens. I knock the floral arrangement off and all of a sudden everything has changed. Shoulders are loose, they’re breathing properly and they’re even now together.

The photographs sing, and I love them.

About the author: Adam Lowndes is a wedding photographer based in the UK. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Lowndes’s work on his website, Instagram, and TikTok.