I'm so lucky that at my very first wedding I learned a big lesson. I was shooting my very first solo wedding, so keep in mind I basically knew nothing. The ceremony had just ended and the bride and groom walked back up the aisle smiling ear to ear. Then, as is tradition, the rest of the bridal party followed them out. I stayed to get photos of every wedding party couple walking back up the aisle. I then stayed to get photos of the parents and grandparents walking out as well. I was getting a boring photo of some family member walking back up the aisle when I heard cheering behind me. The bride and groom were surrounded by their bridal party in some sort of ultrahug/mosh pit of pure joy. I immediately thought, THAT'S the moment they need to remember. WHY AM I OVER HERE DOING THIS? The happy, cheering crew was so far away that even though I RAN to catch it, I didn't make it in time. The moment was over.
Well, I don't miss moments like that anymore.
I had never shot a wedding before, or been in a bridal party, so I didn't know if I should expect that moment to happen every time. I can now tell you with confidence that it does. After every wedding there's a pile of people hugging and it's THE BEST. Sometimes the ultrahug is quiet. Sometimes it's loud. Sometimes there's crying, or laughing, or falling (I'm not kidding - I've seen people fall over one another). Every time I think THESE photos are going to be the one's the couple treasures. This is the moment.