We went out to eat with the inlaws, whom I adore, and FH takes it upon himself to ask his dad to be our photographer. He said yes and is excited. 😕 I SO appreciate this...but no thanks. The photography is super important to me and I planned to get the best I could afford. His dad "dabbles in photography" and is ok...has done other weddings but I'm just not ok with this. I tried playing the "I'm sure he wants to relax and just watch you get married" card. Nope...he wants to take pictures. FH was so out of line doing this without discussing it with me and that upsets me too. Am I being unreasonable? What would you do?
I do not think you're being unreasonable! I also would be upset if my fiance made a big decision without talking to me first. I recommend that you have a conversation with your fiance about this. Tell him your concerns, and that you wish he had discussed this with you ahead of time. If his dad is taking pictures, he won't really be in any of the photos. You could tell your fiance that you would like his dad in the photos (and not just the portrait ones, but also candid ones too), and if he's taking the photos, he won't be in them. Do some research of other photographers ahead of time, and show your fiance some other options. Especially for photos, I would definitely hire a professional. If your fiance agrees to hire someone else, he should be the one to let his dad know that while you both really appreciate his willingness to take photos at the wedding, you both decided to hire someone else, so that he can participate in the wedding, be in the photos, and not have to work on your wedding day. His dad might be disappointed, but hopefully will understand. Maybe also mention to your fiance the other things you were hoping his dad would do at your wedding instead of taking pictures (walk down the aisle in the ceremony, give a speech at the reception, dance with your fiance's mom, etc).
I don’t think you’re being unreasonable. The first issue here is that your FH did this without even talking to you about it. I think that needs to be addressed before anything else. Then I think it’s up to your FH to explain to his dad that while you both appreciate his father’s willingness to help, you’ve decided to hire someone else so his dad can just enjoy the day as the father of the groom and be IN the pictures instead of taking them.
Oof yikes. As I'm sure you're aware, there are at least three issues here, so I'll start with the photographer issue:
Unless you absolutely don't care or truly can't afford it, you need a professional photographer. And you do care! Even a so-so professional photographer is worth it in regards to being able to get photographs without the photog being pulled away to talk. You said he sometimes does wedding photography so he might actually have backup cameras, know what photos to take, & have insurance. But the big issue I can think of--who will take the family photos that your FIL is in?
FIL as photographer is probably one of the worst guest-as-photog setups I can think of. Are your FIL & FH both clear about the fact that your FIL essentially can have no participation in the wedding? He can't be in the ceremony, eating & dancing will be tricky, should avoid talking to guests.
Outside of that...I can't believe your FH did that without asking first! I think you first need to put your foot down about the fact that you need a professional photographer (& I would go into this discussion with potential photographers in mind, your pricing if you have them, etc.). Make it clear to your FH that FIL as photographer is not an option. If you two haven't already discussed the wedding plan & budget, do that now! My FH & I have a huge planning document, but the first thing we did was mark a list of items (i.e. venue, food, photography, attire, videography, entertainment, flowers, decor) with our top 3 priorities (effectively, where we're okay spending more money if needed) & then everything else became "whatever works in the budget."
But after that, I feel like you two may also need to discuss what sorts of decisions are okay to make on your own, and which are not.
When it comes to telling your FIL, that's tricky, but maybe you can compromise. I would explain that he being able to fully participate in the wedding was very important to you & your FH, & so you want him as a guest only. But maybe you could ask him to do other photos. If you decide to not have a photographer for the getting ready portion, maybe he could do photos there? Can he do your engagement photos? Rehearsal & rehearsal dinner photos?
Might be an option, but I know every vendor I've looked at has something in their contract that won't allow this! My photographer was especially explicit about it in the contract, as apparently she had previously run into a situation where someone had asked a guest to be a second photographer & basically made it impossible to do her job.
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Depending on the contract, this may not work. The photographer for my wedding has it listed in our contract that he can be the only photographer at the wedding. Though, if that condition isn't listed in the contract, this is a good idea! I also like the idea of asking his dad to take engagement photos and/or rehearsal and rehearsal dinner photos instead of the wedding photos.
I've seen SOME contracts that state that but I've seen many others that don't. Our first contract stated that but something came up and we ended up booking another photographer that didn't state it. She could easily choose one that doesn't state it or even explain the situation that he just "dabbles" in photography and will just be taking some pictures.
I think having a conversation with your FH is needed. Explain to him that you’d want your FIL to enjoy the wedding and he’ll be part taking in events that he won’t be able to photograph. Then your FH should have the conversation to the father about it. Maybe he can do your engagement photos if anything ?
I don't have much to add here, this post really nails it, especially the part about he will be WORKING all day. No socializing at the reception.
Two stories: A family member did this back in 1987 before cameras were digital and the close family member forgot to to put film in the camera. I am not making this up. There are zero pictues except for those from guests's Kodak 110 canmeras (remember those?)
Second: At my first wedding in 1994 someone told another close family member to run the camcorder - I Was not okay with this but was told "It will be fine." The video was as follows: Three minutes of the floor leading up to the church being recorded then a LOT of fuzz, then nothing.
SO: Bottom line....your pictures and your feelings are more important that FIL. He can snap away just don't get in the way of the pro you two are hiring.
I think you need to have a talk with your FH about how out of line he was for doing this without discussing it with you first and tell him how uncomfortable you are with the whole situation. Then it is his job to explain to his dad that you two no longer want him to be your photographer and you are going to hire a professional. You need to put your foot down on this because you will regret it forever if you don't, pictures are the only memory you will have of your day and you're going to want them to be perfectly beautiful (i.e. done at a professional level).
I also don't really think that your FIL understands just how much this will take away from him being able to enjoy his sons wedding. He quite literally won't be able to enjoy it. He will not be able to socialize with ANYONE, will have to very quickly eat his meal and get back to taking pictures, and he'll miss out on important moments he should be having with his son on his wedding day (moments that should be being captured by a professional photographer). And if he does not do these things and decides to socialize and hang out, you are going to miss out on so many of the pictures that people usually have at their weddings.
Put your foot down. Photography is absolutely one of the most important aspects of your wedding and it is the one place I tell everyone to splurge on. You will NOT regret it.
I think you can hire a second photographer under the guise of wanting to make sure that your FIL is actually in some of the pictures and also that way if he ever gets tired and wants a break, he doesn't have to worry about missing an event. I also don't think you need to ask him or even tell him that you're doing it (until maybe after you've already booked it). That way even if he tries to say that you don't need a second one, you can just say you've already paid the deposit (:
IMO, photographers are one of the most important parts given all the money people spend on the wedding itself. You want good photos/memories from it! I don't think he realizes just HOW much work it takes being a wedding photographer. How's he supposed to get pictures of the bridesmaids and bride getting ready when he himself should be getting ready? If he's helping set up the wedding, it's even harder!! Impossible, even, to get all the pictures you would want.
I think as long as you praise your FIL's photos as well in the end, there can't really be a fall out between you guys if you hire a second photographer. It sounds like you and his family get along already so I'm hoping they can be reasonable (or at least keep their mouth shut even if they don't like the decision).
Thank you all SO much, lots of good advice here. Being that we enjoy a warm relationship with his parents it would sadden me to not have photos of FIL on our wedding day. I think that's likely the best angle to take. And yes, I think having him shoot our engagement photos would be a wonderful compromise. Thank again!!
I think how you feel is understandable. Thats something that yall should have picked together. But i would also be honest and tell him how you feel. Play the same card, lol and tell him you'd rather have someone else do it. Its a little awkward but it'll be fine.