I wrapped up my 2016 with the a fantastic New Years Eve bash at The Treasury right in the heart of downtown St. Augustine.
As a wedding photographer I get asked to do a lot of things that are not in the job description and my basic rule is to try and be as helpful as possible without being distracted from why I am there - to take pictures. A conversation about where to put the wedding rings ended with me taking responsibility for them. Just an hour later, after stopping in several locations to do photos, I realized that Kristen's (my sweet, amazing, patient, lovely bride) Tiffany wedding band was missing.
Kristen (my sweet, amazing, patient, lovely bride) and Tyler were already walking up to the bayfront for sunset photos when I realized that the ring was missing. I quickly grabbed the closest bridesmaid and explained what a giant idiot I was as I quickly retraced my steps looking for the ring. Finding nothing the rest of the bridal party was put to work searching for ring while I rushed up to the bayfront to wrap up our couples session which was certainly going to be the last session of my life. I decided to wait until after the photos to tell - and as soon as I had finished making our last sunset portrait I turned to Kristen (my sweet, amazing, patient, lovely bride) and told her "I owe you a new wedding ring". Without missing a single beat she looks at me and says "it's ok, it is just a thing and things can be replaced"... and she really meant it.
My dad says that smart men learn from their mistakes but truly wise men learn from the mistakes of others. Please learn from my mistake! I know that I should never have taken responsibility for the wedding rings no matter how sure I was that everything would be ok. If you are like me you want to be helpful... and in the long run nothing is more helpful than doing what you have been brought in to do (which for me is taking awesome wedding photos).
It is ok to focus on your job and to let others focus on theirs. I also think it is important to own up to your mistakes immediatly. Don't try and hide it, especially if taking responsibility is the first step in getting help... which is exactly what I got. As we returned from our session on the bayfront, Dawn (the wedding coordinator from The Wedding Authority) walked over with the ring her in hand and very calmly said "it was just sitting in the rose petals". Right where we had done the first look with Kristen (my sweet, amazing, patient, lovely bride) and her dad.
I got a lot of much deserved ribbing yesterday - pretty much everyone at the wedding was calling me Frodo for the rest of the night but I didn't mind. When the bell struck twelve last night Kristen (my sweet, amazing, patient, lovely bride) and Tyler were married and wearing their wedding rings.
I don't know about you but I just love happy endings! :)
Update. Today I got a chance to meet up with Dawn (from the Wedding Authority) and say thank you in person just one more time... only this time I had a little surprise for her. As promised - a small token of my appreciation from the same store (and salesman) that Tyler bought Kristen's ring from.