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Monday Musings: The Wedding Hangover

matt-avatar WhitenedWaking up the day after a Sunday wedding there’s one thing everyone is grateful for: the sudden realisation that it is in fact bank holiday monday. As the guests from weddings across the country gradually stir,  bleary eyed with heads pounding praying to god that someone else is already up and has had the genius idea to make a bacon sandwich, there can be no greater thought than “at least I don’t have to go to work today”.

It’s not only the guests though that may be suffering from a wedding hangover today. Whilst the happy Bride and Groom will of course be floating on a cloud of ecstasy this morning, waking up with birds whistling along to the same tune, baby deer prancing around and coming to say hello and a chorus of curiously choreographed street merchants starting big song and dance numbers wherever they go, life the day after is not so pretty for everyone else…

Oddly, it seems that some of the people that wake up with the biggest hangovers the day after a wedding are the ones that probably didn’t touch a drop of alcohol all day and night… the photographers and videographers. Having spent much of my adult life working in theatres and events where 20+ hour shifts and all night set get-outs followed by further work after just a few hours sleep were fairly common I’ve never fully understood why filming a wedding is so much more tiring and why I wake up the following morning feeling like I’ve downed 15 shots of tequila and been interchanging wine colours all evening.

Having spoken to many other photographers and videographers about this it’s clear that the wedding hangover is a universal issue and one often accompanied by other symptoms such as every photographer’s favourite “the claw” – the immovable hand shape created by having an unshakable death-grip on their camera from morning to night. Then of course there are the inexplicable bruises, unquenchable thirst and the feeling that you’ve just run 3 back to back marathons. The post-wedding ‘ographer can also commonly be identified by the fixed grin where the mouth muscles have become stuck from smiling all day. Much like with the alcohol based hangover the wedding ‘ography hangover is often best cured by diving straight back in with another wedding, even if the effects are later doubled the following day.

The similarities to a traditional hangover don’t end there though and, whilst the wedding hangover may not be a pretty thing, just like one caused by alcohol it’s completely worth the suffering to be part of something so amazing the day before. After all, if you’re doing something that leaves you with a hangover the next day it can’t really be work right?

Roll on the hangover part II!

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