This wedding was extremely special for me because it was the first time I did wedding photography as a "gift" and the first time I photographed family. The groom is my wife's brother (aka my bro-in-law) and the bride is my NOW sis-in-law.
*Side note, I find it strange how brother in law can be your sibling's husband, your spouse's sibling, or your spouse's sibling's spouse. I'm so surprised we don't have distinct wording for this!
Alisa (my boo) and I booked a week-long trip to Colorado (visiting Estes Park and sites around Denver) then we made our way up to (over to?) Fort Collins and hung out with everyone, went for a canoe ride at Horsetooth Reservoir, had awesome pour over, etc.
Then the big day came. I was nervous as hell. Filled with fear of letting down my new bro, and his bride. They constantly assured me that I could not let them down, and really calmed my nerves.
If you are considering asking a friend or family member of yours to photograph your wedding, here is my recommendation:
Wait for them to offer first. If they do offer, it is still a really nice gesture to pay them, or pay for their flight, or their hotel, or whatever you can do. It's not necessary (and it may be turned down) but definitely nice.
IF THEY DO NOT OFFER AND YOU STILL WANT THEM TO SHOOT YOUR WEDDING - READ ON
If they don't want to because they are afraid of missing the experience of being a guest, assure them that there is no real pressure to NOT be a guest. Every wedding I have worked for a friend or for family has been with the clear direction that I will do my best, but I still want to party and hang out with my family and friends that are there. It's always worked out!
Also, personally I have never accepted payment from friends/family. I think a part of that is because I want remove any pressure of under-serving my "clients" or over-working myself.
So there you have it! Ask a friend of family member to shoot your wedding (or not!) but no matter what, always make sure you have lots of fun!
Some insight into the photos: I'm not big into looking at the camera, but the first image (bride in her art workshop) is just awesome, my boo is pictured (crying, being smooched by me, and eating a cupcake), I mistakenly have the flash wayyyyyy to bright, and I still love that pic (you'll know it when you see it)