Photographer Recreates Wedding After Original Shooter Doesn't Show

Photographer Recreates Wedding After Original Shooter Doesn't Show

On September 12th, Matt and Heather Koehler were set to get married in Michigan. Just before they were about to walk down the aisle, they found out that the photographer that they had hired to shoot their wedding was a no-show. With nothing else to do but move forward, they went through the rest of their wedding without a professional photographer. 

When Dana Gruszynski, a photographer from Bay City, Michigan, heard the Koehler's story, she immediately knew she wanted to do something for them. "I'm not married, but I've done my fair share of weddings. I love weddings and am a hopeless romantic," Gruszynski told mlive. "I can't imagine not having a professional photographer there to capture the most important day of a bride's life." Gruszynski contacted Koehler and they sat down for coffee, where she offered to do a "stylized bridal shoot," free of charge. What she didn't tell her was that she planned to reenact the wedding day. Gruszynski reached out to Koehler's sister, who helped contact all of the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and family members. She contacted a local florist, who donated nearly identical bouquets free of charge and found a friend, who was a talented baker, to recreate the cake. 

On the day of the shoot, Gruszynski had all of the guests park around the corner. When Koehler and her husband arrived, Gruszysnki handed her the bouquet and the tears started flowing. 

It's so awesome to see a photographer reach out and do something like this. If you ever wanted an example of when you should work for free as a photographer, this is a great one. I love seeing photographers use their work to help have a positive effect on someone's life. It really shows the value of our trade and how powerful it can be. Gruszynski wrote a great behind the scenes blog post about the Koehler's story that you can view for further detail on the day.

All images used with permission from Dana Gruszynski 

Via [mlive]

Michael Brown's picture

Michael Brown is a freelance photographer based on the east coast, with a wide variety of photo, video and graphic design experience.

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The "professional" no-show wasn't very professional...

Not trying to forgive the photographers no-show but there are some reasons that could be understandable like being in the hospital due to an accident or severe illness.

I was airlifted to a hospital and put into a coma over new years several years ago due to an out of control asthma attack for example. Spent 8 days in a medically induced coma, thankfully I didn't have any shoots booked. It also took over a month for my hands to stop shaking (side effect of the Propofol they used to keep me under).

It's quite possible the photographer was a rank amateur who just flaked but the article doesn't really say either way.

If he/she did just flake, I hope they sued him/her.

"Also, as an additional surprise, Gruszynski presented the couple with their original photographer, bound and gagged and stuffed in a wine cask. After a a beating that could only be described as " medieval," the wedding party helped bury him in the desert."

(I reserve the right to retract this if the photographer had some kind of major crisis emergency on par with getting hit by a bus or falling into a volcano.)

I think even in the event of a major crisis you as a professional have to let the couple know. (unless you are unconscious) Twice i was unable to show up for a wedding. One of them due to a car accident. Both times i moved mountains and did the impossible to get a replacement photographer for my couple. I've shown to work sick, on medication and with a broken leg. If you are a professional Wedding Photographer there is no excuse really...

The only time I almost didn't make it was because my rental car, which had 300 miles on it, broke down on the highway in gridlock traffic. The engine just died. The tow was going to take 4 hours, and Avis was threatening me with all kinds of fees and penalties if I left the car. I told them to shove it.

I was able to find someone 30 miles away to come pick me up, and I got there with enough time to re-enact the ceremony, and later i was told that i had "totally redeemed" myself.

I seriously cannot imagine not showing with no notice. That makes me nauseous.


well done!! Wonderful gesture!!