3 Tips To Thrive On A Double-Header Weekend

Today’s post is part of blog series in which we get the privilege of answering some of the questions we have gotten about photography, marriage and life! We know there are so many other amazing photographers out there who would know the answers far better than we ever could. But it’s not about us. It’s not about how good or not good we might be in comparison to someone else. It’s about serving. And if this series helps one person, it was worth it! You can catch up on the series here:

#1 | Where Do I Start?
#2 | Needle In A Haystack
#3 | A Natural Feel
#4 | 4 Keys To A Consistent Style
#5 | 5 Questions To Answer Before Going Full-Time
#6 | 3 Ways To Light Beautiful Reception Images
#7 | 1 Simple Trick To Improve Your Images Right Now
#8 | 3 Tips To Thrive On A Double-Header Weekend

Hello Ryan & Alyssa!

My wife and I are photographing our first ever DOUBLE-HEADER wedding weekend in a few weeks! We are so excited, but we are also a little nervous because it’s not something we have ever done before. And we knew you guys had, so we wanted to ask if you guys have any big pointers in what to expect or how to get through it! Thank you so much!!!


Oh guys, you two are in for an AMAZING weekend!!! If you’re anything like us, by the end of the second wedding, your feet will be screaming at you to quit! But your hearts will be full of joy, knowing that you have captured some incredibly important moments for some very special people!

Now, before we answer the question, we want you to know that we phrased the title of this post very carefully. The word “thrive” is the key word we want you to notice. One of the things we have learned from a dozen double-header weekends and one TRIPLE-header weekend (yeah, it was a doozie!) is that it’s not enough to, as great basketball legend Jim Valvano would say, “survive and advance.” Our couples deserve better than that! They deserve our full strength effort and talent no matter what, right?! So, the 3 tips we are going to share with you are there to help you thrive on your double-header and not just survive! Let’s go!


1. Prepare In Advance.

One fact you’ll learn very quickly about photographing two weddings (or three!) in one weekend is that time is short and precious. The value of your time on those two days, especially when you’re not at one of the two weddings, goes through the roof! You already know how exhausting it is to give everything you have on a wedding day, go home, and want to do nothing but sit in the tub and stuff your face with ice cream or angel food cake (or maybe that’s just us). So imagine you have to get up and do it all over again the next day! It’s a huge physical and mental challenge and there’s not a lot of tub-sitting, food-stuffing time available!

So the best way to make the most of those 48 hours is to prepare everything you possibly can in advance. And we mean everything.

You should have your clothes for both days laid out before you get up in the morning of the first wedding. Your coffee mugs should be right by the coffee maker. Your equipment should already be sitting by the door, charged up and ready to go. All you should have to do that first morning is get up, get ready, eat breakfast, get your coffee and head out the door, stress-free. Preparing in advance allows you to get off to that great start!

It will also help you during what we call “the crunch time.” That’s the few fleeting hours between the time you get into the car after the first wedding is over and the time you get back into the car to head to the second wedding. It’s generally about 12 hours. The Crunch Time is some of the most important time in that whole weekend (that’s why we capitalized it at the beginning of this sentence)! That’s when you download and backup all of the images (learn more about that here!) from the first wedding and charge everything again for day two. It’s when you get as much sleep as you possibly can to prepare your body for another marathon day.

And since you prepared as much in advance as you could, you’re ready to handle it!

BONUS TIP: Invest in enough chargers to get your equipment charged quickly. There is nothing worse on a double-header weekend than having to get up at 2 a.m. to switch out batteries because you only have one charger. Spend a little and get another charger or two! You need your sleep!


2. Take Care Of Yourself

As photographers, our job is mostly about taking care of other people. And we love that!

But when we’re talking about shooting 2 weddings in 48 hours or less, we need to make sure we are taking care of ourselves too! We can get away with only eating a granola bar all day at a wedding sometimes because the next day, we can crash and burn. But in this case, you have to do it all again tomorrow!!!

The biggest thing you can do to ensure you are at your very best for both weddings is to drink lots of water. Stay hydrated, people! We get so excited about what we are doing, we forget to drink water! But the bad news is that being dehydrated today will affect you more tomorrow than it will today. So get a cooler, and put some Dasani in that thing!

The second biggest thing you can do is make sure you get 1 quality meal on the first day. If you can get a good meal on both days, all the better! But, a quality meal on day 1 is the priority. Why? Well, just like drinking water, what you eat or don’t eat on day 1 will have a bigger affect on day 2. If you don’t eat a good meal on the first day, you will have an exponentially harder time keeping your American Ninja Warrior energy up on day 2! Take it from us!

And by the way, when we say quality meal, we don’t mean Wendy’s! Nothing against Wendy’s. We love a good Frosty! But you need to eat something that will give you energy to carry through. Again, prepare for that in advance! It could be at the reception, but most likely, you’re going to need to bring your own good meal. Not because they won’t feed you, but because it’s always better to plan your own meal than rely on reception food! Especially on a double-header weekend!


3. Focus On The Task At Hand

When you really look at the physical and mental task in front of you, it is extremely daunting. It’s like trying to beat Bobby Flay in a cooking challenge. It seems nearly impossible!

But in those moments, you have to change your focus.

We’re going to drop some truth on you really quick. Your amazing couple on day 1 doesn’t really need to worry that you have another wedding tomorrow. And honestly, they really don’t even need you to tell them about it. This is a day they have been looking forward to for an extremely long time. And right now, your job is to focus on them 100%. Yes, you have a wedding tomorrow. You know that. But all you need to worry about right now is making this the most beautifully captured wedding you have ever photographed.

Your amazing couple on day 2 is getting married today. Yesterday, while you were at wedding 1, they were having their rehearsal for today. This is the only wedding they will ever have. And they deserve your full effort, no matter how yesterday went. Maybe it was amazing! Today’s couple only wants to hear how amazing their day is going to be. Keep your focus right where it is today.


When it’s all said and done and your eyes finally open the next morning, you will know you have accomplished something special. Yes, your feet feel like they have been run over by a tractor. Sure, your back is sore in places you didn’t even know you had. But you captured the most important day ever for 2 couples! 2 couples! And you should be proud of what you did.

Time to get to work on those images!

Your friends,
Ryan & Alyssa

If anyone has any other questions, no matter how small, please don’t hesitate to email us your questions at! We would be humbled to try and answer your question as best we can!


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