Wedding photography in the Catskills is a little different from that in the city.

We have mountains for backdrops, rather than skyscrapers.

We have barn weddings, farm weddings and tent weddings.

Weddings seem to be a little smaller upstate.

This year, probably a lot smaller.

With mandatory limits on public gatherings from households to 10, 25 or 50, many couples found themselves with no choice but to reschedule their weddings or dramatically alter their plans.

I’m glad that the first few zoom weddings I heard of or saw photos from weren’t the leading edge of a major trend.

I’m glad not just because I enjoy handling wedding photography here in the mountains, the valley and beyond, but because I watch the faces of the folks who attend these weddings.

There’s no substitute for the real deal.

Of course, limits on crowd sizes are likely to continue. (Movie theaters are still closed, as I write this) and if COVID rates take a turn for the worse, we could see ourselves losing ground on the progress seen toward opening.

During the height of the pandemic, I was forced to turn down a number of shoots for family reunions, parties and other gatherings. Where the organizers seemed to know their group sizes would be larger than permitted, they suggested nobody needed to know. Some were more understanding than others when I declined the job on the grounds that irrespective of group size, my work as a photographer wasn’t yet considered essential enough to green light photo sessions for groups of any size. Thankfully, I’m again permitted to pull out the cameras and capture the memories. I’m looking forward to the portrait sessions and parties on my calendar. I’m hoping everything comes off as planned, albeit with a touch of added caution.

So, what does this all have to do with the price of appetizers in Windham?

Ever been to one of those parties with ‘A lists and B lists?’

You know, you’re invited from 8-11, but others are there from 5-8?

See where I’m going with this?

Ever been to a wedding that was so large you could barely see the first dance? The sound was so loud and centralized folks near the action couldn’t hear themselves think while those on the edges missed the toasts? (More about that another time…)

In one way or another, I’ve been involved with a number of weddings with small affairs surrounding the ceremonies and larger gatherings for the celebrations.

If crowd sizes remain restricted, due to whatever comes our way, the following starts to make sense.

What if rather than 90 guests at an eight-hour wedding there were 45 at two four-hour celebrations.

For one example, the couple gets married at the main event, and continues their celebrations with more cherished guests at the second gathering.

Why are they introduced “for the first time as husband and wife,” if everyone just witnessed the vows? That part starts to make sense if not everyone was at the ceremony-traditions can be altered; new traditions created.

The venue still hosts the event(s) and offers a break for two smaller events. (Better than no events, right?)

Bakeries prepare two smaller cakes, or just as many cupcakes, etc…

Entertainment happens.

Photography happens.

Memories happen.

For local events, I gladly offer a sort of two for the price of one arrangement. Coverage of two shorter/smaller events for the price of one long day.

Much as I like the internet, streaming a wedding just isn’t the same.

Think of your poor granny! (She’s on the A-list, btw)

Life goes on, celebrations will continue, and we will all make adjustments where needed – but virtual weddings, that’s barely a bandage. Ugh.

Thanks for reading. Reach out, if I can be of any help. You can also find, follow & like Jonathan Ment Photography on Facebook & at and check out the broad-topic’d “Observational Ramblings” of the Ment Media Group’s “Business Blog.”

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