December 8, 2015
This was a wedding that we have had circled and highlighted on our calendar for a long time. While every wedding is important to us, this one seemed to carry a little extra buzz, since Selena was Alison’s best friend for the past 15 years. Also, since obviously Ali was going to be the Matron of Honor, this was going to change our Wedding Day dynamic a bit. (She claimed she was still going to help shoot here and there….I knew better.) A huge thanks to Sheila Nolt for stepping in and helping me photograph the day!
So on the week of, while Ali & Selena scurried around and prepared every final detail for this beautiful outdoor wedding in an Apple orchard, I was left staring at the weather forecast with
some much concern. This was the week that Hurricane Joaquin was wreaking havoc all up and down the East Coast, and it didn’t look good.
Now, when we talk to brides leading up to their special day, we are ALWAYS very optimistic about the weather, and it was no exception with Selena. However, when Wednesday arrived and they were still calling for gusts of wind up to 30mph, and over 1.5 inches of rain on Friday, I knew we were going to have to balance optimism with realism. So we ordered a giant box from Amazon Prime full of umbrellas and rain gear, and got as ready as we could.
The day arrived just as cold and wet as they had predicted, and Selena and Jason were just as carefree as they always are. Here is the thing with weddings: You plan, and plan, and plan, but when you roll out of bed on your wedding day, you live in every moment, and just let it unfold, because that is what is going to happen and you will have no regrets.
In the end, the ceremony was moved to the reception tent, where blankets were passed out and heaters were brought in to keep everyone warm. It ended up being one of the most intimate ceremonies I have photographed. We went ahead with the first look in the orchard, in the rain, and it was awesome. As I put Jason into position for Selena to come and meet him, he started getting nervous and fidgety. “She will be here in 2 minutes…You good?” I asked. He was still for a moment then mentioned, “Yeah…Dude, I think I’m guna cry!” I assured him that was perfectly fine. It was the most beautiful and emotional first look I have ever seen, and it was an honor to be there.
All in all, it was a perfect day. Jason and Selena gave a valuable lesson to brides and grooms everywhere; and that is that perfection is found in the joy of getting married, and not in the details. For myself, it was one of my favorite weddings of the year. I loved the weather and the buzz that it created. As the rain and wind battered the tent outside, we danced, cried, and laughed the night away, before an epic failure of a Chinese Lantern send-off (more laughs).
In the end, the evening was also wildly successful for me….I got to dance with the maid of honor!
Selenas father was in a terrible accident when she was a little girl, so the fact that he was with her that day and was still able to walk her down the isle and give her away, was the most beautiful moment of the day. So many tears!
Selena was so nervous to say her vows, so they played a quick round of rock, paper, scissors to see who has to go first! (She made it very clear that even is she lost, she was still going first!)
The generators shut down for several minutes and it was the perfect moment of candle light and guests just having a ball.