christen & michael | chartwell country club wedding.

Let me tell you something about groomsmen. They are all the same. And I don't mean that in a bad way, not at all, but in a you-know-what-to-expect kind of way. Like, there's the funny one. The loud one. The best-buds-since-childhood one. And as a collective group, groomsmen can quote any Chris Farley or Adam Sandler movie ever made. And if I can walk into a room and ask for the rings and the groom immediately quotes The Princess Bride, then I know it's gonna be a good day.

It was a steamy hot afternoon for a wedding in Severna Park. And I don't mean steamy in a Melrose Place sort of way, I mean temperatures in the high 90s and enough humidity to make your toosh stick to the seat.

I met the guys in the billiard room of the country club and, much to my sweaty disappointment, I was met with an industrial sized fan and news that the air conditioning in the clubhouse was broken. Kaput. Out. Toast.

Now I thought this would really put a damper on things, that everyone would be uncomfortably warm and Lord knows wearing a tuxedo on top of it all is enough to test the patience of even a man in love, but I was wrong. The groomsmen were chipper and chatty and funny and keeping cool with shots of moonshine and turns standing in front of the fan.

Oof. That was some strong stuff.

And the groom. Oh, Michael. Watching him prep for his wedding day was such a treat. He didn't show an ounce of nervousness and spent the moments before the ceremony watching Iron Man and ordering club sandwiches for his buds. What a guy. His parents (adorable! married for 37 years!) popped in and out of the room for a while, his Mom adjusting his shirt collar and his Dad slapping him on the back the way fathers do to their sons when they're undeniably proud.

And then it was finally time.

Christen hardly represented a bride whose wedding day was a scorcher. She didn't look flushed or uncomfortable or anything like a bride whose dressing room lacked air conditioning. She came up the aisle with flourish, gorgeous, lovely, and ready to say I Do.

(Squeeeeeeeeeeal! I love this part!)

Now this - this I'd been waiting for all day. I didn't get to shoot the bridal prep this time, so I had to wait until after the ceremony to catch a glimpse of the bride and groom together. I started hearing bits and pieces of a conversation about Christen not feeling well, was she okay, did she need to sit down, etc.

I asked one of the groomsmen if she was sick and he says, "No, she just had her appendix taken out two weeks ago."

And I am thinking, "Two weeks ago!? Two weeks!?" What a champ. What a woman.

Michael was a heckuva nice guy before the ceremony. I had no doubts he'd make a fun husband for Christen. But I was delightfully surprised at his sincere tenderness toward his bride. He carried her train, gently adjusted her veil, kissed her over and over again, and made sure his new wife wasn't feeling any pain from the ol' appendix. He spoke to her softly enough for only her to hear and she smiled and grinned and glowed.


And their parents. All of them. I don't think I've ever seen anyone so proud. Proud of their children, proud of their families, proud of the new son and daughter they're gaining. That's what it's all about.

Christen and Michael, it was a pleasure to be a part of your wedding day. You are both sweet, kind-hearted people and I know you will grow old together.

Many thanks to Sarah Burns Photography for having me as a second shooter!

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