So the morning of a wedding, I am a nervous wreck. I checked and re-checked my equipment, loaded up my bag with more batteries than I could ever possibly need, and tried to shove some food some my throat even though my nervous belly ain’t havin’ it. Anyway, my brain is always in 100 different places - do I have directions? Did I pack an extra pair of shoes? What time is it? Why am I in such a nervewracking profession? I stopped to get gas and headed back out on the road - only to see my gas tank is still on Empty. It dawns on me that I forgot to choose the fuel grade and it never even started filling it up. I’m a genius, right? I made a poorly timed U-turn, got back to the pump, and tried explaining my idiot self to the next guy in line who assured me the pump resets itself after a few seconds. Of course it does.
I finally got my daughter dropped off with my Mom and start heading down the rural routes to the venue. I think we all know where this is going. I’m taking deep breaths and getting my head on straight and I start thinking hey - I need to be prepared for stuff like this! If my car breaks down or I ever get into an accident on my way to a wedding, I need to sort out what I would do. So as I’m preparing my mental emergency plan I see them…all of them. Pretty maids all in a row. Four deer running out of the field on my passenger side with no sign of slowing. The first one bolts between the front of my car and the SUV in front of me. The second one LOSES HIS EVER-LOVIN’ MIND and plows right into the side of car. Just like that - SMASH! Two more deer run behind me and you guys - I JUST KEPT GOING. It’s a wedding day. There is a bride waiting on me. I don’t play around with wild animals trying to slow me down. The poor thing laid there on the side of the road, all twitchy and busted up, and I actually shouted, “I am so sorry, deer! I have a wedding to get to!”
Which brings me to our gracious, adorable bride who greeted her shaking, frazzled photographer with a glass of champagne and a hug. God love her. Let’s get on with our love story, shall we?
The girls got ready at an adorable little house near the Mathwig Estate, a stone-walled cottage straight out of a storybook. When I photographed Jessie and Steve for their engagement in Fells Point, she was all spunk. But watching her get ready for her wedding, she was quiet. Focused. Thinking a lot. A little bit serious getting into her gown (with pockets!) and all-business when she decided her veil was too long and had her Mom cut it with scissors, just like that - her gorgeous bridesmaids taking her pictures and cheering her on. But when her Dad came in, the sweetest man with rosy cheeks and a kind smile - she was a puddle. Happy tears and smiles all around. I love that, the few moments when everything transitions from nerves to excitement and it’s time to get going. I love weddings, it never gets old to me.
And so there’s a ceremony and a kiss and some more pictures but what I really want to tell you about are the toasts. There were three - one from the Best Man, another from the Maid of Honor (her sister and best friend, it was so sweet to watch), and a third from the principal at the elementary school where Jessie and Steve both teach. They were funny, tender, sweet, hilarious, tear-jerkers, and beautifully honest. If anyone out there needs a boost in writing your wedding toast, call me. I can point you to the right people.
Jessie and Steve, your wedding day was the best. Your happiness is contagious and it’s evident in your family and friends - it was everywhere on your wedding day and I hope it shows in your images. It was an honor to be there - enjoy your Cancun honeymoon and your sneak peak. xoxo.
P.S. Thanks to my best pal Jess for second shooting with me!