I walked through the door of the hotel room at Staybridge Suites into the happy chaos of a bride and her favorite people getting ready for one of the biggest days of her life. Michelle, frozen in place while the make up artist transformed her face. Mother of the bride, sitting out of the way on the couch, but keeping a close eye on the make up artist’s work. Junior bridesmaid moving carefully, definitely proving she is old enough to be here. Maid of honor zooming through doorways, phone in hand, ready to take care of anything. Wedding dress still in the bag from the store. Searches for shoes and phone calls to florists. Deep breaths and tears. A tiny blue pocket from a beloved grandfather, pinned carefully under the dress. She stood by the window and read a note from Matt. Tears crept down her cheeks, prompting a flurry of brushing and smoothing from the make up artist to fix the tracks.
We walked over to Landerhaven for photos before the ceremony. I photographed the girls out of sight of Matt’s position inside the building. No first look here, and I wasn’t about to spoil that moment at the top of the aisle that she had planned so carefully. So much planning goes into a wedding, and it’s my job to fit seamlessly into that planning. Capture the day–the big moments like walking down the aisle, and the little ones, like her mother’s smile as she buttons up the dress–unobtrusively, without getting in the way.
Just in time for the ceremony, dark blue rain clouds threatened to open up. A few drops pattered down as guests walked across the grass to their seats. My second shooter and I looked nervously at each other. But it was just a patter, and then it stopped. Matt and Michelle got the outdoor wedding ceremony they wanted.
After the ceremony, we took family photos, then wedding party photos, and finally, the bride and groom portraits. This is always my favorite part of the day, when I get to bring to life all the photos that have been in my head while we were photographing other things. From the moment I see the bride, the dress, the groom, the setting…it all starts percolating, waiting until I can unleash it during the portrait session part of the day.
We finished as the sun was setting, and Matt and Michelle went inside to their wedding reception at Landerhaven. From their entrance, to the first dance, to the speeches, their reception was filled with love and warmth.
Later that night, we slipped outside for some night time shots with a little off camera flash. You can see some highlights below.
Congratulations, Matt and Michelle. I hope you have a long and happy life together.