Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Here comes the bride

I have something to cross off my bucket list.

I have now been hired (yes, for cash dollars) to be an additional shooter at a wedding where I knew nobody.

Ok, not totally true.  The bride reads my blog.  So I sort of knew her.

I was worried that I'd be all awkward, not knowing a SOUL, and that I'd get in the way, and that the real photographers would resent me, or I'd make some horrible gaffe, or I'd show up at the WRONG LOCATION! (why yes, I had a dream about that, and it stunk)

But the day was fabulous.

Kelly and I left straight after church, heading south by way of Starbucks to fortify ourselves for the drive.  I was worried about the traffic, seeing as it was early Sunday afternoon, and we were driving down the ONE highway to Santa Cruz, which is where everyone AND THEIR DOG goes on the weekend, and the highway can be a veritable parking lot.  Yeah.   A little bit of stinky sweat in the armpits over that drive, but it was pretty painless.

We got to the venue early.  Early enough for me to go into the restroom, and fix my armpits.  Aren't you glad I shared?

Early enough to sit out on the patio and watch the funky 60s folksy trio playing for the brunch crowd.

Early enough to decide that we could probably have those garlic fries, and still have enough time for the cinnamon gum to make the bad breath smell vanish before any close-up work happened.

Kelly waits for the garlic fries on the patio.

We sat just under the gazebo where the wedding would be happening later.  It was lovely.  Decorated earlier in the day with garlands that the bride had made herself.

Let's take a closer look.

At 3:00 things started rolling.  People started arriving, and I got to work in the Bridal Suite (which was really just one of the restaurant's dining rooms, with big windows opening out onto the gardens.  Not the appearance of a whole lot of privacy, but mostly it was just windows looking out into trees.)

This is the real photographer.  I just tried to stay out of his way, even though he was really encouraging to me.

It was a very relaxed atmosphere in there, considering all the activity.  And this chick with the pink hair?  She was a rock star with everyone's hair.

I won't post too many 'getting ready' shots.  You want to keep the mystery alive, y'know...?
Oh look!  The patio is ready for the ceremony!

There was a garden, and a creek behind the restaurant.  While everyone was getting ready, one of the photographers went down to the river, to set up lighting, for water-side portraits.  Man, I can hardly wait to see what he got down there.  Kelly wanted to go watch, but I was determined that we would NEVER be in the way, so I told her to stay up the hill.

She spent her time with her camera taking photos of the flowers.  And there were tons.

Let's check in on the bridal party...
Oh!  Busted!  They caught me sneaking up on them...

The bubble-girl (like a flower girl, but she blows bubbles instead of tossing petals) looks ready...

And so is the Maid of Awesome (like the Maid of Honor, but more... well... AWESOME!)

The DJ is getting impatient...

The dapper VIP is ready to stand by her side:

As soon as my eyelashes dry, I will get into my dress, dah-lings...

The men are ready.

Meanwhile, back in the boudoir, the bride is nearly ready...
(psst.  I think this may be one of my favorite shots of the day)

It's almost time (ok, who are we kidding?  It's past time.  Brides are allowed to run a little bit late)

I promised I would not take any photos of her adjusting her rack.
I lied.

The groomsmen are at the ready.

The groom processes with his parents... to the Imperial March from Star Wars.  That nearly brought the crowd to its feet.

Bubble girl leads the way for the bride:

And here she comes.  There were many tissues being applied to the corners of eyes at this point.

Such a gorgeous setting for this blessed event.

Such a happy couple.  And such a dapper young man in a kilt officiating, too!

And not a moment will be forgotten, as the photographers set up shop on either side of the aisle in the front row.  I loved their bright green and pink shirts.  Traditional photographer wisdom is to wear black, so you become invisible to the guests, and blend into the shots, but these guys shone.  And obviously cared so much about the couple, too.

A tender mommy-and-me moment...

Pucker up!

I love that kilt-guy is averting his eyes. :)
Kilt-guy, you did a fantastic job!

Time for the reception to start.

They had the most fantastic thing at the reception:  A photo booth.  It was a remote-control camera, set up with studio lighting, and tons of props.  You could dress up, and then just stand in the 'focus zone', and step on the remote-control, and snap a self-portrait.

Kelly, as you may guess, got a BUNCH of use out of it (until people got lubricated up with copious adult beverages, and started hogging the thing - but that was right around the time we had to leave, anyways.  And it was MOST entertaining!  Maybe they'll share the photos at some later date).  And while people were still looking at it sideways, with the "Oh, I don't think I  could do that" look, I stepped in front of the lens with Kelly.

I know, you're not supposed to 'steal' photos by photographing the screen, but I don'f feel bad, because I bought this shot.  Expect to see much more, once i get my full digital copy.
Meanwhile, the bridal party was down by the river, having portraits done.

...while Kelly photographed flowers...

My guess is that these will look WAY  better from where the photographer was shooting.  But I couldn't resist stealing a few shots...

Belly up to the bar, honey.  Let mommy start you young...

Me: (heading off to photograph a few other things) "Kelly, if anyone asks, tell them it's a Campari and soda"
Kelly:  *blink blink blink*
Fabulous dessert table!

Fabulous adult beverages:

Fabulous fellow diarist:

Who invited Jimmy Carter????

WonderTwin, wedding ring power... ACTIVATE!

I truly felt blessed to have been a part of their special day.

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