Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it. -Bernard Meltzer
It's a pretty classic story really. Boy meets Girl. Boy is a super laid back dude known for wearing awesome bow ties and always pretty upbeat, girl is stunning with a super type A personality and a huge heart and somewhere in the background like a life size photo bomb is Big Al (girl's dad). Pretty basic right?
Honestly, I am excited just to write this post because I know I'll get a text in about 90 seconds from Courtney, a message in about 10 minutes from scott, and I'll likely have Big Al and Miss Cindi in tears. This wedding was set up to be wonderful from the very first conversation. When I say Courtney is type A I'm understating a bit. She's a planner, organizer, go getter, winner, mover, shaker, and about 100 other "er" words. This girl's life is a verb and when I first sat down for a cup of coffee with her and Scott it was really clear that she knew exactly what she wanted. If you've been to a lot of weddings you've likely seen the type A girl who let's the power go to her head and this is exactly where Courtney's story comes in. I know what you're thinking - I'm about to drop a bridezilla story on you - but the reality is that I wasn't worried once from our very first meeting that Courtney would bubble over. For as bold, and assertive as she is, she's kind and sweet and super appreciative to all of the people who were working along side her on this wedding. In fact, I have no real idea how all of the other conversations went but when I told her where, when, and how I wanted to shoot her wedding she was all grins finally being able to picture her pictures. The end result of course (as you've seen above) was gorgeous. BUT we can't jump to the end yet.
Scott is an all around good guy. Easy to talk to and easy to relate to. We get the chance to work with a pretty wide variety of guys in the south and if all grooms were as laid back and fun to be around as Scott some weekends would be a little more fun. Scott wrote Courtney a little love note every day in April just to remind her how excited he was to marry her and then poked fun at her when she started saving them. We found out on a beautiful dock out over a beautiful lake as these two exchanged wedding presents that he'd also rewritten every note in a little journal for her to save forever. As if that wasn't sweet enough there was a rose gold and diamond ring tucked into a little pocket on the last page for her right hand - because Courtney didn't want to feel off balance. (Clever courtney... though I will say she's a tiny little thing and with the size of the ring on her left hand a little counter weight might now be a bad thing).
We started the day off surrounded by a few of the sweetest bridesmaids I've ever worked with. I'm shocked to say this but as I sit here I realize that I can still remember all of their names. I guess they left an impression, or set the bar but the morning was a blast. By the time we got Courtney dressed and ready to go we were a few minutes behind but the little lake that would be our next destination wasn't too far away and before we knew it we had Courtney sneaking up behind Scott as he chatted with me about how excited he was for the day. His reaction was perfect as he turned to see his bride and for the next few minutes I barely said a word. If you follow us at all you know I have about 25 ways I like to do a first look. My only REAL opinion is that this isn't a moment for photos or the photographer. If a photographer needs a first look to do their job they're not worth much in my opinion - BUT this is a moment for a couple to have a few intimate minutes together. Sometimes our couples see each other, sometimes they don't. Sometimes the first look is over the phone for a 5 minute chat just to calm each other down. What bonds all of these moments together is simply how important they are. So as we backed up to let them breath and laugh together the reality of what this day was about sank in to them. Just happiness together. All of the todo lists and schedule went out the door and they just enjoyed a chance to hold hands and smile.
Before we knew it she was walking down the aisle. The ceremony was perfect. I actually love Catholic, and Greek Orthodox weddings just because there is so much symbolism in the ceremony. SURE they can drag on a bit, and week after week there are times where I find myself not taking a photo for a few minutes on end BUT knowing that for centuries couples have gone through the exact same process to commit their lives to each other is kind of neat. SIDE BAR I guess. Anyway - off to the reception where Big Al, Miss Cindi, and I'm pretty sure anybody else brave enough to walk by had spent hours making things perfect. This was a party from the very first moment with plenty of good food (sliders and macaroni were on the menu) and a band that turned everybody's head. I've been to a few weddings before - but to walk into a wedding singer in cheetah velvet bell bottoms is a first to me let alone one pelvic thrusting as we sings 80's power ballads. Favorite part of the night? A cover of Ice Ice Baby perhaps better than Vanilla himself.
This whole wedding was beautiful and a perfect example of why I love my job so much. It's wonderful to travel and explore new places. It's a blast when we're at huge weddings with bottomless budgets and more detail than we could ever shoot. BUT when we're close to home with clients who have become friends, families who take us in for the day, and moments where everything is completely real it really does bring me back down to earth. A HUGE thank you to Courtney and Scott for allowing us to be such a huge part of a perfectly planned day.