Katy and Mark's Crest Center Wedding
Through either ridiculously good luck or really smart branding I've somehow managed to shoot weddings exclusively for people with whom I feel sure I could be friends. Katy and Mark were certainly no exception and I was actually sad when leaving their wedding because I would more than likely not get to see them again as they live in New York City. They may sound strange to an outsider, but as a photographer (and a wedding shooter especially) you scrutinize people waiting for the most "them" moments - moments that will capture their essence and tell their story - so I felt like I knew the lovely pair incredibly well even though I'd only spent roughly 10 hours in their presence.
We began our long day of shooting with the usual "getting ready" shots, but this time I was graced with a gorgeous (if quite green) room for the backdrop. Who knew that matching wall paper and pillows could look so chic. If anyone was nervous, it was hard to tell through the endless giggling.
One of my few of the year, Katy and Mark had opted for a first look so they could get rid of their jitters as well as knock out the family portraits beforehand, so we chose a quiet little pond as their rendezvous point. Mark's reaction to seeing his bride was priceless as he exclaimed over her beauty, her sartorial choices and the fact that they were finally getting married. This was one of those moments - which are becoming more common for me at weddings now that I'm married, I've noticed - where I had to just hold myself together and push through it to keep shooting because the sheer cuteness was overwhelming.
As we decided to knock out all of the group portraits before the ceremony, we took them all at the peak of the sun's harshness, so I was grateful for the shady grove of trees overlooking a view of downtown that eliminated most of that harsh glare from the family portraits. Indeed, with a downtown and gardens engagement session, deck-top wedding and these soft natural portraits, we were able to get quite a variety of backdrops into their images.
Though I previously mentioned avoiding that harsh sun, there was no escape during the ceremony. Make no mistake, this venue is gorgeous; a wide sweeping deck overlooking the sun-lit mountains. And the ceremony was equal parts heartfelt and humorous, a good characterization of Katy and Mark themselves. But I was ever-thankful for my studies with flash as I had to shoot full power into the sun for the entirety of the ceremony. The technical aspect was thought-consuming, but I had to put almost no effort into capturing Katy and Mark's happiness in making their vows as they were so plainly thrilled. In fact, theirs is probably my favorite first kiss photo to date!
As we'd already knocked out all but a few of their couples portraits, we spent no time at all finishing up - saving a few shots for sunset as well - and moseyed and mingled our way around the venue capturing detail shots and planning our reception plan of attack.
The sun once again tried to crash the party during the dances but I could not be more thrilled with the warm sun-flare effect that it gave to their first dance images, perfectly illustrating their effervescent happiness with each other.
After dinner, everyone finally let loose and to steal a phrase I would ordinarily never use, that dance floor was lit! From parents to friends to kids, everyone was dancing like no one was watching. Except that I was watching. And better than that, my camera was watching. Suffice it to say that I had a very fun time documenting the grand celebration, more and more as the evening went on.
One of my favorite things to do is steal the couple away for sunset portraits during the reception to give them a few minutes to breathe amidst the craziness of their day, and also so we can shoot in short bursts throughout the day rather than one long stretch when everyone is tired of pictures. We snapped a few quick ones with a gorgeous colorful sunset to aid us, and then headed back inside to cap off the night with more dancing.
Tomorrow I start working on their wedding album and print collection just in time for Christmas and I can't wait to unite the wedding album with its engagement album partner - a match made for each other just as Katy and Mark certainly are!