The Garter Toss used to be a staple of every wedding celebration. Usually staged right after the Bouquet Toss, it was generally a competitive and lively slice of the day. Today, the trends are moving in other directions… I think you could say that a lot of people are less comfortable with the staged sections of the traditional weddings. I have some couples who don’t even want to cut their cake as a planned thing. Maybe it’s a new age of less pageantry and more of an inclusive celebration with more mingling… less separation of couple and guests. That sounds kind of nice. ;0)
If you are curious about the history of the garter, this might give you some eye opening things to consider. It gave me a whole new perspective!
At last… two very dear friends of mine have finally put a ring on 34 years of happiness. Dexter and Daryl have been married in every other sense of the word since 1981 and I have had the pleasure of watching them mellow together like a very fine wine.
Officiated by a friend, the ceremony was tiny and set in a lovely condo at the Gregory… a little champagne, a little salmon mousse and a license to sign. Then we headed into rush hour traffic and landed at the Hotel Eastlund for a fine meal and the company of 18 old friends… many people I haven’t seen in a long while. In all of it, the evening seemed to buzz with a quiet satisfaction… glances across the table and all of the conversations and laughter.
All of us have waited a long time for this wedding… at last, we got to raise a cheerful glass to the two married guys at the center of this little crowd!
Available light is a very old term in photography… I hear people slamming it sometimes as being an amatuer practice. I beg to differ.
From Wikipedia comes this: “In photography and cinematography, available light or ambient light refers to any source of light that is not explicitly supplied by the photographer for the purpose of taking photos. The term usually refers to sources of light that are already available naturally (e.g. the sun, moon, lightning) or artificial light already being used (e.g. to light a room). It generally excludes flashes, although arguably flash lighting provided by other photographers shooting simultaneously in the same space could be considered available light. Light sources that affect the scene and are included in the actual frame are called practical light sources, or simply practicals. Use of available light is an important factor in candid photography in order not to disturb the subjects.”
For me, that last sentence is pretty much the main reason… it gives me truer moments. That’s all fine as long as it is still technically possible to make the image.
At the pool table, the beginning of the marriage license signing started out as a typically flashed situation. When the smart phone torch came into play, it immediately changed what I was looking at and the way I wanted to shoot it. For me, it was the perfect touch in a real moment.
So hire a professional… someone who knows when to make the right call. ;0)
Flanked by the bright pink Voodoo Doughnuts boxes, Matthew makes a bold correction… his opening cut had flipped a piece of doughnut onto the table and Suzanne’s look was enough to alter his original course. She started laughing and the crowd went wild! ;0)
Voodoo Doughnuts, like cupcakes and pies, are on the rise as legitimate wedding treats… they are certainly less formal than a cake and it’s interesting to see how people respond when the sweets are offered. With a cake, each guest will likely have a piece. One. With almost any other type of dessert, it seems like they will have at least two servings since multiple flavors are more obvious. Or maybe doughnuts and cupcakes make us revert to being kids again when one was never enough…. yeah, I think that may be the actual answer. ;0)
Happy to observe and share the culture of our times!
The very best day is the one when you and your best friend stand together in front of your people and promise to love and support each other for all time… that is all that matters on a wedding day.
Every now and then, a set of plans goes a little sideways… sometimes the venue isn’t open on time, sometimes the cake falls over or your very important grandfather is an hour late… sometimes a family member gets sick… shit happens. What then? Basically, you move gently around the problem and help your partner cope on this very special day. If it wasn’t already a team effort, it certainly becomes one at that point and even if your guests never notice, it’s on you to keep smiling on this best day.
Karri and Kevin came to their wedding day with the detailed plans all in place, nothing left unconsidered… and then some stuff went sideways. I’m pleased to say that, for the most part, no one noticed… at least that’s what it will look like in years to come. I can only compare it to some of my summer weddings where the temperature is so high that you think you will only ever remember the heat… oddly enough, in the pictures, it’s not what you notice and so you begin to forget that it was too hot.
Plan for the best day and roll with the day you are given… it’s good advice for any day.
We were just about finished with the portraits when I reminded Suzanne and Matthew that the party was just ahead. They had both been so focused on getting all of the responsible bits of the wedding day taken care of… so worried that something or someone might get missed. I watched as a visible relief washed over their happy faces. ;0)
The party is the reward you give yourself, the carrot at the end of the planning stick, if you will. The logistics of almost any wedding will drive most people a little crazy if they think about it too hard. When I arrived at the Ecotrust that afternoon, I encountered a stressed out Matthew in the parking lot. He was nervous about so many things. He improved remarkably when Suzanne swept into sight but it wasn’t until after the ceremony and a walk with her to do some portraits that I started to see him come back into balance. These two are made for each other and watching them come to life at their great party was a treat!
So do the homework and get a good night’s sleep. All that’s left is to get up on your wedding day, take the test and then party like you mean it!
It was a very small audience but when the officiant Heather Rose launched into the Apache Wedding Blessing, all of us had to laugh!
The Apache Wedding Blessing: “Now you will feel no rain, For each of you will be shelter to the other. Now you will feel no cold, For each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there is no more loneliness, For each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two bodies, But there is one life before you. Go now to your dwelling place, To enter into the days of your togetherness. And may your days be good and long upon the earth.”
The poem is one I hear often… partly because it is a clear and positive message to two people joining their lives together and partly, I suppose, because it isn’t connected to any one religion, giving you a chance to speak a more universal sort of blessing. If you look it up, it isn’t connected to any Native American culture either but it does have an interesting history. ;0)
Kate and Vlad braved an incredibly wet afternoon last Saturday… Rocky Butte is a sweet little park open to all of the elements so once it’s the decided location there is no turning back. These two took it in stride… a good sign for their marriage ahead, yes?
I got soaked and there will be some water spots to fix but I wouldn’t have missed it!
“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts…”
Yesterday, I had a conversation with a prospective bride for next year. She said she was going to treat her wedding like a theatrical piece… if it were just about her and her man, they’d elope and call it good. She has decided to put on the “play” for their family and friends… to do it up right for them. To be fair, she teaches theatre to high schoolers so it’s how her mind works but, honestly, it’s a great way to look at a wedding. You write the script, design the set and hire some help for behind the scenes. The two of you also get to choose the players AND an appreciative audience… how cool is that?!
I love it that most of my clients are real and grounded people… they have a solid idea of what they want their wedding to be and the reviews are usually stellar by all accounts. ;0)
A thank you to Mr. Shakespeare for a marvelous quote, as always.
Wine Country weddings typically bring to mind a beautiful rustic setting… many times there are picnic tables and wine barrels festooned with great earthy sunflowers… the big red barn or cool old tasting rooms are the norm. The summer views are always stellar and the ceremonies are mostly under the bright blue Oregon skies.
Denise and Bruce opted for something more in the luxury category when they made their plans. There is a grand place in Newberg called the Allison Inn and Spa…
tailor made for a ritzy experience. The original plans called for a lot of the day to be held outdoors on the lush grounds. The last minute change to the indoors was brought on by another day in the mid- ’90s… a temperature we have become too acquainted with this summer. So, the short ceremony was in one of the gardens but everyone was relieved to have the rest of the celebration inside… we might not have had that option at many of the wineries down the road in Oregon’s wine country.
Expectations don’t end just because the wedding is over. The details and all of that planning are just the beginning and lots of couple heave a great sigh of relief when the day is done. For just about all of your vendors, the work is done before the wedding. The huge exception is your photographer and your video team, if you have one. As a photographer, I try to make sure my clients understand, going in, that the process after the big day is a relatively time intensive thing. If you add that to the line-up of weddings according to seasonal surges, you can expect to wait a bit for your wedding pictures to be properly finished.
So here we are on the edge of the busiest season… Summer is winding down and Fall weddings are beginning. Still busy but not quite as stacked up. I just sat down to write a letter to each of my September couples… they have had a little time to relax and reflect and I want them to know when to expect the images that we made. To that end, I have included two or three teasers for each… something they can print and put in a frame or throw onto Facebook for now. I know they have tons of pictures from their friends but I know they are waiting for my work. ;0)
The question for you is, have your vendors made it clear how the process works for each part of your plans? If not, then take a few minutes to ask them. True professionals can give you a solid set of expectations and that is worth a lot.