Destination weddings can be a lot of work for everyone involved if the planning isn’t up to snuff. When someone has taken the pains to bring me and my gear clear across the country to cover their wedding, I make sure that we do a lot of talking about the timing. It’s a good idea to bring your photographers in a couple of days ahead for a few reasons. The most obvious one being that it’s a way to get past the aggravations of weather and delayed flights. It is a also good way to ensure that your photographers are rested and ready to give you the best coverage possible, and, if any gear gets messed up in transit, your photographer has a chance to get it replaced in time for your wedding. All of that seems like a no brainer to me.
What I offer my clients in a destination situation is a chance to spend a couple of hours outside of the wedding day… most often it’s a rehearsal dinner sort of coverage. It helps all of us to get comfortable before the big day. Jen and Chris had a tea for their families at the hotel the day before the wedding. I took some time with the tea service but when they were done, they asked if I would go with them to get the rings cleaned. You bet! Old Town Alexandria has a free trolly that runs up and down King Street… all we had to do was hop on and go a couple of stops to the jewelry designer. Basically, we got to treat it as an engagement session… it gave us lots of opportunities to do sweet pictures of just the two of them in various places before we took our frozen noses back to the hotel.
If you pick a Friday afternoon to go to the courthouse in Vancouver, you will have a long wait in traffic…. plenty of time to get nervous. Gary and Steve and several family members lined up to go through the metal detectors in the entrance of the Vancouver Courthouse… after a few blips and beeps, we made our way to the noisy waiting area on the second floor. Promptly at 4:30, a man came to assign each set of people to a room… we were about 12 in number so we were ushered into a sizable space to wait for a judge. There were papers to be filled out, stories and jokes to be told, nerves to be soothed… the judge came in almost an hour later and, in about two minutes, married these men. To go that fast after so long came as a surprise.
To have to wait so many years to get to this point is the real story. They bought beautiful puzzle rings about 12 years ago when it looked like their marriage might be a legal possibility… those rings got put into a box and saved for better times. Well, better times are here for some parts of the country and, with luck, will soon be possible in Oregon.
I meet some of the very best people in this line of work… they take care of each other and that’s what a marriage is all about. ;0)
Every wedding is about what you bring to each other as a couple… hopes and dreams are mixed in with dependable strengths and tolerated shortcomings. I am not sure everyone gets this going in and I feel lucky that most of my couples seem to have the better understanding going for them.
At a wedding, the outward offerings are beautiful little details put forward to say “This is my promise to you.” Amanda & Hansford put their jute-tied wedding rings in a small bronze bowl… they offered this bowl to be passed to each of their guests, asking them to sit for a second and bless the rings and the marriage, each in their own fashion. These two will last a lifetime and that is a marvelous thing…
Whenever I can, I try to give credit to the magic makers behind the scenes, if you are looking for good people in the Gorge, this is a great place to start: