Tuesday, November 16, 2010

JT&Lauren::: The Wedding



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I've never been in a limo. It seems funny to point it out, but it's something that I thought about when I was a little kid. Being a missionary kid, one of seven at that, I wasn't exactly blessed with riches growing up. Don't get me wrong, I am very blessed to have always had food on the table, clothes on my back, and food on my plate... I don't take that for granted.







Still, it seemed that my toys were those that my siblings passed down to me, and my "new" jeans were handmedowns from my brothers, already with thick patches on the knees. It was all good though, I had a great childhood and don't feel like a missed out. But sometimes I wondered what it was like to be living "the big life", when I would have "so much money" and I would get to do fun things that seemed unthinkable at the time, like getting to
ride in a limo.

Sometimes I would go as far as to daydream about how or when that would happen. Maybe it would be during my prom, or wedding, or sometimes when I was really in a rockstar mood, I thought that it might happen on my way to a movie premiere or an award show. (Just don't ask me what exactly I'd be doing there... that plan was never exactly perfected.) In either case, I surely didn't think that the first time I would ride a limo I would be "at work," I never imagined that I would be squished in there with some of the most awesome and fun girls around, drinking champagne, wearing matching blue dresses, and singing random Spanish guy names to the tune of a current radio hit! I was riding a limo for the first time, and I was a wedding photographer. Wow... I did not see that one coming.

Someone please tell my 8 year-old self back then that my life was about to get a lot more fun?

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Fun. This was definitely a fun wedding. I guess that's what you get when you get such a great group for the wedding party. Sorority girls and fraternity boys? Seriously? Just fun. Actually...fun and good looking too! ;)


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I love getting ready shots, I love to see the brides getting pampered on what I always think is likely the most beautiful day of their lives. I also love that I get to be there, and see, and take pictures so later they can see! :)

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Everything was going according to planned, girls were ready, Lauren was wearing a gorgeous dress (HUGE shout out to Lauren's mom who actually MADE the dress!) and we were all out the door on our way to the church. Emphasis on ALL out the door, no leaving photographers behind this time! ;) We got to the church and when we were about ready to start is when someone realizes that the marriage license was left at the house. Twenty-five minute drive. Each way. So... things got a bit off schedule.

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The ceremony was worth the wait because it was so gorgeous. From the most adorable flower girls in the beginning, to the quick "church kiss" at the end, it was just perfect, inspiring, and adorable to see my friend up there trying to keep it together as she said her vows. "The photographer can't cry." I have to remind myself, no joke.

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JT&Lauren are so photogenic, they seriously make my job easy. :)

The reception was held at Lauren's parent's house. Again, huge shout-out for how awesome all the preparations were. It was great to see everything being set up the couple days before when I was there, and then perfectly fall into place during the reception. Candles and chandeliers hanging from the trees? Are you kidding me? I love that!

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Finally, it's time to take it to the dance floor. Let me just end with this: these guys know how to have a good time!

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Congratulations JT&Lauren!!! I seriously couldn't be happier for you two! :)

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

JT&Lauren::: The Rehearsal

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When all was said and done, when the flowers were ready, and the cake was...mostly decorated. When friends and relatives had arrived and proper housing arrangements had been made. When the tent was up in the backyard, and the sound system had been properly set up by the groom and best man the day before. When the balloons announcing the great celebration were safely tied to the mailbox by the driveway. Then, and only then, came the rehearsal.




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Every rehearsal is a little bit different. Of course, the general process is mostly the same. The guys line up at the front and tease the groom about willingly losing his freedom. The girls hectically run from one place to the next, mentally going through check lists, and trying to keep the bride calm. Flower girls and ring bearers practice several times going up and down the aisle at the proper speed, and the bride and groom smile nervously at each other and exchange a series of looks as deep as the ocean, in a manner that makes their love for each other be as transparent as the air we breathe. Some rehearsals require formal clothing, other's welcome jeans and t-shirts. But all of the rehearsals I have been to have included a photographer. It seems obvious for me to say that, but actually this one came very close to changing that.

Before leaving Lauren's home, some were making last minute phone calls, others were running around with one high heel on as they talk faster than the cast of Gilmore Girls ever has. As this happened, I went down to the basement to get my gear. Janice, the wonderful florist, was down there making last minute touches to the arrangements and making sure they looked perfect. I must have said something to her about how we were about to leave, when she said "I think they're already gone." I let out a short laugh and said "No, they're about to. They pretty much can't leave without me!" and smiled. My smile turned into a worried face about 5 seconds later when I realized just how quiet the house was. Where's the sound of the high-heels? The girls talking faster than a human brain can process?! Complete silence. Oh... this can't be good.

I stood there for a minute wondering what to do. I think that in a situation like this, one can either: A) Get upset. B) Cry. C) Laugh about it. Maybe it was the sugar-high from the ridiculous amount of pixie stix I had earlier that day, but I went with option C. It just seemed funny that by then I was supposed to be riding in a car with part of the wedding party, and only then did it occur to me that I never got directions or an address to the chapel. I said a quick prayer, and wondered what to do next.

Then I heard the sound of hope. Well, it was actually the sound of a hair-dryer in the distance, but you get the picture. I ran all the way up to the second floor, to find that Laura, who had been working all day at a day camp, had just taken a shower and was in the process of drying her hair, apparently running a little behind everyone else. Laura, blessed Laura... pretty much my salvation at this point! So I sent Lauren a quick text message that said "Don't worry, I'm getting a ride with Laura. :)" and she replied with "I thought you were in the car with my mom?!" Haha. Chaos... gotta love it! Laura and I bonded over a 25 minute drive to the chapel, and when we got there the whole wedding party was lined up at the front and looking straight at us as we quickly walked down the aisle. "Fashionably late?" I had hoped.

The rehearsal continued as planned, and when the traditional dinner was over the girls were reenergized by a fresh order of Starbucks and back to Lauren's house to finish decorating the cake. As I watched them giggling, their faces glowing from a perfect blend of caffeinated energy and anticipation, I realized that I had learned a very important lesson that day: They can too leave without me!

Enjoy the photos! :)

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