This was the second wedding in two days on a back-to-back weekend for me. I don’t do dual wedding weekends very often and the only way I will do them is if both couples know about it beforehand, agree to it, and everything lines up perfectly. I contacted Elizabeth and Stephen to let them know that I had another couple that really wanted me to shoot a wedding for them on the day after theirs. We had been talking about the possibility of doing a day after session so I wasn’t sure if I could even do Becky and Tim’s wedding. I was really touched by Elizabeth’s extremely unselfish reply so I wanted to share it with you. She said, “Well, I definitely see where they are coming from! After the church, the photographer was the most important thing for us and when I saw your pictures, I remember telling Stephen, this is who’s doing our wedding! I am SOOOOOOOOOO glad we went with you! I’m so glad you’ll be shooting our wedding! I KNOW that our wedding photos are going to be super amazing!!! The wedding day is the most important one (obviously!). And I completely understand why this couple wants you so badly, so I feel like they should be able to have beautiful pictures too, and I don’t want to take that away from them. If I was in their situation I know how upset I would be, so, if it works out for that couple too, and Stephen and I can’t do the extra shoot, we will survive. I would not enjoy the day-after shoot knowing another couple really wanted you for their wedding day, but because I wanted a few extra hours, they didn’t get it. So I would honestly rather them have their day with you than me have a few extra hours.”
Isn’t she the greatest? So it was now doable, the only question was could I physically do it? I put my heart and soul into every wedding and sometimes it takes a couple of days to recover. I also shoot multi-day, huge Indian weddings that sometimes add up to over thirty hours in three or four consecutive days, but this was in different locations with different couples. Early in the season I really didn’t think I would be able to do it. I was asking myself after each wedding, “Could I do this again tomorrow?” and to be honest I wasn’t sure. So I increased my workouts and bought some extra memory cards so I could leave both weddings on cards until they were properly backed up. I also got stronger with each wedding and more resilient. This new strength and durability gave me the confidence to know I would be able to handle the challenge. I’m glad that everything worked out too because this was a beautiful wedding to shoot. It was directly across the lake from where I live, and Becky, Tim, and their families were a delight to work with.
Becky told me that her friend Dana Ayers (who is a professional singer, and teaches music) was going to sing at the reception. I don’t think many people were prepared for what was about to happen when Dana and harmonica player Joe Longwell got up on stage with the Rochester Brass & Electric Band (these guys were great too!). They did a super blues rendition of “Summertime” that absolutely blew my socks off! I mean I am a serious blues fan but Dana actually made the hair on my arms stand up. The place went bonkers afterwards so I’m sure a lot of other people felt the same way too. It was unbelievable, and still gives me chills just thinking about it!
The caterer was Jane Russell – from “Around the Corner Catering”, and the planner was Dawn Mattice from “One of A Kind Events”. I thought they did a fabulous job and loved the idea of having bottled water (the five gallon kind that you usually see in office coolers) readily available for the guests. This was a big hit with a lot of people and I would highly recommend it for all of my weddings! The tent was also decorated beautifully, and to quote Becky when I asked her whom to mention in my blog post, “And, just because I thought the hanging lanterns were so cool, I’ll mention that the rental company was called “Tailored Events Inc.”
Late that night, Becky, Tim and a bunch of their friends decided to do an impromptu jump into the lake. I so wish I could have joined them, but I was actually a little hesitant to walk out on the dock because it was so dark that I couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face. I was afraid I might walk right off the side of the dock with all of this expensive equipment around my neck. So I test fired my flash a couple of times to light the way. I was standing there taking the picture that is in this post. (Isn’t it amazing? I mean when I looked through the camera I couldn’t see anything. I just listened closely and fired at what sounded like opportune times) when suddenly I heard a splash that was kind of unrelated and then the swimmers yelling that that they thought someone had accidentally walked off the dock. I was the only one left on the dock at the time so I reached over and held him above water until the swimmers could come and help me pull him out. It was a pretty strange feeling to be in total darkness hanging on to a guy with one hand while still holding on to all of my gear in the other hand. The poor guy had a phone, camera, wallet, keys, and everything you could imagine in his pockets. I thought he was hurt at first because he didn’t respond immediately but I guess he was in shock. Thankfully, he was okay, and I think he only lost one of the electronic items.
Thank you so much Becky, Tim, your families, and friends for being so flexible and allowing me to do this with you. It was truly a pleasure to be with you on this beautiful day and night by the lake. I think of how nice that cool breeze felt coming off the lake and I am right there again with you enjoying every minute. I wish you much love and happiness on your journey together.