Sunday, April 26, 2015

There Was a Wedding - Part 7 - Let's Walk a Bit

Wedding photography can be a dicey proposition. You're at the mercy of someone who can be the ultimate bridezilla, the fickle weather, poor lighting, a venue that is anything but photogenic or a combination of this. My daughter's not a bridezilla and the weather was perfect. Being able to shoot photos outside brought out the happiness in everyone.

In addition to the gazebo, there is a path that leads to a small bridge over a creek. When we drove in, I wondered if there would be photos taken down by the creek. As this is a country club with a golf course attached, the path is wide and stable enough for carts which made a stroll down the hill easy.

The photos taken down here are among my favorites of the two of them. You could be forgiven for thinking the background is a painted canvas. The wind had died down at this point, although the temperature was still warm.

God smiled on them this day and gave them a day to get the kind of pictures that capture their happiness.

I like these two photos.

There is a series of photos, beginning with this one, where Carole walks across the bridge past Larry.

The fast speed of a digital camera means I could get all of the series in a small format and put them together as a flip book. Then, you can page through the book and watch Carole walk across the bridge. It is a neat idea.

Of all the photos of them, this one is, hands down, my favorite.

Beverage:  Fruit Juice


There Was a Wedding - Part 6 - Photographs on the Lawn

Remember the snow? Remember the sloppy slush we drove through on the way to signing the papers to buy a house? Remember the coats and scarves of a Friday evening's rehearsal? Remember how we all talked around the weather, as if acknowledging the cold and the wind and the rain would, somehow, keep it through the next day?

The country club has a gazebo a short distance from the front door. It's perfect for photos. This is what we had on Saturday, March 21st at 5:30 p.m, the first full day of spring.

It was 70 degrees, clear blue skies and a very light breeze. We could not have asked for a better evening. The only issue was the sun.

They had one of the ushers, the gentleman who walked me in, who is quite tall, hold his coat up off to the right in order to keep the sun out of people's eyes. You can see him off to the right here.

Larry's attendants were Matt and a guy whose name I have forgotten, who were high school friends. His groomsman was Chad. The two have known each other since kindergarten. Carole's attendants were Phil, a high school friend; Sandy, Larry's sister, and Andrea, Chad's wife. Chad and Andrea live next door to Larry's parents, to complete the connection. I have to say that the stability of friendship is something that wasn't apparent in the first wedding. The groomsmen, at that time, were friends of Carole, rather than lifelong friends of the groom. That says something.

Here are both families. To the left is Carole's dad and his wife. To the right are Larry's parents and, on the far right, Sandy's fiancee.

It wouldn't be a Star Wars wedding without light sabers. First with the groomsmen and ushers,

and then with Carole and Phil.

If you look at the photo of Chad and Larry dueling, you can see Larry is the shortest of his friends, and the ushers, who were also long-time friends of Larry's.

Beverage:  Fruit Juice


There Was a Wedding - Part 5 - The Ceremony

We often say, as the time for an event arrives, "It's 'show' time." Taken from theatre, we don't always mean that what's about to happen is a show. We just mean that the time for preparation is over. It's time for the event to happen and with it, whatever good, bad or glorious things that come. And, I've never been fond of wedding coordinators. I realize, for busy brides, they are a life-saver. Too often, they are a Mrs. Smith from 3rd grade, rapping her desk with a ruler and demanding total silence and obedience. A wedding is a celebration, first and foremost, of the love two people have for each other. Making it into a production number seems wholly wrong to me. Yet, there must be order, some order, some semblance of knowing what's to happen when. Without that, we stand around waiting for something to happen or we all rush in without apparent reason.

There is an order to a wedding; a set of rules handed down since we started doing these things willingly. At 5:00 p.m., the guests were seated. The DJs looked to the wedding planner, who was standing by the door. She lined us all up and made sure the ushers knew who was to go where. Larry's parents were seated first. Then it was my turn.

Next to be seated was my mom.

The dress she wore was from the wedding of my niece, Christina, back in 2011. It was perfect for an evening wedding. After mom was seated the ushers sat down and Carole's dad and his wife entered. Now it was time for the groomsmen and best man followed by Carole's attendants. Then we stood and Carole entered.

I love this photo. I'll be buying photos as I can afford them, but this is one from my first purchase. Not only is the photo of Carole beautiful, but, in the upper right corner, you see Larry reflected in the mirror. Torre Photography, the photographer, was on the recommended list from the country club. That's how the kids found him. I think this one photo is a good reason they were recommended. He knew right were to stand. Notice that Carole's flowers are also in a light saber hilt.

We also need to acknowledge we live in a documentary age. Almost everything has a camera attached to it. An event like this gets photographed from every angle.

Yet, those extra photos fill in where one photographer couldn't be.

Carole was worried about the dress. There was another one that she had found on the Alfred Angelo web site. It was pretty on her, but it just wasn't "take your breath" away pretty. She asked the saleswoman if there was something she could recommend, based on her likes. She brought this one, and a couple others, into the dressing room. When Carole emerged, after trying this on, Donna, Andrea (her matron of honor) and I audibly gasped. We knew it was "the" dress. As I look through these photos, I am so convinced it was the dress, the perfect dress; lace and pearls and crystals and just the right amount of train. (The dress is the Snow White Princess dress from their Disney collections line.)

It was a lovely ceremony. There were readings, given by the pastor, and a brief homily, humorous but to the point about loving one another.

They vowed to love one another forever, exchanged rings, and were pronounced husband and wife. There was the obligatory kiss and the pastor introduced Mr and Mrs Larry Oliver, Jr. They walked down the aisle to the original Star Wars theme. A few of us knew that was coming, but most people did not. There were quite a few chuckles.

I love this photo, too. Look at the grin on Larry's face. The apex of their courtship was here. Now it was time to celebrate. They have married their best friend.

We filed out. It's now time for the other obligatory part of a wedding,

standing around waiting for the photographer to come take the formal photos.

Beverage:  Fruit juice


Friday, April 24, 2015

There Was a Wedding - Part 4 - Can Someone Button Me Up?

If you have never been back stage, you do not have a clue what goes into the creation of the vision of loveliness that represents a bride on her wedding day. Even if there is a cummerbund and cravat involved in the pants wearing person's outfit, it's nothing compared to the dress wearer.

The bride's room was just a bit cramped for us. Carole, of course, took center stage. Andrea, her matron of honor, and Sandy, her bridesmaid, took spots on either side of her. Mom, Donna and I were near the door. There was a large bathroom around the corner from us which came in really handy when we're trying to apply what little make-up we wear.

Carole waited to finish getting dressed until the photographer arrived. As she said when we did this a few years ago, "When you're a bride and you want photos of everything, you have to give up some dignity."

Double sided tape and a matron of honor who is a high school drama teacher. Andrea knew exactly where to put the tape and what to do to make this go here and that go there. My mom, Donna and I got dressed and just waited. The country club decided we could use something cool.

Those are mimosas on the dressing table. It made me sad. I love mimosas but the days of consuming those are gone. In the upper left corner, you can see the non-alcoholic one they made for me. That's, essentially, orange juice and ginger ale, or 7Up. Still, it was nice to drink something chilled while we waited to finish getting Carole ready for the event.

Mom enjoyed just sitting and watching, once she got dressed.

The biggest issue, aside from getting Carole dressed, was the corsages Donna and I had. They were huge ivory roses.

It didn't matter which side we pinned them on, the wedding coordinator said, so we chose the left side. The top of my dress, you can see, is lace. I had to pin the corsage up higher than usual because the weight caused the flower to pitch forward and it would have torn the lace over time, as well as not sitting nice. And the flowers were bound so tightly in the corsage, that to anchor Donna's to her jacket required 3 pins. I was so afraid I was going to stick her or that the pins would work out over the course of the evening. They didn't. I left my corsage in Carole's fridge, unfortunately, when I came home. I wanted to bring it home to dry. (Just a note: the photographer was fantastic. It's going to be really hard to whittle down all the photos he took to what I can afford.)

Speaking of flowers,

the attendants carried bouquets of white hydrangeas in light saber hilts. When I was out there in October, we went to a Halloween costume store and bought a light saber. They removed the telescoping colored end and the florist made the interior water tight. Ingenious.

Carole's bouquet also went in a light saber hilt, the large one at the bottom of the photo. She carried huge white roses, blue hydrangea and blue delphinium. Here's the bouquet at the house later.

Year's ago, I had a silk replica made of my bouquet. I think she should do something like that for this. It was beautiful.

Meanwhile, Larry is getting dressed.

The hardest part, for him, was the wait.

It's now 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 21st. We are dressed. We are lined up. The guests are seated. The DJ is waiting for his cue to start the music. Carole is out of sight, waiting. Let's have a wedding, shall we?

Beverage:  Scottish Breakfast Tea