OK, now I have posted some long blog posts in my day, but this one’s just ridiculous. 180-something pics in a blog post. This has got to be good for SEO or something, right?
Well if you are wondering why so many photos in a single blog post, it’s just because I could no longer edit them down. I’m not even sure my bride and groom will make it through this post.
I better not waste too much time typing.
OK, so Michelle is the bride, and she was one of my friends from college. We had some great times; everything from whitewater rafting to baking cakes (our college town wasn’t too exciting).
I think from the time we met (at a dental office, where she was a receptionist and I had a cavity) to last weekend when I shot the wedding… we would hang out very consistently, like, once every 4 or 5 months. So we were like super good friends who hardly ever saw each other, which is how it is with most of my really good friends, come to think of it.
Michelle dated a lot of guys and I never really met any except for Austin, the guy she married. But I heard a lot about them and they were either really desperate, or meat heads (what I pictured in my head), and once I told Michelle some great advice I once got, and I said “Michelle, don’t take any wooden nickels”. I didn’t really know what that meant until about 10 minutes ago when I wikipedia’d it and luckily it meant kind of what I thought: “Take caution with your relationships and beware of trickery”. I always assumed it meant “Don’t sell yourself short”. So yes, I think I got it right.
But then I became concerned, because at about that time, she began to get very picky with guys and I was like “oh great, she is taking my advice too far and is not compromising AT ALL”. I was then thinking that she’d never find this guy she had drawn up in her mind.
Then one day she asked me to photograph a company event and I got to meet this guy, Austin. My first thought was, “wow this guy has super curly hair” and that’s a compliment. You should see my hair. It’s about as boring as it gets and I have a horrible receding hairline. So yeah, I was jealous. Then I got to talking to him and he was smart, articulate, all the while very cool and approachable. I thought to myself, “holy cow, he exists”. I knew I’d be shooting their wedding.
So that’s my history with the bride and groom, and Michelle: I’m so excited for you – great job! Now that story time is over, let’s get to the pics.
We started taking pics at the rehearsal dinner in Michelle’s parents’ back yard. Michelle and Austin:
So at the rehearsal dinner, I basically just moseyed around and took photos of whoever would allow it. For me, the rehearsal dinner is a time to figure out who the key players will be at the wedding. Here’s Michelle with what is called a “bff”.
Steuben’s came by and provided everyone with Cubanos, and other really nice looking food. #winning
Cute little girl eyeballing the snacks? Yes, that’s a pic I want. Busted!
Culinary rule #317: “When in doubt….
Yes, I like taking pictures of people taking pictures.
Look, here’s another guy with great hair. True story, I often have a dream that I walk into the bathroom after waking up (but I’m not awake – I’m just dreaming that I am). I know what you’re thinking and yes it sounds a lot like I am going to wet the bed. Fortunately my version takes a different spin: I look in the mirror and I have INCREDIBLE hair. I wake up with invincible self-esteem. And then I really do walk into the bathroom and look at myself and my heart sinks. I blame guys like this.
I love this pic. These two little BFFs have totally opposite features, but the exact same smile. Love it. Kids at this age usually feel weird showing their teeth in photos when they smile. I went through that mysterious phase myself. But I still don’t get it. Teeth shown or not, they’re cute.
What’s that I hear? Laughter? Gotcha.
No, we’re not at the St. Regis, Dana Point. We’re at the Young residence.
Ladies pic! Michelle’s mom on the far left was all about posing. Love it.
You can lick your monitor. I did.
Then I was like, “Hey Michelle, how do you feel about the big day tomorrow”…
Then I was all, “how was your Cubano”?
We got Austin to take a pic of me and Michelle. I told you I have horrible hair. If you look to the slight right of middle of my hairline… that’s my comb-over. It will get more awkward over time.
It’s the real deal. We’ve got some kids ready to get hitched!
The next morning I caught up with Austin and the boys for some golf pics.
Austin’s got a great swing and look at the determination on his face.
Austin’s Dad kept calling me Marky. I loved it. It’s what every guy in my family calls me. I also heard him call a guy named A-Aron. He said he just called him that because that’s what everyone calls him. But watch this video. I knew where it came from! One of my favorite skits:
Being the man of the hour, Austin’s crew cheered him on like this for every shot. This is a totally candid capture.
Meanwhile in the cottage… As a photographer, it’s details details details. And Michelle had great details hanging around for me to photograph.
Getting all dolled up…
I took this photo and the girl with the whine looked at me like I was some sort of weirdo, photographing her armpit. But I wasn’t!
Back at the guy’s place, I spied the vows as written by Austin himself.
And back to see what the girls are up to again – final touches!
Time for a first look! Someone’s getting pumped.
Some bridesmaids, happy to be here…
I stopped by the reception tent to snag a few more detail shots. Great work by Rachel Austin Events! An incredible wedding professional, that if you’re a bride, thinking of getting married anywhere… call her up. And no, she’s not related to the groom, oddly enough.
Some guests were there in spirit. A nice tribute to a couple of fallen family members.
I love photographing candid shots of guests during the seating.
Ohhh, I caught you looking at your watch!
TIme to party.
Two dads are all about it.
Michelle and her beautiful grandmother!
I snuck some crab when no one was looking. I was like, “I shouldn’t. I’m a professional.” Then I was like, “Man, I know Michelle! She would want me to have some crab.”
I came back for seconds.
The effects of alcohol consumption are already kicking in…
This one’s for you, Aunt Barbie!
Time for some toasts!
Turns out, Michelle’s dad is this incredible speaker, whose story got a little sand in my eyes.
Don’t mind if I do!
Now that Michelle and Austin have loosened up a bit, we went out for some more pics.
Let the dancing begin!
The band was awesome. They played a lot of pop music and R&B classics. I loved them. Someone threw them a curveball and requested some John Denver, and that was really funny. They gave it a go, but quickly resumed their usual playlist.
Very cool gift. Check out these home brew labels.
And then I was like, “OK I”m going to grab some photos of people who look like they know each other…”
Oh dang, almost forgot to make it official! Luckily, Rachel Austin was on top of things!
Nothing strange here, right?
Now it’s time for me to photograph guests after a few drinks on the dancefloor… Always good material.
I call this move “the Pteradactyl”
My man Russ and his wife.
Like a boss.
Usually I finish off my blog post with a photo of the bride and groom. But not this time. 🙂
Congratulations, Michelle and Austin. Thanks so much for having me. Don’t be a stranger now that you’re in Texas. Let’s grab a drink next time you’re in town. Wishing you all the best!