As a photographer, you can control a lot on the day of a wedding. You can gather information from the bride and groom—and their families—about images they are hoping for, and about the flow of their day. You can triple check the timeline, commit all the immediate family names to memory, make sure your equipment is spotless, fully charged and ready to go. You can try to make sure you’re well-rested and ready to walk out the door an hour early the day of the wedding. But you cannot, of course, control the weather.
Living in North Carolina as we do, there’s always the chance that an October wedding will fall right in the path of a hurricane; that’s what happened on October 8th of 2016, the day Susan and Charlie got married. We were lucky, and the hurricane only struck us a glancing blow, but I’ll certainly always remember this wedding, and only in part because I did all my exterior shots that day with the handle of my husband’s golf umbrella jammed down the back of my pants…
Susan and Charlie were troopers through the whole process, and in spite of the weather (or maybe even because of it, if you want to think romantically) the images from that day were beautiful.
The wedding took place at First Presbyterian Church in uptown Charlotte. It’s one of my favorite places to photograph a wedding because there are so many little nooks and crannies both inside and outside of the church where I can capture group or individual portraits. During Susan and Charlie’s wedding, we did our first look in the beautiful (and, if you believe the stories, very haunted) stairwell behind the chapel that leads to the church’s upper level. It’s one of the sweetest first looks I’ve ever done. When I work at First Presbyterian, I also love shooting in the Bride’s Room. This is where Susan had her hair and make-up done. The room is incredibly small, but it’s covered from floor to ceiling in framed photos of brides who have been married at the church. I love imaging all of their wedding days and looking at the different styles of wedding gowns and headpieces through the decades.
With our exterior options severely curtailed, I got creative with the rest of the portrait locations. In order to bring some natural light into the goings-on, I shot some of my portraits in hallways and doorways with the exterior doors propped open. A little wet? Maybe. But well worth the light. And just because I didn’t want the silly little hurricane to dissuade me from shooting outside altogether, I gathered the wedding party, posed them in a doorway, and then ventured outside into the gusting wind and rain. Which brings me back full-circle to the umbrella in my pants. Just as a marginal note, I now own the geekiest-looking backpack umbrella you’ve ever seen; it makes me look like some kind of dorky astronaut, but this was the wedding that convinced me it was more necessity than convenience.
The reception, which was not photographed, took place at Fleming’s Steakhouse. Susan and Charlie chose the location because they liked the food, of course, but also because the two of them did most of their wedding planning from Seattle, and Fleming’s was happy to make things easy.
I so enjoyed spending the day with Susan, Charlie, and their families and friends. If rain on your wedding day is truly good luck, you two must have it in spades. Happy first anniversary!
Ceremony Location: First Presbyterian Church
Floral Design: Elizabeth House Flowers
Hair and Make up: Sweet Southern Glam