Wedding ceremony on the front steps of your new home: check.
Sunday brunch wedding: check.
Breakfast buffet served in the yard (yes, with bacon and eggs): check.
Pink(ish) vintage wedding dress: check.
Involving your daughter IN the ceremony: check.
Giving out coffee mugs to each guest for them to keep: check.
Kickass photographer: check.
Officiant in a kilt: check.
First look on your front lawn: check.
A Star Wars entrance song: check
A bouquet made of paper flowers: check.
I could keep going but I'll stop and show you the pictures ...
Dasha walked up to me at some point during the getting ready process and asked:
"You are going to blog about me being sick, aren't you?"
"Yes, yes I am," I replied.
Let's rewind. At 7am in the hotel lobby while waiting for van to arrive to transport the girls to a ferry, I greeted Dasha with a smile. It was still dark out, her still in pajamas. She was feeling super ill, just hours after we joked at dinner the night before about being sick. Nobody knocked on wood. She felt like shit and there was no way around it.
Back to getting ready. As the hours ticked by I could visibly see her getting better and she handled her situation wonderfully. Maybe it was the anticipation, the excitement, the nervousness, or just the "bug" she caught leaving her system. Regardless, by ceremony time, although not 100% she was looking much better. The gorgeous surroundings could have helped as well. After all, we were on a remote private beach in Mexico only attainable by a ferry. Her close friends were with her, her family, and her fiance as well. While I'm positive she didn't expect being sick, she definitely didn't let it get her down too much. She was marrying the man of her dreams on the Pacific coast of North America while back at home in Philadelphia it was cold and snowing. She couldn't help but be happy, and smile. She also knew that in less than a week, her and Serge would be starting to hike the entire Pacific Coast Trail. Start to finish. Tell me thats not a badass honeymoon!
I always love it when couples plan a wedding experience so close to their personalities, and this was no exception. Everything was just like the two of them and you could tell they were in their element. Just like when they travel, they were dealt some cards they didn't expect and they played the best hand they could ... and it paid off. It was a long, humid, fun, day and I'll know every time they think about it they'll have crazy stories and big smiles.
On the ride over to the ceremony location, someone said "rain on your wedding day is good luck" and everyone turned to look at the monsoon building outside. "I've heard that too many times already today," chimed in Savannah. Every time someone tells me that from now on I'm going to take a drink." "People just say that to make you feel better," someone says randomly.
I just smirked, listened, and watched ... my finger on the shutter button.
When my plane landed in Florida the day prior, I walked out of the airport with my hoody on and hit a wall of humidity. April is supposed to be a decent time to visit the swampy state in the South, but Mother Nature had some aggression to take out on this particular weekend. It was 95 degrees while driving from Tampa to Lakeland. When I went for a run that night I was sweating before I even got a 1/4 mile down the road. I could have turned around and told anyone I just ran 5 miles and they would have believed me. The forecast for Saturday kept changing the days before. One hour it was 20% chance of rain, the next it was 90%. I've photographed enough weddings to know not to pay too much attention to any of it and just take whats given to me.
Saturday started off dry and humid. Then the dark blue sky rolled in. Just as I got into the car to make my way to Chris for a few shots of the guys getting ready, it started to drizzle. As I left his house to go to Savannah's it was a steady downpour. As Savannah put on her wedding dress, the clouds declared it was time and unloaded torrential rains on Lakeland, and so they did. And that went on for the rest of the day. We did get a little break in the rain during the ceremony, which happened to be indoors already. So that didn't matter much. But alas, it stopped a couple hours into the reception and people were able to finally get some fresh air and enjoy a few drinks outside.
We joked about it all after; the rain, the humidity, her dress being soaked. You can only play the hand you are dealt, and in this case Savannah & Chris were dealt some pretty shitty cards. But they rolled with it extremely well. And because of that, it didn't matter what the weather was. So here are some of my favorite images from their wedding day (which just so happen to be all b&w - I guess b&w and rainy days just work so well together) for you to enjoy //