You may recall that I was the photographer when our JessaLu got married back on 10/10/10. I had fun but being a wedding photographer is stressful. You want the photos to be perfect for your friend but you are dealing with diverse personalities and timing issues and lighting difficulties. You have to work fast under pressure and you don’t want to miss a single shot. I was happy to do it for Jess but I told myself I’d never do it again. You know what they say about famous last words, right?
A few months back I got a phone call from my dear college friend, Chrissie. She excitedly told me that she was engaged. She said that she and Tony were so happy and he was the one and she was finally taking the plunge and getting married – for the first time, I need to point out. And then she went on to tell me that they were having a very small wedding and the guest list was limited to immediate family only but she had figured out a way to have me there.
She wanted me to be her photographer. There was no way I could say no. I could not imagine her getting married without me being there and I knew this was something I could do for her that would be another milestone in our lifelong friendship. And so, a few weeks ago Dale and I traveled to Connecticut and I photographed the wedding of Chrissie and her Tony.
She got married at night, despite my best efforts to talk her into a wedding that would allow me to take photos in natural light, so all of my photos are taken with flash. I was so nervous about that since my flash experience is pretty limited, but I think they look just fine. Sit back and relax because I have a lot of photos to show you.
We’ll start with an obligatory shot of the dress. I’ve seen those custom made hangers on so many wedding photography blogs that I just had to get one for Chrissie. I really just wanted her to feel like a bride.
I love this shot of Chrissie’s mom and sister zipping up her dress. It shows nice details of the beading on the bodice but I also think there’s something so intimate and special about a bride being helped into her gown.
Chrissie was, of course, a beautiful bride. Her dress was simple and flattering and her bouquet was elegant.
They opted for a first look, thank goodness. I know it calmed Chrissie down and it meant I could relax a little about portraits after the wedding. Tony, on the other hand, was completely relaxed the entire time. Men.
The centerpieces were beautiful and seasonally arranged in large green pumpkins. Understated elegance was the theme of the day and it really shows in these arrangements.
The ceremony was short and sweet and made me cry. It’s really moving to see you dear friend profess her love not only for her new husband but for his children as well. I might have blubbered a bit but I still managed to get a shot of their first kiss as husband and wife.
Formal portraits are not really my thing but I managed to rise to the occasion and we got some great shots of their families and friends. It’s funny to think of Chrissie as a stepmom now and I know firsthand that it’s not always an easy role. These kids are great, though, and I can already see the love and affection they have for Chrissie so I think they will do just fine.
Speaking of love, there’s an amazing amount of love between Chrissie and Tony. They are always laughing and touching, kissing and hugging and it makes my heart glad to see my friend so happy.
Chrissie’s parents, Lucille and Jack, are wonderful people. They welcomed me into their home so many times when we were in college. They are kind and generous and I love spending time with them. When Chrissie first asked me to be her photographer and I told her how nervous I was that I would let her down, her mom made a special point of telling me what a great job I would do. It meant the world to me to have her confidence – it was like having my own mom there to support me.
Chrissie’s grandmother was there as well as her brother, her sister – who was her matron of honor – and family. I love this shot of the wedding rings of Chrissie, her mom and her grandmother.
Once the portraits were finished we enjoyed a fabulous dinner. And this is the part where I tell you about the very generous thing I did. Back in October, Chrissie asked me if I had a shawl she could borrow to wear during the reception as she was afraid she would be chilly. I told her I had my featherduster shawl and that it was off-white and warm and that she was welcome to borrow it. I considered knitting something special for her but I knew that my time was short and Chrissie insisted that borrowing something was absolutely fine. It really did look fabulous with her dress and she kept telling me how much she loved it and so, at the end of the day, I gave it to her. I can always make another one but she will only have one wedding shawl and she deserved to keep this for herself.
All in all it was such a special night. There were toasts in Polish and Italian. There was laughter and kissing. There was cake and chocolate sauce and an abundance of love and happiness for Chrissie and Tony and their newly combined family. My wish for them is that they always cherish these moments and that the pictures I took help them to remember the happiness of their wedding day.