I just love love. This summer I had the opportunity to photograph a wedding in the woods under the strangest of circumstances.
You see, it all started with a small, scared dog. A longhaired dachshund to be exact. Named Lambo. He had escaped from his family’s group campsite and gone on quite an adventure in the woods before running out in front of the car as if to say “Excuse me, have you seen my mom and dad?”. Before too long (and before it got too dark) we returned him to the camp where he came from and were offered a spot to set up the tent in exchange for bringing Lambo home. We gladly accepted because we were running out of daylight to find a good spot and the people were so warm and gracious.
While setting up camp a few people came over (we learned later were the Groom, his brother and sister in law) to check in on us and see if we needed any help, and also to thank us again for bringing their baby home. I know personally how crushing it can be when a pet gets lost and we were just so happy we came across him as well! Like I said, it was getting dark pretty quickly and he would have been in a real pickle had we not come along and picked him up. Serendipity. They mentioned that there was a wedding happening the next day. To which we quipped “Ya got a wedding photographer for this wedding?”
“Actually…. no! Do you want to do it!?” An opportunity we couldn’t really turn down, right?! DUH!
The wedding the next day was meant to start around 2pm but ended up starting around 5:30 or so— much to our photographic benefit because by that point the lighting had gone golden and warm and shimmery just the way I like it. We spent some time milling around talking to the guests who all had beers in their hands and were ready to celebrate. By that time the story of how a wedding photographer just happened upon an impromptu wedding in the woods by way of a little brown dog. It was a good story. For both us and the wedding party. Everyone was so incredibly warm and welcoming and happy to have us there. And we in turn were so grateful to be there and to have a nice place to camp and wonderful people to converse with.
The Bride finally emerged from the trailer and approached the hill where everyone had set up their camping chairs and some ribbon and flowers had been set up for the ceremony. She was just glowing. A simple lace dress with a purple under slip and her hair and makeup beautifully done. Now the glow may have been that golden light I mentioned….but I think it was more just the pure joy radiating out. She was escorted up the hill toward her father who was waiting at the top to walk her down the isle by her many many dogs. (oh yes, the dogs were a big part of the ceremony and that is one of my favorite things every about weddings—- when people make a point to include their furry family members too).
The ceremony was officiated by a good friend of the bride and groom (and the officient’s dog Cosmo who was very handsome in his little tuxedo). It was short— but so so so very sweet. We spenT about half an hour afterward taking the standard family photos for keepsakes and then were welcomed to have some dinner with their family and friends. They had a big cookout. Everyone had made the quick trip up to the mountains and into the forest to see their good friends get married— but the party was not lacking in any way. Music and laughter filled the air and everyone was just grateful to have been a part of it.
I can say that I was also so very grateful. We had just met them the night before—total strangers— but felt like we were a part of their story now and couldn’t have been more moved and amazed by the kindness, acceptance and graciousness of other humans.
I am generally a fairly shy and introverted person… behind the camera… always observing… rarely participating. But they made me feel comfortable and able to come out of my shell a little— that was pretty special.
Thank you again so very much to Kaycee and James and congratulations again!
I had no idea I would be shooting a wedding on vacation… but it’s the most memorable and special one so far.