Last Saturday was a little bit different. I have to admit. I have been photographing weddings for 13 years, but wasn’t quite as prepared for this one, as I would have liked to have been. It started out like most any Saturday wedding day does. I had finished all my prep for the wedding (much time and effort is spent to get ready for a wedding day and I will not go into those details, here). The sun was shining, for the most part, and there was no rain in the forecast. And, the weatherman had forecast the rain to hold off until Sunday. As I was putting my equipment in the car, I couldn’t help but notice the clouds thickening and the sunny morning turning a little drabber. Hmmm, I thought to myself- rain is supposed to come tomorrow. But, it looks like rain today.
Sure enough, on the way to the wedding site, about 7 miles up the road, we were met with a deluge of rain. It was raining so hard that it was difficult to get the equipment out of the car once we arrived at the ‘prep’ location. I have learned to have the big old golf umbrella handy, for such as this—and many other reasons—to be revealed in a few minutes. That big old umbrella can cover all my equipment and me, simultaneously. I realized, though, I should have had two, as I looked at my assistant/son standing by the car, quite a bit less than dry. Next time….
I am now going to condense the rest of the story. The cute beach cottage, where the prep took place, was just behind the dunes from the beautiful beach location. The rain stopped shortly after our arrival, and we photographed the prep time of this cute, fun couple and their family and friends. After which, it was time for the ceremony.
Ahhh, it was just gorgeous—nice soft light due to the few leftover clouds, with a gentle breeze that gave a slight sway to the sea oats. The glistening sand and surf and blue ocean water were just perfect as the clouds continued to head out to sea. The seating area for the guests included a number of rustic benches, arranged as church pews, and lined, on the inner side, with seashells forming an aisle for the bridal party. Everything was just perfect. The beginning of the ceremony was elegant and tranquil, as the seagulls peered on from their flight high above us. There was even a slight hint of a rainbow on the distant horizon, just behind the bride and groom, and we captured those wonderful moments, realizing their uniqueness.
About five minutes into the ceremony, as the sun continued to shine, my other assistant (oldest daughter) caught my eye—we know how to do that, as family—and asked if I wanted her to get the umbrella. About the same time, I noticed the sun starting to go behind the clouds, and me having to compensate in my metering. I nodded for her to do so. She arrived back with about 10 seconds to spare. Although, there was not a sprinkle and the sun was still shining through—the heavens opened and the water poured down. That is the best way I know to put it. The umbrella was handed (thrown) to the bride, groom and officiate who were in the middle of the vows. And, the rain came down even harder. We continued to document ALL of this wedding day. I looked and cameras, lenses, and flashes were soaking wet. There wasn’t even a proper time to cover them and they were about as wet as they could get—in one quick moment. What to do? I kept documenting. That is what I do. That is why I was there. I didn’t want to miss a moment. The rain—it was part of their day, too. (I have to add, here—this is the first time in 13 years, I didn’t have time to cover my equipment prior to the deluge. I guess there is always a first).
At this point, things changed. Everything became a little, may I say, more jovial? The vows were read faster, the kiss was a little shorter, the bride and groom and all the guests were laughing, and the guests were trying to hide under anything—husband’s jackets and whatever was handy. The couple’s dog was under one of the benches. The bridesmaids were trying to protect themselves with their bouquets. All this was caught in the images. I am pretty much on automatic at this point, as are my daughter and son, and capturing it all. We were supposed to take an all attendee photo after the ceremony; instead, as it continued to pour, in the bright sunshine, an impromptu reception line, of saturated guests, formed to congratulate the bride and groom as they stood on the edge of the dunes, umbrella overhead, laughing and enjoying every moment.
Then, it happened. The rainbow appeared. You know, one of those amazing, across the whole horizon, rainbows. It was magnificent. I looked at the bride and groom, got their attention, pointed and said, ‘Rainbow!’ To that, we ran out into the open, away from the others who were heading inside to escape the rain. What a great time and great moments were ahead for the two photographers and the new Mr. and Mrs.
It was raining so hard, that I could not see my LCD screen, or histogram (as part of that screen). I had to trust my internal camera meter and shoot. And, not only did we get some great images, but there was a double rainbow we couldn’t even see with the rain coming down as hard as it was. Yes, as the sun continued to shine. In fact, in a couple of the images, the bride and groom appear to be at the end of the rainbow, literally. What a great time! What a great day! What memories captured forever!
The images (just a snippet from their day) I am sharing portray the period of time I have written about in this very lengthy blog, plus a few from when the rain finally stopped and the clouds moved in to stay, leaving a very romantic mood on the beach for this perfect pair. I am so happy to share them with you. Enjoy! Congrats, Mr. and Mrs. R!!!!
Oh—Did my equipment survive? I am still waiting for the verdict on a couple of my flashes, but so far, so good, on everything else. Yay, for Nikon!