Crystal+Jason+Hurricane Matthew // Chapel Hill Wedding

We can finally put “shot a wedding in an actual hurricane” on our photography resume now. Prior to this day we had gotten up to Tropical Storm level, but nothing quite like this. The brunt of the rain and wind from the outer bands of Hurricane Matthew started landing in the Triangle area a couple hours before we were to start photographing, and we ran out to Target and bought ourselves some rain boots shortly before we arrived (which saved our butts all day, but especially when I stepped into a surprise sink hole of mud that went up to my knee). We had umbrellas, but they didn’t do a heck of a lot against the sideways rain. I had my backup camera on my hip for about 3 minutes in the rain during the first look, and it died shortly after (along with shorting out our 50mm, which recovered later after drying out). The rest of our gear was in rain sleeves and soldiered on, but still got pretty wet. Needless to say, Geoff and I got VERY wet, but we did bring backup clothes for the reception. :D

Obviously, it’s physically and mentally trying to photograph a wedding in a hurricane, but I’m pretty sure it’s even more physically and mentally trying to have your OWN wedding in a hurricane after planning for months and months and months and then a stupid storm comes and blows all your plans into itsy bitsy pieces. I’m pretty sure I would’ve cried. A lot. Crystal and Jason did not. Like our cameras, it was like they had rain sleeves for their SOULS that were weather resistant (wow, what am I writing?). They did not complain. They did not cry. They did not pitch one single fit. They were champions. They walked through puddles in high heels and suits in sideways rain. They took almost all of their pictures inside a mining themed barn with dirt floors and lots of places to fake-mine for gems because it was the only dry place. As Crystal said, “I did not choose a mining theme for my wedding; it chose me.” Crystal’s dress was covered in water and mud the likes of which I haven’t seen in my eight year wedding career, but she seriously did not complain once. They smiled. They danced. They got married. They hugged their dog Atlas (equipped with an adorable orange rain coat).

I think it’s 100% safe to say that if the first day of your marriage involves you being outside in a hurricane taking pictures in mining hats and covered in mud, your marriage should definitely last. It’s like the Ikea test, only more hardcore. And it was a sight to behold. Congratulations, Crystal+Jason… may the rain sleeves on your soul continue to protect your positive attitudes for the rest of your lives.

  • Date: October 8, 2016
  • Ceremony + Reception Venue: 1870 Farm // Chapel Hill, NC
  • First Dance Song: “By the Way They Dance” – Jump Little Children
  • Crystal’s Occupation: Coordinator of programs & events for UNC’s Program in the Humanities, Pilates instructor, KIND ambassador and enthusiast.
  • Jason’s Occupation: Non Profit Communications, community organizer, distillery owner .
  • How You Met: We were both on campus at Gettysburg College for the Volunteer Leadership Summit. At the VLS opening dinner and reception, Jason wandered away from his table to go find one of his former professors, Buzz Myers. Jason found Buzz, and interrupted a robust dinner table conversation that included Crystal and our Maid of Honor, Anna Jordan.  To Crystal’s surprise, Anna vouched that that Jason was a quality human and introduced us the next day.  We planned and led a service trip together to New Orleans for and with other Gettysburg alumni.  Then we fell in love.  Then we got married.
  • Interesting Fact: Jason can clap with one hand.  We both love dogs.  We will have nine.  Crystal stock piles gifts year round for her giftatorium, and is an excellent gift giver.
  • Honeymoon: New Zealand, maybe/ideally.  More financially realistically, California.
  • Vendor Credits: Officiant –Dr. Steven Gimbel, PhD, Professor of Philosophy at Gettsyburg College. DJ – Nick Neptune of Good Times Assurance Co. Florist – Chapel Hill Florist. Pumpkin Spice Cake – Courtney Andress. Chocolate Cake – Mary Cleary. Mini Cupcakes – Maya Gergen. Caterer – Farmer’s Table Restaurant Group. Videographer – Dogwood Media. Coordinator – Rachel Feldman. Makeup –  Julie Robbins Makeup. Hair – Alexis Ethredge Icaza of Bacio Salon.


    David Schwartz

    Great photo’s and such a wonderful job of a photographer shootin a wedding during a storm, and the bride, groom and guests all being so positive. The photo’s captured that amazing day!


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