Rachel and Brandon got engaged! And then, while searching for wedding venues in New Orleans, they serendipitously stumbled across some weddings I shot down there and contacted me to do their engagement session in Durham where they live. They were super pleasant and friendly via e-mail and phone and I was already excited to work with them and their dog Jovie. But then, a few days before the session, Rachel casually sends me an email that reads, “And a heads up. We recently rescued a kitten, so he’d have to be involved here as well.” I like how she worded this: the kitten has to be involved… as if to imply there might be some sort of chance I wouldn’t accept?!?? Or would tell her, “NO. ABSOLUTELY NO KITTENS.” Rachel did not know me well enough when she sent that email but I think she does now. This is when I grabbed my Crazy Cat Lady cape from the back of my office chair, slung it around my shoulders and got to work converting her engagement/family session into 100% a kitten session without even trying or thinking about it. I did try very hard to pet Jovie the dog and hug Rachel and Brandon equally but let’s face it, I think they all knew I was there for Crash the Cat. Crash is really good at posing because he’s really good at sleeping when he’s not running full speed around the house. Jovie is really good at eating Crash’s cat toys and also entire Dominos pizzas when we weren’t looking. Rachel and Brandon are good at looking cute and adopting a lot of animals and eating pizza. I wish I was still shooting weddings so I could follow them to Nola, but these kitten photos were a good consolation prize.
We absolutely adore the Museum of Life and Science, especially the inside and the outside of the butterfly house, so it was a little bittersweet that this was our last wedding there. But, we were so thrilled that the couple getting married was Sam and Mark, and that they stood in the high humidity of that butterfly house for us, and that Mark wore a trumpet flower as a hat. They truly are the best. We photographed their engagement session last year after they found us through Jessie and Dan. And soon in September we will be photographing Sam and Mark’s friends Sarah and Brandon and so all three of our wedding couples of past, present, and future were at this wedding together and it was so fun to see them all in one spot! SO MANY TEARS. Okay, nobody cried at all, but it was still nice.
I did cry at their wedding ceremony however, but it was from tears because their ceremony was hilarious. It was the very first one in my 10+ years as a wedding photographer where the officiant (their yoga teacher) had previously asked them to list some pet peeves about one another to her, and she incorporated them as vows. So there was a lot of vowing to stop leaving dirty clothes on the floor and cleaning up toothpaste from sinks. I expect they might need a vow renewal for at least that part of their ceremony every few months, but it’s important that they’re trying. We love these humans, and are so happy to be part of their day. Not only because their day involved the butterfly house but also spacemen and one chinchilla, but also because they’re great.
Date: June 1, 2019 Ceremony+Reception Venue: Museum of Life and Science // Durham, NC First Dance Song: “Here’s To Us” – Halestorm How You Met: At Duke Honeymoon: Tuscany Officiant: Sommer Sobin Band: Dance Candy Florist: Tre Bella Cake: Guglhuph Caterer: Rocky Top Hair+Makeup – Wedding Hair by Liz Coordinator: Stacey Newberg of Events by Memory Lane
Olivia and Gunnar eloped in Raleigh in mid-November and had their closest family and friends in from out of town to stay at a big house in Raleigh to celebrate with them. Olivia and Gunnar are originally from Alabama but recently moved to the area for jobs, and we’re so glad they did! They are awesome people who are super sweet and like key lime pie. And I automatically trust anyone who loves key lime pie. They enjoy cooking together and are pretty into food. But, so is their dog, and upon returning from a honeymoon in Ireland where they brought home chopsticks from one of their favorite restaurants there, their dog dug through their bag and ate said chopsticks. You can’t with ’em all. They told us of driving through Ireland on the wrong side of the road which sounded terrifying, and they told us about black pudding which sounds totally disgusting, but beyond that, Ireland sounds really great and it’s still high on our list of places to visit someday (just without the black pudding maybe). At home, Gunnar likes video games and building computers and doing techie things, and Olivia likes all things true crime and watching movies (and we all agree that Pet Semetary definitely should not be remade as it’s perfect in its original form). We had a great time meeting their families at their elopement in Raleigh, and then a great time on a slightly drier day photographing them in Durham. Thanks for finding us, Olivia and Gunnar, and may you have many more chopsticks someday that your dog doesn’t eat. Congratulations!