We’ve been long-distance-email-friends with Cat and Mitchell ever since they wanted to have their consult at a Waffle House. Then Cat got in the habit of sending me Buzzfeed lists of ridiculously terrible and over-the-top engagement photo ideas, and then insisted we meet for tacos before their engagement session where she showed up wearing galaxy leggings. We keep trying to see Brand New with Mitchell and we’re fairly confident that it will work out someday but the chances of it working out would be even stronger should Cat and Mitchell move closer to us. They had their wedding at Starlight Meadow, an amazingly gorgeous farm-barn wedding venue out near Burlington, and brought in the most important of all wedding accessories: a bouncy castle. Cat wore a pink dress and the whole wedding was comic-booked themed with dinosaurs for an added touch. Mitchell wore batman Converse shoes, and Cat wore Joker converse shoes. My favorite part of the whole day was when the little flower girl saw the Joker converse shoes and said, “Ohhh, Aunt Cappy, and they are beautiful!!!” and gasped and made some other clearly impressed noises like they weren’t in fact very fun and awesome Chucks, but rather jewel-encrusted Cinderella slippers. Well, that was my favorite part of the day until an adorable black cat showed up  and decided to take some pictures with us until the staff at Starlight Meadow lovingly escorted him away (much to our disappointed and sadness). It was a pretty great wedding.

Date: August 8, 2014

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Starlight Meadow // Burlington, NC

First Dance Song: “I Love You But I Don’t Know What to Say” – Ryan Adams

Cat’s Occupation: Math Teacher

Mitchell’s Occupation: Logistics Coordinator

How You Met: The old-fashioned way

Interesting Fact: Mitchell proposed on the first date after discovering that Cat has a Batman tattoo.

Honeymoon Destination: Beach immediately following, Italy later in the year

Vendor Credits: Officiant – Reverend Jac Grimes | DJ – Mitchell made a playlist. He goes by DJ Tanner | Florist – Vestal’s Florist | Cake – McKenna McCleery | Caterer – Butch Miller and Shot Justice | Hair – Sydney Jones and Jason Johnson | Makeup – Crystal Leonard | Coordinator – Cathy Justice | Guitarist – Greg Hyslop

Our first e-mail from Melanie said, “Two girls getting married in Durham seek cool, laid-back, easy-going, ridiculously talented photographers to capture every detail of this illegal venture on June 7, 2013 at Duke Gardens. Two wedding dresses, two mothers of the bride, two step dads, one dad, two maids of honor, zero bridesmaids and one awesome party. We met at a white trash party, Nicole took Mel’s stitches out after ACL surgery and impressively told the surgeon “I got this.” A year later Mel saw Nicole doing Soulja Boy moves on the dance floor and knew she needed to get to know this girl better. So she did. We are celebrating the fifth anniversary of our first date on 12/12/12. Mel asked Nicole to marry her on Labor Day and gave her a ring. A month later Nicole asked Mel to marry her back and gave HER a ring. Because you can do cool stuff like that when you are two girls.” For reference – Melanie is in the pink dress, Nicole is in the ivory dress.

We loved them instantly. Then they came over to our house and Nicole wore this sweater. At that moment, we may or may not have begged them to let us shoot their wedding. They agreed. Then all went out to see Jurassic Park in 3D. They screamed really loud when the velociraptor attacked. Then we photographed their “gay and awesome” wedding ceremony (our first gay wedding!). And then went out two days later to see Iron Man (not in 3D… and no screaming this time). We found out that the paths behind our houses connect so they’re going to be seeing a lot more of us (provided they like their pictures) so that we can visit their elderly cat named Syd (see below) whom Carolyn befriended at the wedding.

Besides it being the first gay wedding we’ve photographed, it was also the biggest wedding heist we’ve EVER seen pulled off in the history of our career. I’d use this blog to lecture all of you ladies out there who are afraid of the rain on your wedding day, but I’m kind of sure that the pictures speak for themselves. Red/orange radar from a tropical storm and two brides who didn’t care at all but who were determined to take pictures outdoors come hell or high water (quite literally very high). We were soaked (and changed our clothes before the ceremony; Carolyn blow-dried her shoes in their bathroom) but the girls stayed relatively dry thanks to umbrellas… and this should prove to ALL of you that it’s better to dance in the rain than to have indoor pictures. Anyway – it was wet. The ground was flooded. Duke Gardens wouldn’t put out chairs because they would destroy the extremely saturated grass. But Melanie and Nicole are like the honey badgers of the bride world and had their wedding outside anyway with standing guests. The sun came out one hour prior to ceremony time. It was amazing and totally unreal. Their pictures after the ceremony at Duke Gardens are a sunny day. One of their guests asked us the evening before what’s the craziest thing we’ve ever seen at a wedding – and now we have an answer. :)

Date: June 7, 2013

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Duke Gardens // Durham, NC

First Dance Song: “I Remember” – Whitley

Melanie’s Occupation: Healthcare Market Consultant

Nicole’s Occupation: Physician Assistant

How You Met: A sequence of events that included a white trash party, stitches, and dancing the Soulja Boy.

Interesting Melanie Fact: Had ancestors on the Mayflower, can be spotted as an extra in the movie Whip It, and can’t fold a fitted sheet to save her life.

Interesting Nicole Fact: Swam with sharks and touched the Pope, though not at the same time.

Honeymoon Destination: Italy next year! We hope.

Vendor Credits: Officiant – Antoinette Polito (friend) | DJ – All the Right Grooves | Florist – Melanie and Nicole and Whole Foods :-) | Cake – Durham Catering Co | Caterer – Durham Catering Co | Hair/Makeup – Angela Goldman, owner, A Go-Go Salon | Coordinator – Nicole Conder, Premier Party Planning