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.

Amanda and Jennifer are two of the funnest people. Yes, funnest. Amanda has a really contagious, wonderful laugh, and Jennifer is incredibly funny. Together, they’re happy and laughing and adorable and the funnest. We woke up early and joined them for their brunch wedding (where there was french toast and sausage and eggs and some sort of magical potato hashbrown casserole) which was delightful because Amanda is also gluten intolerant so I could eat their food and also their cake (which was all very, very delicious). Also, brunch is the best, and their favors were mugs that said, “THANKS A BRUNCH” that I may or may not have been drinking tea out of all week because everyone loves a good brunch pun.

They are SO NICE! And their families are SO NICE! And we got to hang out with everyone and celebrate with them and be there for all those special moments like the one where they called their dog boarder in the car on the way to the ceremony to make sure their dogs were okay because it was the first time they had been boarded and they were concerned (spoiler alert: the dogs were fine and well adjusted and had made friends with the people at the kennel). And it was super fun and they had us laughing and entertained all day. Amanda and Jennifer are so good for each other and practically radiate little heart-eye emojis and we love them A BRUNCH.

  • Date: September 18, 2016
  • Ceremony + Reception Venue: The Weathervane // Chapel Hill, NC
  • First Dance Song: “All of Me” – John Legend
  • Jennifer’s Occupation: Massage Therapist
  • Amanda’s Occupation: Social Worker
  • How You Met: Jennifer saw Amanda’s picture in a Meetup group page on-line, and was excited to see a new face. One week later, we met at a charity event and became friends. A year later, we began dating, and were instantly inseparable.
  • Interesting Fact: We have three sweet dogs who collectively have 5 eyes, 10 1/2 legs, and together weigh 20 pounds. Amanda is from Brooklyn, NY and Jen’s niece’s name is Brooklyn! Amanda & Jen love game nights and are slightly obsessed with Sequence & Super Fun Word Game. Also equally love love love coffee.
  • Vendor Credits: Officiant –Rabbi Ken Brickman. DJ – Lenn Fritts. Florist – Southern Season. GF Cake – SugarBuzz Bakery. Mini Desserts – The Weathervane. Hair – Kellie Gates. Makeup – Michelle Clark. Coordinator – Lauren Powell.

Any wedding that has goats and/or paper cranes automatically gets an A+, but when you add in some stuffed animal versions of the stomach-bursting and face-eating aliens from Alien, you reach a whole new wedding level. Then there was hula hooping and one very charming ring bearer and also an entirely gluten free food truck (thanks, Deli-icious!) and a wedding party who looked damn good all in different “costumes” that Chelsea had picked out. Austin shaved his head. The wedding guests sat down in their seats for the ceremony but then got rained out, left their seats, only to come back like 10 minutes later when the rain stopped. There was a bagpiper and an alpaca. And the DJ played “Space Oddity” and “Birdhouse in Your Soul.” There were gummy bears too. The wedding exit involved whipping the bride and groom with Jiu Jitsu belts. And there was not just a regular goat but a baby goat.

Yet, even if the above things hadn’t happened and Chelsea and Austin would’ve just gotten married in a little patch of grass somewhere, it would’ve been just as charming and lovely because Chelsea and Austin are two amazing people. They love each other a lot, and it shows. They’re fun. And happy. But you know what? The goats and everything were seriously awesome so I’m blogging it all.

  • Date: September 3, 2016
  • Ceremony + Reception Venue: Chapel Hill Carriage House // Chapel Hill, NC
  • First Dance Song: “The Book of Love” – Magnetic Fields
  • Chelsea’s Occupation: Whole Foods grocery stocker
  • Austin’s Occupation: Physical Therapist
  • How You Met: College. I asked Austin if he could fix my computer. He couldn’t. I let that slide.
  • Interesting Fact: We both do Jiu Jitsu. We have been together 11 years. Austin is a ninja. Chelsea knows American Sign Language and is a freelance costume designer.
  • Vendor Credits: Officiant –Rabbi Marc Kline. DJ – Kate Steiman. Cake – The Cupcake Bar. Food Trucks – Porchetta, Chirba Chirba Chinese Dumplings, and Deli-icious. Videographer – Alex Maness. Coordinator – Lynn Scott of Happily Ever After. Chapel Hill Carriage House Owner – Brenda Leeper.