Cassie and Brian.. where to start. This day took the cake (pun intended). On February 25th 2017 these two tied the knot. Now I must say in advance, this was probably the craziest, busiest, funniest, most challenging wedding I have ever photographed. I can also say, it produced some of my favorite photos I have ever taken!!
The moments captured on this day were truly just that… a Moment. Fleeting. Brief period of time. Instant. Split Second. So, my friends if you are wondering why this was the craziest wedding I have photographed..read on. As for why it was the funniest.. wait for the dancing photos. In regards to why this was the most challenging, its very simple, Cassie and Brian wanted CANDID photos. They made it very clear this day was a celebration and we were going to enjoy every moment of it in a raw and unposed manner. Now, I pride myself on taking candid photos, I LOVE them. They are, simply put..truthful, impromptu and natural. However, they can also be the most challenging. As a photographer you almost have to anticipate the candid moments, you must alway be watching (sorry if that sounds creepy lol), and you must alway be ready. Challenging to say the least.
Now before I get into the mushy, gooshy details on why this couple is adorable… I have to give credit where credit is due to a few important people that made this day as amazing as it could possibly be!!!
MOH - Katie Schaus, undeniably a great friend to the Bride, always there when needed, calm, collected and genuinely a phenomenal MOH. Nice job lady!!
Brett Nooyen - 2nd shooter, 2nd in command, photographer extraordinaire, and obviously the best COP ever!! ( had to throw that picture in!)
Extreme Entertainment - WOW.. talk about a bumping party, these two (Eric and Ben) cranked the jams all night and helped people dance their socks off.. literally.
Radisson - Breathtaking atmosphere, wonderful staff and extraordinary customer service.
Barry with Sepia Chapel - Thank you for all your help on the rehearsal night and the big day, you made everything run smoothly!!
Elite Aesthetics - I mean just look at this make up/hair.. simply gorgeous.
Alright, now that I have properly thanked some great people, lets talk about the Bride and Groom. Cassie and I have known each other since college, so you could say we have been friends for quite some time. I can honestly say, I have never ever.. and I mean EVER seen her smile the way she does with Brian. I remember when I first met Brian. I remember thinking to myself, this man is a total opposite compared to Cassie. You see, Cassie hated being touched or having her space invaded. Brian practically brought down a forcefield when it came to Cassie. For those of you who have seen Star Wars, imagine the assault on the Death Star lol ( as to which one, take your pick!!). If you know Cassie, you know she doesn’t enter into a relationship lightly and she just doesn’t like being hugged. Something the MOH very politely called out in her speech the night of the wedding. Katie stated it perfect, “she knew Brian was special because Cassie was holding hands in PUBLIC”. It was almost instantaneous. They were together always and never grew bored of each other. They enjoyed playing volleyball, meeting friends for drinks, fixing up their new home and of course taking care of their amazing puppy Clay.
Throughout the entire day, Cassie and Brian were smiling. They were ecstatic to be with another and to announce it to the world!! It truly was beautiful to see such happiness and how it warmed those around them. I must say that being a photographer you are privileged to see all aspects of the wedding day.
The moment when the bride is frozen in the mirror, taking a deep breath and finally realizing the day was here. Watching Cassie get ready was intense. Her emotions spiked from happy, ecstatic, nervous to calm, collected and poised.
Now.. I do have to say if anyone was emotionally a mess, that would be Brian. I think there were probably five times I watched him choke back the tears. As he experienced that moment when Cassie was walking towards him. Or the moment when he finally was able to hold her hands at the alter. At one point I was able to ask Brian what his favorite part of the day was, to which he replied “Everything. I love everything about this day. But if I had to choose one, it would be putting that ring on her finger!”
Brian loved everything. To me, what he said meant, everything in the world could go wrong today and as long as he had Cassie, it wouldn’t matter. Sorry.. I’m starting to get all choked up on this one. I can honestly say that every moment I spend with a Bride and Groom that love each other this much reminds me of how it felt to be a Bride. How paralyzing it was to walk down the isle to the one person in the world that understood you and the relief you felt as you held his/her hand. The world disappeared and time stood still.
Sepia Chapel became its own world that day as these two said I DO.
THEN CAME THE PARTY!!
I have never been on a Limo but this group of people did it in style. I think there was a good ten mins where I heard a bottle of champaign popping every two minutes. I think this may explain a little bit about how the dancing came about.. that and a great DJ. Notice I keep leading up the the dancing… lets just say it was truly hard keeping my hand steady when I was laughing so hard, but I’m getting a head of myself.
Cassie and Brian spared no time, thanking their guest for being present and sharing their day. Their sincerity was felt across the room. Remember how I said that Cassie was not too big on PDA, well they decided that instead of the ‘clinking of the glasses’ that people would have to hoolahoop for at least four seconds before the Bride and Groom would kiss. Now, I had just told you how much the guest at this wedding loved the Bride and Groom, so naturally they took turns hoolahooping throughout the night, forcing many many kisses/PDA and in general smooching! I should have thanked each and every one of them as the photos turned out amazing!!!
I am not one to shy away from the dance floor, and it wasn’t too long after our fabulous dinner that Eric and Extreme Entertainment kicked the dance into full gear! Before I knew it I was snapping pictures during the cha cha slide, bobbing my head to Hootie and the Blowfish, or busting a move to Single Ladies. I was not the only one having a blast.. as I looked around the room, I remember thinking “wow, I don’t know if I have ever seen this many people at a wedding dance”! Peeling guest off the dance floor for the first dance was quite a task, but it didn’t take long for the mood to change. Cassie and Brian stole the dance floor, stole hearts and stole all moments within that time as they danced. Singing was even involved!!
Now to the garter toss… oh yes.. the moment we have all been waiting for. Brian had to dance and gain approval for the group of ladies overwhelming the dance floor. For those of you who have seen Mean Girls, it reminded me of the scene were the high school students turned into wild animals around a watering hole!! The place was alive!! Full of whooping, hollering and in general screaming as Brian worked for approval from all the single ladies! Don’t worry the men on the dance floor also contributed to the “screaming and hollering”, while dancing and crowd surfing. I told you this was a crazy wedding..
You may be asking..how would the Bride top those dance moves during her bouquet toss? Well, throw it on the head table of course!! Take a peak at the photo below, look up to the right, see the bouquet.. ya… we never said she was a good shot. The candid moment of the ‘singles ladies’ telling her she was ‘juuusst a little off’… was classic!!!
Needless to say the evening was a hit. The dance floor was buzzing, the Photo Booth rocking, and the Bride and Groom were elated. It was perfect.
I looked around at all the happy people, couples and friends of the Bride and Groom, the day felt complete. As I was scanning the room I saw the couple from my last wedding, Karissa and Joe. They were dancing, embraced into each other, holding each other closer than the night of their first dance if that was even possible. I was overwhelmed with happiness as I felt the night come full circle. You see Brian had come up to me at Karissa’s wedding and stated, “ you have 30 minutes of posed photos on our wedding day.. the rest are candid”, boom…mic drop. I remember thinking to myself… ‘whew no pressure’, but as the night closed I knew I had captured exactly what Brian and Cassie wanted. Brett and I had captured the moments between two people in love surrounded by their closest friends and family. It was a happy ending to a perfect day and the very beginning of their marriage.