Every wedding is special. We know that. But every so often, a wedding comes around that is a little extra special. For the photographer at least. I feel old every time I start dropping numbers about how many years it’s been since I’ve done something or known someone. I’ve known Jennifer since what, could be 1994 or something. Her older brother (who photo bombed half of our wedding photos fantastically) was my best friend in second grade and I don’t remember when but I’m sure I met his sister shortly afterwards. Through high school when it mattered less that we were a grade apart, we were in the same groups, stayed up late, rode the bus to basketball games, and grew up together in a real small town.
I never think about what life will be like twenty years down the road. Even as a senior in high school I never thought that ten years down the line I would be photographing my friend’s wedding. As those last few days of school tick by you don’t even know who will still be friends as soon as you leave that physical building that facilitated most of your human relationships up until this point. Then one day you’re congratulating the parent’s who’s home used to be your hang out. You’re catching up with the brother’s and sisters and new spouses and trying to work at the same time. Not long after, as I believe all wedding couples also find, the day has wound its way to the end and it is all over.
It was a beautiful Friday afternoon in the Twin Cities. I really do try to trust the gps on my phone, but yet again it led me astray and dropped me off in downtown St. Paul instead of the hotel where Jen and Jake were actually getting ready. Upon arrival at the correct location, I immediately ran into the father of the bride. Then it was off to hair and makeup. I think Jen had assembled a dream-team of goofs, as we went back and forth with the makeup artist; just being weird and ridiculous as per usual. Bride and groom were in close quarters, so I was able to ‘double-fist’ the photography and be in essentially two places at once while they were both getting ready. After seeing each other for the first time in their new fancy duds (and they were fantastic looking, I couldn’t decide who was luckier), we headed towards the W.A. Frost building.
We were in search of a suitable park with shade and fun something-or-others to give us something to work with. Just south of the Frost building, where the ceremony/dinner/reception would be held, was a little corner park that had everything we needed. It wasn’t yet dog-days-of-summer hot, but we were definitely warm and movement was kept to a minimum. My friend Darin, and brother of the bride (also can be found in my first blog on here ever), kept us entertained with selfies, photo-bombs, and general up-beat goofiness. It kind of felt like old times.
Jen and Jake are obviously the perfect couple. The yin to a yang, the perfect two pieces in a two-piece puzzle, the rum to a coke. I could see it when I told them to look at each other, making being in love seem effortless. I utilized this around the park, making the small size our advantage as we kept walking to a minimum. There were a few hair moments in the flowers when some bugs attacked us, but we were soon gone and found a couple more locations on the street. There’s nothing better than strutting your stuff on the sidewalk, and our ego’s were stroked by the honks of passerby’s letting us know we were doing it right.
The whirlwind began as soon as we made it back to W.A. Frost. Families had arrived, hugs were given, and we moved inside for the family formals. In moments it seemed the ceremony was upon us. Jennifer and Jacob stood before an intimate group of family as they officially tied the knot. We did one last entire-group photo, and it was time for dinner.
After that I don’t know what happened. I made the rounds to say good-bye and wish the new couple a bright future. The whole thing was over before I could blink. Then again, that’s how it always goes. I’m not old yet, but I’m starting to understand just how quickly this whole life thing goes by. Congratulations guys, and take it easy.