One week ago today, I shot the last wedding of my 10th wedding season. And I'm feeling quite accomplished. I've always said that ending the year on a high note is SO important - it sets the tone for your off season, and writes the preamble for the season to come. That being said, I couldn't have DREAMED a better wedding to end with. From the minute I met Brian & Emily for their engagement shoot last spring, I knew we were about to make some serious magic together. And I couldn't have been more right.
Brian proposed to Emily on a rooftop overlooking the city, so it is only right that they vowed their hearts to one another on the top floor of the Westin St. Francis on Union Square. I don't think that room has seen a celebration like theirs, EVER. The space was filled to the brim with laughter and the sound of clinking glasses, and that was BEFORE the dance party tore the roof off the place.
Exactly nine years & nine days ago, I photographed my very first wedding. And if you had told me then I would someday be photographing an olympic medalist's wedding in Kauai -- I would have told you that you were bonkers. I first met Emma at her sister's wedding three years ago (who also infamously held the cover image of my website for several years). So naturally when she first asked if I would be free for her wedding in Kauai, my heart jumped out of my chest and danced all over the place.
Joe & Emma's wedding was the stuff of my dreams -- a dropdeadgorgeous wedding party, 360 degrees of stunning views, a couple that couldn't stop staring at one another, more love and laughter than my camera could handle, and a little rain just to make things interesting. Even a perfect stranger could have waltzed into their wedding and felt the overwhelming sense of history and adoration these two share. And I am over the friggin MOON to share their wedding with the world.
When I first looked up the weather forecast for my big weekend of weddings in Kauai (spoiler alert: this is wedding number one of TWO) and saw rain and thunder clouds across the board, my heart fell a little bit. But then I remembered that rain never fails to make for an epic wedding story and beautifully dramatic photos. Boy was I right.
Colleen is a dear friend and industry college of mine, and so when she asked me to photograph her intimate backyard wedding the same weekend I was already going to be in Kauai, I couldn't say 'YES' fast enough. Ryan & Colleen make for a deadly cocktail of sarcasm, silly faces, and practical jokes - and their wedding was 100% true to THEM. From the first look surprise (just wait) to the relocation of dinner tables (you'll see), their wedding day was truly one of a kind and I just wish I could do it over and over and over again.
Truth be told, I love a million things about my job. But lately, my absolute favorite part is seeing that even when it seems our world is crumbling around us -- JOY is still possible in our world that LOVE still wins. With the daily bombardment of tragedy and sadness, I know I can count on seeing people smiling, dancing, and loving one another every weekend.
Carly & Emily's wedding was no exception.
The way these two women love one another, look at one another, hold one another -- it's an inspiration to humans everywhere.