Taylor and Alex were just the coolest couple to work with. I've known Alex's mom forever and I got to know Alex when I took his high school senior pictures a few years ago. I met Taylor for the first time last summer and what a delight she is. These guys were a pleasure to work with and as easygoing as you will find. When Taylor first told me that they were changing their summer wedding to a winter wedding, I checked my schedule and saw that I could still do it. I then mentioned that maybe we would get some snow. The old saying, "Be careful what you wish for" comes to mind here. We got snow all right, when one of the biggest snowstorms in this area's recent history turned this wedding into one white wedding that no one will soon forget.
As the big day approached I kept watching the forecast and I soon realized that the snow was coming and I needed to prepare for it. Normal wedding days can be hectic and you throw in a colossal snowstorm on a weekday and I knew it was going to be challenging. I knew this was going to be unlike any wedding I had ever shot.
On the day of the wedding, while other people were out buying milk, eggs, and bread in preparations for the big snowstorm, I was out buying clear umbrellas for the wedding party to use in the snowstorm. I already had one but I picked up five more at two different stores on the way to the hair salon. The bride and bridesmaids had their hair and makeup done at Elle Salon in Eureka, Missouri. Debbie, Heather, and the rest of the crew there did a great job making the girls look their best.
We arrived at Elle Salon around 11:00AM, shortly after the ladies did. Ken, my assistant, started snapping pictures of the ladies getting worked on while I took detail pictures. The front porch of the salon was a perfect place to get some great natural light detail shots. I took pictures of the brides dress, coat and rings, but saved the necklace and the picture of the bride's deceased stepmother for last.
Taylor's stepmother, Sarah Brennan, sadly passed away last year. They wanted to honor her memory by having Taylor wear her necklace. They also provided a photo of her to include with the detail pictures. It was touching to me that although she was gone, they still wanted her to be a part of wedding day. As I began to take pictures of the necklace and her photo the first snowflakes of the day began to fall. Ironically a few snowflakes fell onto the photo and directly onto the Sarah's hair. She was the first person on this wedding day to be photographed with snow in her hair.
I finished up the detail photos and went in and took a few more of the ladies. At this point the snow was starting to really come down and I knew I needed to get to the wedding location fast before the traffic got bad. We left Eureka around 1:20 and it took us nearly an hour to get to Newtown where we grabbed a bite to eat. This is when I first heard about the traffic jams. Taylor was stuck in one, as was everyone else. It was over two hours later before I took another picture of anyone in the wedding party. Dave, my second shooter showed up and we hung out and waited.
Eventually the wedding party made it and I was able to snap a few photos of the guys before heading over to the townhouse where the ladies were finishing up getting ready. Thankfully it was only a block from the wedding chapel. After snapping a few photos of the ladies, I handed out umbrellas and took some photos of the ladies as we walked through the snow over to the chapel. We squeezed in a sweet first-look of the couple in the foyer of the chapel and about 3 minutes of couples pictures. Remarkably, after everything that had happened, the ceremony only started 30 minutes late.
The Newtown Chapel and the Newtown Events Tent are great for weddings and receptions. Julie and Shae did a great job coordinating the wedding and reception and they kept everything running smoothly. I had scouted out the Newtown area beforehand and I have to say that this beautiful planned community is a perfect backdrop for wedding photos. At this point though I was just glad the wedding party and the minister had made it to the wedding.
The bride looked stunning as she walked down the aisle escorted by her father. Everyone looked great and I think there was a collective sigh of relief that in spite of everything, this awesome couple was actually getting married. Like most weddings, the ceremony was short and sweet. One thing that was noteworthy and touching for me was at the end, during the recessional, the bride's mother, Lisa, was escorted out by her husband, Brent on one side and by her ex-husband, Tom on the other side. I thought this was one of the coolest things of the whole day. The world would be a better place if more ex's could get along like the Tom, Lisa and Brent do.
We originally had planned on getting a group picture of everyone at the wedding in front of the church but it was just snowing too hard. We settled on just the wedding party in the front with the happy couple in the balcony above them. The snow was coming down so hard that you can barely make them out. We then took the family formals and then walked over to the reception tent.
If you want to have a great wedding reception then hire Rhythm of the Nite to come play for you. They absolutely killed it with an awesome mix of both old and new tunes. Greg Worzel, Liz Whittier and the rest of the band kept the dance floor busy all night long. Everyone had a great time and I have to say some of those groomsmen have some nice dance moves.
It was indeed a memorable wedding day for everyone involved. Taylor and Alex, thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your special day. It was unfortunate that a number of friends and family couldn't make it because of the snow, but hopefully these pictures can give you and them a taste of that wild weekday winter wedding.
Special thanks to Dave Adams and Ken Dill for their help with the pictures.