Every once in a while you have a wedding experience that takes a bit more to explain than normal. I know the post isn’t supposed to be about me, but about the couple… however, in this case I wanted to blog the wedding (3 years later) with an added element of lessons learned. After all, it’s a good thing to learn, and an even better thing to share what you have learned. Why did it take so long to blog? I never loved blogging until the past year or so, and I really felt like there was a broader narrative to go along with the post, but I really wasn’t sure what to say. For some reason, there is greater clarity, and more of a sense of humor about it today than 1095 days ago 🙂 This story is equal parts bride&groom, and photographers, at least for the sake of this post. Feel free to skip the words and go right to the pictures, if you like… it won’t hurt my feelings.
I have always loved Jeff and Alise’s wedding, with all my heart. Now, there are a number of reasons for that. 1) My good friend Benj shot it with me (you can see his post HERE) 2) it was a great party 3) Jeff and Alise are exceedingly kind, but more on that in a bit. The day started out early and great, as Benj and I headed towards Safeco Field for some early morning portraits with the boys. I love Seattle, and I love driving, so for me… this was the best way to start the day. The funny thing about life is that any day can start one way, and take as many turns as you can imagine. Some turns happen by choice, and some start as dull aches in your side. The dull ache gave way to genuine pain. The manageable pain quickly became unbearable in a matter of minutes, and I am pretty sure Benj was privy to new profanity being born into the world that morning. For real. I couldn’t help myself, obscenity became my hand to squeeze… and I fractured that hand with everything I could remember Eddie Murphy teaching me in his RAW special those many years ago while in middle school. I’d never had surgery, broken a bone, or been hospitalized in my life, so this was new, and more than a bit scary. I looked to Benj’s face for reassurance, but he looked even less sure than I felt, so, I parked in an intersection in front of a police car and ran towards them to ask where the hospital was. In retrospect, I am pretty thankful they didn’t shoot me 😉 They directed me to the hospital, Benj drove, and my impatience prompted me to jump out of my truck and sprint the rest of the way, because traffic was too slow. Profanities and the cute nurses laughing at my use of them lead me to a hospital bed, where all I could think about was stopping the pain.
Again, I’m sorry that the story seems to be about me, but unlike most wedding days I spend, it really was. This is where people become endearingly meaningful to me. Two kinds of pain killers and ultimately 3 doses of morphine later, it all hit me. Benj was left on his own, with a hysterical friend in the hospital… my clients just lost their photographer, perhaps for the whole day… PLUS, what is even wrong with me? Well, it was a particularly fun case of kidney stones, and the doctors weren’t hopeful that I was going anywhere. So, as all good tech users do, I tweeted, facebooked, and electronically shared my situation, just to get my mind off of things. That’s when it happened. I started getting messages from photographers I had met once, twice, and even never, offering to cover for me… asking if they could do anything. Important, busy people with much more to do than offer to help me network additional coverage, some of them from across the country. This was “file it away in the YES, THE WORLD CAN STILL AMAZE YOU” moment number 1. The next one came as I started getting texts from Jeff, not with any sense of tone or frustration, but genuine concern and encouragement. It was at this point that I decided that come hell or high water, I was going to the wedding. I had already missed a couple hours of early portrait time (my very favorite), and I wasn’t going to miss the whole day. I drank enough that I may have bumped up to being 90% water, however; that, paired with more morphine got me ready to go. Benj’s wife, Maddie, came down to the hospital, saw me through checkout, and took me to the wedding, despite being 40 minutes away. It’s a bit fuzzy, but I do seem to remember her getting me lunch, too. Another kindness to file away.
When I got to the wedding, I admit, there was some nervousness on my part about entering the day in-progress, and whether people would be frustrated at my absence. Not even a little hint of it. Alise, the bride, on the day of her freakin’ wedding in which her photographer went into the hospital the morning of, was warm and excited to see me, and it was like nothing had ever happened. Talk about not sweating the details. This is to her credit. Alise is the real deal. Jeff, the parents, the bridal party, everyone was amazing, and I could even see a bit of mama-bear in the eyes of the Mother-of-the-bride. Their wedding is still one of my favorite wedding days, minus the searing pain and hospital thing, and that’s not just the morphine talking.
The wedding itself was beautiful. The ceremony was intimate and moving, the speeches were equal parts funny and heart-felt, and the food was to die for. Speaking of, the caterers refused food to me, Benj, and the guys in the band until everyone else had been served, and the dishes were cleaned up, at which point the photographers would obviously not be eating anything. I will forever remember fondly Alise’s mom giving the caterer hell for that, and just how quickly we were served as she walked back to her table with a wink. If I could only high-five a wedding… this one had it all, including my favorite day-after-bridal session in the rain.
Benj was a good friend to me that day, and an amazing photographer. I can’t say enough. Just look at the comfortability on the faces of everyone, he is obviously good with people, because he walked into a rough scene and performed with, well I wasn’t there… but whatever he performed with knocked it out of the park (pun intended). The first section of the blog is all him, I’ll note when I decided to drag my medicated tail to the party.
Everyone earned their stripes and showed some real character that day. Three years have gone by, and I am no less thankful for Benj’s talent and willingness. No less appreciative of Maddie’s care and concern. Time has not lessened the meaning behind all of the tweets and texts and phone calls from fellow photographers, offering help. I am no less amazed by Alise’s grace and poise. I smile just as wide reading Jeff’s text messages, encouraging me to just “piss that thing out and get over here LOL.” Yep, I saved Jeff’s messages. These are things I want to remember and carry with me. Why did I write all of this? Is this the kind of crap people can expect on my blog? Maybe. It’s certainly not my normal wedding post, but I wanted to share this because we all really should hear about how we need each other from time to time. Reminders to go out of our way to love the people around us are good things. Who knows, maybe Baby Girl Marsh (due in one month) will read this one day and see what great parents she has.
I apologize it took me so long to post this wedding. I wanted to do it justice, and I have revised this draft 6 times over the years. But hey, you have to admire my consistent inconsistency with blogging.
My bio says something along the lines of, people are what cause me to love photography. It’s really true. My job is about trust and relationship… even in the disconnected technological age we find ourselves in. Now, go do something nice for someone who doesn’t expect it.
Longest. blog. ever. I’m done
VENUE – THE ARCTIC CLUB SEATTLE
“SECOND” SHOOTER – BENJ HAISCH
BAND – ROMAN HOLIDAY
BRIDAL VENUE – PITTOCK MANSION
This is where I come in. Kidney stones, blinding pain, and morphine behind me, it was time to join the party.
AND NOW THE BRIDAL SESSION