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






seattle wedding photographersafeco field weddingseattle wedding jay eadsseattle wedding jeff marshseattle wedding photographybenj haisch photographybenj haisch seattle

kidney stones suck

This is where I come in. Kidney stones, blinding pain, and morphine behind me, it was time to join the party.






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  • chrisSeriously crazy story man! What an amazing wedding though. Way to superman your way through it!

  • MattBeautiful photos and amazing story.

  • YuriyPhotos look awesome! Can’t believe you still went and photographed the wedding after your ordeal, that’s crazy.

  • dorothyso good. loved reading your post! thanks for sharing 😉

  • Debbie BlumenthalReading this on my kids 10 year anniversary!! Thanks for sharing!

  • jayeadsHOW HAS IT BEEN A DECADE?!?


If you visit the wedding blogs out there, they are so heavily detail-oriented, and not in the good way. The decorations and the venues aren’t unimportant, they all come together to make the backdrop for the day, but they aren’t the point. At least not in my mind. I’m people oriented. I shoot the details while I am at a wedding, however, I like to spend my time and energy on the people and the moments they share together. I photograph people. It’s what I love.

Here’s my typical image dump. You’re welcome, and I’m sorry 🙂

so much more after the jump…



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  • Jeff marshYou are such a stud. One of the ONLY photographers I respect, thanks for takingsuch incredible photos for us to always have.

  • michael baxleyjust ran across this post while surfing my google rss feeds…good grief this is rocking work! carry on….:)

  • Joel Florywow. solid group of images with some really spectacular ones in there.

  • Matt FerrellLove your work! A photographer that is a forerunner at what he does, Mad skills

  • Shelley HanlonWow! I want to get married again just so YOU can shoot my wedding. You are just amazing. By the way, when are you going to do a workshop?

  • hughnormally when i see that many images in a single post, i skip over most of them. not this time. looked at every one. you make good pictures, jay.

  • Eric KrebsAmazing! Could, already have, and probably will spend a long time enjoying each one of these photos. Father & Daughter dancing half way in post got the water works going on my wife immediately. Bravo Jay! Phenomenal work.

  • NickWow, some of the awesomest wedding images I’ve seen in a while. Great work.

  • Matt FerrellThat last shot bro, I keep coming back to it… Off the hook!
    Oh and love Jeff marsh’s wedding too… You killed it

  • Tweets that mention I do shoot weddings, I’m just terrible at blogging them | Jay Eads Photography -- Topsy.com[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gareth Robins, Eric Krebs, Laura Bradbury, jay eads, jay eads and others. jay eads said: a big fat wedding blog… an apology of sorts, i suppose 🙂 http://jayeads.com/?p=948 (oops, re-post due errors. yay) […]

  • Stephen JacksonWhen I’m running out of inspiration, I turn to music and blogs. Usually when it comes to blogs, I have to thumb back a few pages before I really feel I’m seeing something unique and inspiring.

    Thanks for making a post made with two full cups of inspiration and awesomeness.

    Also, thanks for reminding me how much it sucks to live in Georgia. Either sunny, muggy, and way too hot or raining, muggy, and way too wet. Never cloudy and awesome like Oregon or Washington. Boo.

  • Cameron BraunLoving the 4×5 crops here Jay. Such a good aspect ratio that I have such a hard time shooting myself. Adds a really unique touch to these images.

  • laurenjay, your photos make my heart pitter patter

  • jayeadsi’m pretty humbled about those comments… my wedding work always makes me self-conscious. thanks for the kind words!

    lauren… spear guns and rivers. that’s all i will say

  • BENJhey! I know some of those people.

  • Steve ElmerAwesome Overload.

  • Seattle Senior and Family Portrait PhotographerYou have some pretty amazing shots here! I love your creativity with silhouettes shots, very inspiring! Thank you for sharing your great work. It inspires!


  • Meredith Syou’re fantastic. these are so great and classic.

  • One to Wed - For Bridal Inspiration[…] Jay Eads Photography, The Knotty Bride, Every Last Detail, Pinterest, Style Me Pretty, Style Me Pretty, Elizabeth Anne […]

  • Heather EYou are so damn good, my friend.


Go do something kind for someone who doesn't expect it.