When I set out for Peach Creek Ranch on the morning of June 6, I double checked my car to make sure I had 2 things: An umbrella, and my stool.
Of course, this is in addition to all of the normal equipment I bring to a wedding. But I had a feeling I would have a heightened need for these two items. I had already gotten to photograph Erin and Reid for their engagement session, and remembered how tall Reid is. He's definitely the type of client that my stool is a must for shooting (I'm only 5 foot 2, after all). And a quick glance at the radar showed a storm system over Huntsville, moving slowly our way.
When I arrived at Peach Creek, I forgot about the weather and got lost just hanging out with Erin and the lovely ladies in her family. As many brides have done during COVID-19, Erin and Reid had opted for a small ceremony with family and plans for a larger wedding on a future date. Because of this, there was a bit more of a relaxed atmosphere. There weren't as many moving parts to the day, and Erin had even gotten a second, simpler dress for the occassion. We chatted while I photographed her jewelry and details, teared up when she read her letter from Reid, and arrived at the ceremony time right on schedule.
At this point, I wanted to check the radar before the ceremony, but wasn't able to get service. Luckily one of PCR's owners, Ryan, was onsite to play the ceremony music and pulled up the weather. Low and behold, the storm was bearing down on us. I stashed my large clear umbrella near the ceremony site and put rain gear on my camera and lenses. I'm ready to shoot in any weather!
Forgive me here, as I am about to get a tiny bit nerdy from a photography standpoint. Skip to the pictures if you like!
The next 20 minutes was a ridiculously fun game of photography olympics for me. The storm was fast approaching from the back of the ceremony site, bringing a thick wall of dark clouds. The sun was shining full on from the other side, giving a contrasting lighting scenario every way you turned. It was fun, and a nice photography "workout", to expose the shots from all angles, especially because the changing sky made the light different every few minutes!
About halfway through the ceremony, the thunder started rumbling, and the guests started to see what was coming. I tucked my clear bride umbrella under my arm while I shot, ready to run up and hand it to Erin if the downpour came.
And y'all, let me tell you what happened.
As Erin and Reid were proclaimed man and wife, the rain started to sprinkle. Not rain, just sprinkle. The sun was still blazing from behind the ceremony site, and the drops lit up like sparkles around them. It was an amazing lighting scenerio, and as they came together for their first kiss, I quickly adjusted my settings to capture the raindrops without any blur. It all happened so fast I didn't have a chance to glance at the back of my camera to see if they came out as I wanted. Erin and Reid joyfully danced down the aisle, and as soon as we made it under the patio cover, it started to POUR. I finally saw the images of their first kiss, and darn near wanted to cry. Erin, Reid and the raindrops were glowing and backlit. The leading edge of the storm was almost exactly over the ceremony site, meaning we got the rain without the darkness. It was a lovely moment, and I'm in love with the images.
** Stepping off photography soapbox **
Erin and Reid, your wedding day was such a wonderful example of how you both are making beautiful moments among the mess that is 2020. Congratulations to you both!