A few months ago I was asked to shoot a wedding back home. Basically out in the country. A small gathering in the backyard of the church, next door to the bride’s parent’s home. An outdoor ceremony with wooden benches and a picnic reception with yard games. And the bride had plans for photos all around the tiny farm town, including a few underneath a beautiful tree on the edge of a field which has been an iconic fixture in the county for many years. In pre-wedding correspondence the bride wrote to me, “It will (hopefully) be an easygoing, simple, and lovely kind of day. That’s what I want it to be. Then the real adventure starts!” Then the real adventure starts, or so she thought.
Their wedding day came and so did the rain. And the wind. And not just a light rain or a gentle wind. I’m talking torrential downpours and 30mph winds. Let’s just say umbrellas do not work so well in that kind of weather. The outdoor wedding and reception was pushed indoors. And we were forced to think fast with any kind of wedding photos. While the rain came down in sheets the couple had their first look on the porch. And when asked, were up for the challenge of still going out and getting that photo she so desperately wanted underneath that walnut tree in the field. God granted us a tiny break in the rain (from sheets to drops) and we went to the gorgeous spot. With shoes caked in mud, we snapped photos there before it started pouring again. It definitely was an adventure.
I love that this couple, two amazing artists that met at church, were up for the adventure of the photos. But I also love what the bride said before her big day. She realized that it’s not really about the wedding, it’s about the marriage. It’s about the adventure that starts right after saying “I do”. When you turn that page and you are husband and wife and you start a new chapter. Together. When I think of their wedding day I will always picture the two of them under that tree hand in hand, underneath the canopy of leaves while the rain came down, being sheltered and protected by a loving God who will guide them in whatever adventures their marriage takes them.
Two days after taking that photo, a huge storm blew through southern Minnesota. The walnut tree that they stood under was severely damaged by wind or lightening and half of it came down. I’m so happy we braved the weather to capture it one last time.
Here is their wedding story (music by Joshua Radin)…