Gallery Spotlight: Julia and Matt’s Hillside Gardens Wedding
Loyal blog readers will recognize this wedding as the culmination of the long and twisted tale of Julia Weiland, our illustrious studio manager and apprentice photographer. Originally a bride, she unabashedly asked if she could start apprenticing under us with weddings, which led to a great friendship, which became pure nepotism and we hired her as our studio manager (many of you who are wedding clients have probably received a phone call from her at some point about you next payment being due… ).
Well, this ended up being a big, important, do-or-die day for us. Not only is Julia now an expert on our style (she helps me with the initial wedding deleting and she assists on about 1/2 our weddings) but she’s memorized every single photo we’ve ever taken in our portfolio. And on top of that, she and Matt also asked ME to be their officiant for the wedding! Whaaaaaaaaaat?
Let’s break this day down: we not only had to capture amazing photos, but I also had to marry them?!?
Well, let’s just say, the day itself did not make it easy on us!
When Julia, Matt and I first met in 2008 and they told me that their wedding would be at Hillside Gardens, the first thing I told them was, “It’s an amazing place… I love shooting there, but… what’s the backup plan if it rains?”
Julia’s whole demeanor changed when I asked that question, and she stared at with an intensity that could have wilted flowers, “We don’t need a backup plan. It… will… not… rain.”
And she meant it. More than anything. In fact, she made that statement with such conviction, I truly believed she had somehow affected the outcome of that days weather: Mother Nature would have to answer to Julia if it dared to rain that day.
Julia meant it. And I believed it.
Well, it rained. All day. Poured in fact. Ah, well. Such is life. Such is a wedding.
Julia tried really hard to be positive and strong and upbeat, but as the day wore on a photos were getting delayed because of the downpour, her resolve began to slip. Soon, there were little bouts of tears, and then hand holding with her best friends, which finally collapsed into nearly broken-down praying/rocking… and this is where it gets really creepy. As soon as Julia went into her kind of trance-like prayer/crying/rocking state and was begging the rain to stop in time for the ceremony… it stopped. We all gave her a little wider berth that day because, if she could stop the rains themselves, then if she got mad, she could probably make my head explode like that movie “Scanners” with the power of her thoughts.
Well, the skies cleared, I changed clothes, and emerged in my never-worn black suit, walked down the aisle, and conducted the first wedding ceremony of my entire life. It was thrilling. I was nervous. I was irreverent. I was sincere. I was awesome…
I’m not kidding. My ceremony was a hit. Women were coming up to me all through the reception telling me how unusual it was, and how they wished I could have married them at their weddings!
And I must say to all of those wedding officiants who make a stink about photographers: I never even noticed Kim and Char. I never noticed, saw, or heard them. I was too busy performing a marriage ceremony! So, to all of those officiants who put all those limits on photographers: focus on your job! Stop worrying about the photographers!
It’s awesome seeing the saga of Julia and Matt, engaged couple, come to a close. It even cooler seeing them start a new life as a married couple.
And you know what the best part of this whole convoluted relationship has been? Watching Julia work on the deleting of her own wedding photos. It was pure, delightful, agony for her.
No, I’m kidding. The best part has been making incredible, loyal friends from two people who initially were complete strangers who wanted to hire us.
Thank you, Julia and Matt, for being great friends, and Julia: thanks for being a hard working employee and for putting up with my insufferable crap everyday. You’re the best.