Gallery Spotlight: Hannah and Matt’s “Heartbreaking” Wedding at Glen Eyrie Castle…
Okay, loyal blog readers. Even I’ll admit, I’m getting tired of blogging about it raining at our weddings. I mean, this is Colorado, right? I read photo blogs from all over the world, and not even Seattle photographers say it rained as much as I have this year!
Sadly, this time the rain claimed a victim. It’s the first time in my entire career as a photographer that a well planned, gorgeous outdoor ceremony was completely rained out. We’ve had ceremonies in the rain, but it was a drizzle, or sporadic drops, but Hannah and Matt’s wedding was hit by a real, true downpour that lasted all afternoon. We knew it was coming and we got all of our couple shots done before the rain hit, but we were literally snapping our last frames as everyone ran inside to escape the huge, fat droplets that were falling and spotting her gown.
Hannah tried to be a trooper and put her best face forward, but as the downpour continued on, it became more and more apparent that the outdoor ceremony of her dreams would never happen. Glen Eyrie is a beautiful place, but it’s indoor area, the Great Hall, is more “butch” than “fairytale””, complete with dark rich wood, dark cavernous atmosphere, and mounted hunting tophies filling the walls. Hannah dreaded the idea of being rained out, and seeing her worst fear become reality was too much, and her joyous, giddy exterior began to give way to the sorrow of her disappointment. She went away to her room to be alone and wait out her last glimmer of hope. Maybe, just maybe, the rain would stop.
But an hour passed, and the staff at Glen Eyrie began to press for a call to be made (chairs had to be set up, sound equipment moved, lighting arranged), and neither Char and I, nor her family wanted to be the one’s to make the final call and seal the deal.
Finally, once the official call was made, the family sprang into action, and swarmed all over the castle, re-setting every last detail from the outdoor site into the Great Hall. They wanted everything to be just as Hannah would’ve had it, just inside now. Charlotte and I sprang into action as well, metering, testing, and devising a lighting plan than would force as much light, warmth and openness into that dark cavern of a hall as possible.
I always brag that Charlotte and I have enough experience and expertise that we can photograph anything, anywhere, and this was our chance to prove it. I felt everything was riding on these photos. Hannah would be crushed if her sunny outdoor dream wedding metamorphosed into something more dark and Gothic. But if Charlotte and I could capitalize on the available lighting and access it just right with our strobes, then we could present it more as a true fairytale castle wedding and emphasize the grandeur of the hall, and not it’s coldness.
Well, long story short, it really didn’t matter where the wedding was held because has soon as Hannah appeared, every last bit the glowing and happy bride, Matthew was crying, and then Hannah was crying, and then everybody was crying. I had only taken a few frames when I began to realize that it looked so amazing and warm at the altar, almost as if Hannah had brought a little bit of sun into the hall with her!
The ceremony was so moving it verged on the ridiculous. First of all, Hannah comes from a family of ministers, and her brother officiated the ceremony as her father gave her away, and then he would be the officiant. But before that, her brother sang a little song about his sister (quite well)… and I was done. Cried like a baby. As I wiped tears from my eyes I realized that we weren’t even 10 minutes in, and I was already emotionally drained.
Once Hannah’s dad took over, it was your classic wedding ceremony. That is, until Hannah suddenly was handed a microphone and she was off and running with a song about Matthew… and she sang like an angel. So then I was begging to realize that not only this was her whole family attractive and nice folk, but they all could sing like the dickens, too!
Have any of you ever felt that little twinge of jealousy when you see a seemingly perfect and wholesome family, and then find out they are really good at something like music, or sports, or dancing, or…
Wait a minute.
The Osmonds! They were Colorado’s version of The Osmonds! I don’t know why I’m only realizing this now, but that’s what they were. Good looking, talented. In fact, they were too good looking and too talented.
But I digress…
In the end, as I look back at the photos, I am so thankful that we were able to capture that amazing wedding like we did. We captured the magic, romance and grandeur it deserved. Would it have been best if we’d been able to shoot outside as planned? Sure. But I’m sure that after it’s all been said and done, with the whole wedding behind them, Hannah and Matthew probably think their wedding was perfect, and wouldn’t change a thing.
… and neither would I.