This is Sherry and Denver, and they are awesome. From the first time Sherry contacted me, I really was excited about the possibility, and then reality, of shooting their wedding. It had awesomeness written all over it.
First, the idea: almost kind-of an elopement, but not really, since there was nothing hasty about it. Really just a small wedding. How small? The two of them, the minister, and me and my assistant. That’s all. And no one else knew. Not the parents (though they had been warned that it might one day happen), no friends (who had had a brunch with them that very morning, and didn’t suspect a thing), no distant relatives. It was a ceremony as small and simple as small and simple can possibly be. A wedding completely on their terms, by their design, the wedding of their dreams. And it was awesome.
Second: the location. Cataldo Mission, about 30 miles east of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. I had been there once before and had been struck by its elegance and rustic beauty. It’s a gorgeous building with a deep history, nestled in a perfect setting.
Third: somewhat foolishly, when I had pictured the wedding, I had kind of imaged how the grounds looked in the summer, when I had visited it before. In other words, I was surprised when I drove up and there was 5 inches of snow everywhere. It took a moment of readjustment, but in the end, the snow was so much better than dead winter grass. Fortunately, Sherry had thought ahead and had brought warm boots; she was ready and willing to go traipsing around in the snow in her boots and bare-shouldered wedding dress, and that almost guaranteed an awesome portrait session.
So how did it all go down? Perfectly. I had worried about doubling the attendance by bringing an assistant, but she proved very useful in the putting on of the dress. The ceremony was probably about 15 minutes, simple but meaningful, with a very kind and thoughtful minister. The interior of the mission was a perfect setting (if not a bit cold). And Sherry and Denver are as nice as people can possibly be. Connected, fun-loving, joyous, and did I mention nice? Really, really nice. And, it ends up, Denver and I went to the same small college!
And for the portraits, we not only had snow, but dramatic clouds swept through a deep, rich blue sky. And we all wandered around in the snow, Sherry and Denver giddy (and maybe a bit in disbelief!), just enjoying the moment. The only bad thing about it was that Sherry and Denver wanted to tell their family and friends in person, after their honeymoon in India, so I couldn’t post the pictures until now, but, really, that’s not so bad.
Check out the photographs from their wedding right here. As one of the only witnesses (and this was the first time I had been called upon to sign the marriage certificate), you’ll have to trust me:
it was awesome.
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