So here was the party tent, which Jessie hung out with her tripod out on the golf course to shoot. She's pretty much awesome, I loved this shot.
And here's the bridal party, looking all nice and dignified. Keep that image in mind, because that's about the last you'll see of them this way. :)
This cake was incredible, and it looked like something you'd see on Ace of Cakes, minus fireworks and totally random themes ... so maybe more like something you'd see on Food Network Challenge. But very beautiful and classy, one of my favorites of the year.
The first dance, very cute.
For her dance with her dad, Rachel busted out the Dorothy shoes and there was a whole little story about The Wizard of Oz and how she and her dad used to watch it together after school, and how she went away to college but realized there's no place like home ... oh, it was totally cute, you would've loved it.
And here's the above-the-ankles view.
John and his mom ... I have really developed a soft spot for the mother-son dances. I don't know what it is, I just kind of love them.
Oh, and I have ALWAYS loved a dancing grandma picture. They're always so cute and happy and everyone loves their grandmas so much, it's like one of those rules of the universe, like how you can't be unhappy while you're out for ice cream.
This, I believe, is John's sister-in-law, and it's one of my total favorite pictures of someone at a reception, because it looks like it should be a magazine ad for a fun girls' night out with martinis or something. She just looks so pretty, and I love her earring flying out, and her eye makeup is amazing.
I made Jessie look at my camera after this shot because I was so proud of myself. The bouquet and garter toss are usually the most difficult parts of the entire day to photograph for me, because they happen so fast and usually under less than ideal lighting conditions. So getting a good picture of the flowers in the air is like ... a slam dunk. I would imagine. I suck at basketball. (Are we seeing a theme here? Yeah, basically if it's a physical activity requiring coordination, you do not want me anywhere near it.)
Rachel getting her garter removed. She's so CUTE!
Okay, so what I said about the bouquet kind of goes double for the garter because while the bouquet toss generally goes the same way, guys are MUCH more unpredictable with what they might to with a garter. It's hard to really explain these things if you don't witness them all the time, and it's something I never would've considered before becoming a wedding photographer, but it's totally true. So getting an awesome shot of the bouquet AND the garter at the SAME WEDDING is like ... a ... triple double? And by the way, I only know what THAT means because of its inclusion in some rap song of the 90's (possibly that "damn right it was a good day" song?), and my brother had to explain it to me. I'm a nerd. But anyway, point being, it was an accomplishment.
Rachel's mom MADE these cookies. Can you believe that? They were incredibly gorgeous and perfect, and tasty. And also, this is the beginning of me and Jessie going crazy on ring shots.
So, we go into the pro shop and we're looking around for stuff to take ring shots with, and obviously a big bucket of golf balls is going to call our names, right? That makes sense. But then this happened:
Yeah, we busted out the golf gloves and put the rings on them and posed the "hands" in a traditional type of pose. Anyway, we were laughing like crazy people, and of course if anyone had looked in, they just would've seen two maniacs in a pro shop messing around with golf gloves, and thinking about that only made us laugh more. We really had a good time at this wedding, and all the fun was contagious.
Alright, now we start getting down to business. There were drinks, there was dancing, there was ...
cake on faces?
Also, there was Rachel's dad, running around with a pipe in his mouth, trying to convince me that this guy was his son, and apparently, according to Jessie, leaping OVER tables. I unfortunately didn't see that so I can't verify it, but I don't see why she'd make something like that up, and I really wish I could've witnessed that.
But back to the cake, which very quickly escalated into a full-fledged food fight.
I'm telling you, I have never seen anything like it. I was LOVING it. I was snapping away, getting fun pictures, and just a little incredulous that this was happening right in front of my face. This, I'm like 99% sure, is what Jessie was mainly referring to when she called it a "movie wedding".
So of course this made my life. It was so amazing and out there, and I must have told everyone I talked to over the following couple of weeks about this wedding. You KNOW I love a good story, and this one topped them all. I don't think I even made it all the way home without making phone calls to share the entertainment, and I told Billy he was SO sorry he missed this one.
There was one point during this whole thing where I completely slipped and fell on my butt, and hard. Of course, my only priority in times of tripping and falling is protecting the camera. Trust me, it's better that way. And yes, it has happened more than once, harkening back to my klutzitude. So really, there was nothing to break my fall, and, in a cruel twist of fate, I bruise super easily, so I had a big old purple souvenir for a week or two. (Also, if for any reason anyone reads this and feels bad, please don't. Please please don't. I can bruise in my sleep, from leaning my leg too long against something, from running into stuff, which I do all the time, etc. Sometimes my dog lands on me and leaves a bruise, or I'll have enormous dark blue and purple bruises that I have NO idea where they came from. There's nothing wrong with me, except that I'm a delicate little peach. And I've come to accept it and think it's really funny.)
Also, probably from falling in it, I went home with only slightly less cake on my pants than Rachel's brother had on his face. I had moved up to Chicago by this point and was staying at my parents' house, and my mom was like, "What's up with that?" (although I'm pretty sure she didn't phrase it quite like that), and all I could do was laugh.
Hilariously, when I told my friend Amy about this wedding, she just said, "Well, it certainly sounds like they got themselves the right photographer." True! I don't know if anyone could have possibly been as entertained as I was. :)
Now, there was one brief and horrible moment when Rachel first saw this where I really thought she might cry, and I was all standing to the side going, "Nooooooo!" in my head. But it turned out everything was okay--John and Brandi came to the rescue and she was smiling and laughing again in no time. It took me a little while to understand that probably most girls don't dream of their wedding day ending in a food fight involving their wedding cake. But things always end up happening at weddings that you don't expect, and granted, this one is way out there on some crazy end of the spectrum, but I can say that this is certainly a wedding that everyone who was there will be talking about until the day they die, and that's pretty awesome. So I was hoping that someday she'd be able to look back on it and laugh, but Rachel is even greater than that and was able to laugh about it pretty much immediately, which is why we all love her.
Awww, speaking of Brandi! Look at how much fun she's having!
And what's the point of having cake on you if there' s no one licking it off?
So the cake fight ended and we got back to the business of partying and dancing, and here Rachel's dad is twirling a bridesmaid.
And this ... DEFINITELY happened.
Rachel's dad didn't get ALL the fun--her mom got a little love from the bridal party too. :)
And I think from here, the pictures pretty much say it all. :)
(Except this one, because I don't even know.)
Rachel and John did end with a sparkler send off, which was beautiful and classy, and the perfect pretty and fun end to the day.