After hanging out with Jonny and the guys for a few minutes, I invited Jonny to start walking out to the location of their first look. Then it was time for Kalu to get into her dress. I ventured back to the Fireside Room and found myself squeezed in just right with Kalu and Laine in the bathroom. It was the perfect amount of space for us all to fit without cramping Kalu as she shimmied into her dress. After getting into her dress, Kalu did a first look with her remaining bridesmaids. She surprised Suzanne and Carrie by revealing herself in a different dress than she purchased while dress shopping with them. After that, Kalu touched up her lipstick, then she and I started our way towards Jonny!
Finding the spot for Kalu and Jonny's first look, was left up to me, and as soon as I first visited the campus - I knew. I saw this dreamy brick wall covered in ivy that was perfectly settled in the shadows of the attaches home and beneath the canopy of trees near by. It was a location that would work no matter the lighting, and had a close by back up in case of rain. After the initial first look, we moved into portraits of just the two of them before we joined up with their wedding party for photos of the whole wedding party.
Finally we caught up with the wedding party and had some fun playing around, and loosening up - that's sometimes a tricky thing about weddings is you're dealing with a vast amount of people who you don't know how they feel about getting their picture taken. I like to start by grouping them up and encouraging them to bring me their relationship dynamics out in how they pose and interact together. Oh what fun this group was, they understood the assignment!
The night before their wedding, I got a call from Kalu - she had been looking at the weather and conversing with others around her. The forecast was calling for some crazy rain and there were mixed reviews on moving the wedding somewhere indoors, Kalu wanted to know my opinion (dangerous!). Something about me as a photographer is, I try not to look at the weather for the day of any of sessions until a couple hours before. The other thing about me, is that I'll also shoot in literally any type of condition or weather. I'm always up for a rain, so when Kalu asked me what I thought I said, "If you and Jonny want to get married in the rain, I'm there!" I think she was relieved because she told me that she and Jonny had wanted to proceed as planned - so we did! As the hours approached for the ceremony, I prayed. I prayed that God would bless their day, their marriage, and I prayed that the weather would be just as he intended (like I could change his mind ha!). Well, the skies whipped their beautiful moody clouds but the rain never came more than a few sprinkles. Perfection.
After wedding party photos, we moved into family photos and the ceremony. It's important to note that Kalu and Jonny both had been giddy all day. It's the sweetest type of love, and excitement - I was so thankful that these two hadn't lost their sight throughout the day - meaning they didn't ever get caught up in whether they had full control over each detail of the celebration. In fact, I think they took the day in a stride of surrender - whatever was to be, was to be! Like I said before, they were relaxing and inviting. They were enjoyable and so was the day. That being said, their posture as they met each other on the aisle, was only heightened. Their marriage was right at their fingertips, and they just couldn't contain themselves.