Mood: on fire
We first met the groom (Tyler) way back in 2009 when we photographed his sister's wedding. He was one of the groomsmen in that wedding. We loved the family and were delighted when they asked us back to photograph Tyler's. It is so much fun to photograph a second wedding in the same family or circle of friends, because you see so many people you know, it is like a reunion of sorts. And in some ways it is easier, because you already know some of their family traditions and know what to look for.
The bride (Alexis) and groom (Tyler) were both members of the National Guard, and I am told that that is where they met. (CLICK HERE to see their LOVE STORY) This made for some unique aspects to this wedding - the bride being kidded about having "non-regulation" nails and the officiant pausing during the ceremony to thank them both for their service.
The wedding was originally planned to be at the home of Tyler's parents, where they had recently put in a pond. It was a beautiful spot and we shot their engagement photos there.
It is a beautiful spot and we had grand plans for some of the photos for the wedding. Unfortunately in the few short weeks between this photo and the wedding itself, it rained. And rained. And rained and rained. A few days before the wedding it was decided that there was just too much mud and the hillside, where the wedding was to take place too slippery to be safe for a party crowd. So, less than a week before the wedding, they had to change the venue. Now this is not the first wedding we have photographed where they had to change the venue, but it is the first venue change with so little lead time. It made for what the matron of honor called, "one very stressful week!"
In the end the whole event was moved up a generation to the home of Tyler's grandfather. It was another lovely spot - nice to have a plan B that was as nice as plan A - but flatter and drier - with great white-fenced horse corrals and lots of room for the tents. Because of the daily rain storms they had tents for the ceremony and tents for the reception and tents for the walk between the tents. And they all turned out to be necessary, for while there were periods of sun, there were numerous showers between times.
One of the traditions of this family is a great rehearsal party after the rehearsal. This time it was a luau theme at the Hardwood Ranch in Elmore. With all the rain we wondered how accessible this would be at the end of Hardwood Flats Road (a dirt road). But, aside from some ditch erosion we got there and back just fine. And of course there were more tents that proved their worth when it started to rain long before the night was over.
While all weddings have key elements in common it is always a delight to see what the couple will do to make their celebration a little different. Often they will incorporate some unique mode of transportation for the bride or groom or both to use in getting to the venue. Sometimes it is an antique car, horses, an RV, a fire truck, or in this case an old tractor.
Originally it was supposed to bring the bridal party to the venue, but since the venue was moved to the place where the bride was getting ready, it was switched to bringing the groom and his groomsmen.
As time for the ceremony approached, we could see a storm brewing in the distance as the guests found their seats under the tent. After considerable debate on the wisdom of going or waiting, it was finally decided to "go for it!"
The "ring bearer" announced the bride was on her way. The rain held off as she walked toward the tent. The groom came down the aisle and met her, taking her hand just as Lauren Paine sang the lyric "... take my hand." And then they walked together out the other side of the tent with the officiant, braving the elements, should they come.
They got through a lot of the ceremony, one reading, the vows, and even the exchanging of the rings. But part way through the harp music, big fat rain drops began to tap out a beat on the tent. The wedding party waited for a moment to see if it was going to be just a few drops, or become a full fledged shower. That it was to be a shower was soon evident and they scurried under the tent with their guests to finish the last couple of elements of the ceremony, before recessing down the tented pathway.
For the rest of the day it was just a series of showers interspersed with sun. At one point we even got a gorgeous rainbow and were able to run out for this shot.
We were never able to get very far from a tent or a porch, for the breaks were short lived and the rain always returned. So we would take a few shots, then join the reception. When another break came along, we would gather another group for a photo.
In between breaks, we ate, danced and cut the cake in the dry tent.
And then another photo with another tractor.
As the sun began to fall, the party kicked into high gear directed by Supersounds.
And the groomsmen stood in the rain for the traditional cigar!
And then after it was dark and it stopped raining and the Doppler radar suggested the next shower was at least a few minutes away, we all went out to watch the fireworks! After all, when both the bride and groom are in the Guard and it is only a few days before the fourth of July, they must be practically mandatory?
And for the younger guests they had provided sparklers which were a big hit. But the bride and bridesmaid had reserved five for themselves, and we decided to try some lightpainting. This is where you hold the camera perfectly still, and the couple stands perfectly still, while a bridesmaid runs around them painting something in the dark with a sparkler. What is only revealed by looking in the camera's LCD after it is done.
All in all, in spite of the sporadic rain showers, it was a great time with great people celebrating the marriage of a great couple!
Of course it takes a fairly large team of people to pull off a great wedding celebration like Tyler and Alexis'. Here are some of the professionals that worked together to make this day a delight!
- Bridal Gown - David's Bridal
- Bridesmaids' Dresses - David's Bridal
- Groomsmen's Tuxedos - Men's Wearhouse
- Wedding Rings - Perrywinkles Fine Jewelry
- Bride's Flowers - Price Chopper in Morrisville, VT
- Other Flowers - EverGreen Gardens of Vermont
- Officiant - Ed Wilson
- Wedding & Reception Venue - family property in Morrisville, VT
- Tent Rentals - Northern Vermont Tent Rental
- Caterer - Black Diamond Barbeque
- Wedding Cake - Connie Earle
- DJ / Announcer - Supersounds DJ
- Photographers - Ayer Photography of Vermont
To see additional photographs from Tyler and Alexis' wedding:
- Sample Gallery by Ayer Photography
- Full Gallery by Ayer Photography (requires password from Bride and Groom)
- Tyler & Alexis' Love Story
Posted by Linda & Warren