Friday, January 11, 2013

Wedding: First Look and Fancy Photos

I'm taking this week to finally post the rest of my wedding recaps. So far, I've covered the ceremony, the reception, and the dance party. Today is the last day of Wedding Week, and I'm sharing some of the "formal" portraits we attempted to take. Also, a quick thank you to everyone who has read these recaps, left sweet comments, and not called me out on being a narcissistic blogger who requires a whole week to recap one day. You are all far too kind. 

We decided to do the whole "first look" thing, mostly because I really wanted to see Nathan before the ceremony to calm my nerves, and because I hoped to get most of the fancy photos done before early, so we could actually enjoy the cocktail hour. This didn't exactly work - we were running late (surprise, surprise) and only had time for the first look and a handful of group photos. 

About to give/get a first look.

The Train Depot is exactly what it sounds like - a place where trains once rolled through Southeast North Carolina. It is possibly the oldest depot in the country, and has since been remodeled and restored so that it can serve as a really nice venue for parties, weddings, and other fancy events. There are still some train elements there - the rafters inside are made from the original train tracks, and there are a few boxcars and a caboose on the premises. We used these for backdrops, and if you didn't know us, you might guess we were really into trains. We are not. It's just that a boxcar was more aesthetically pleasing than the Piggly Wiggly across the street. 

Me, approaching Nathan.

Getting closer... 

To get the first look, the photographers hid Nathan behind a boxcar, and I came up behind him. Our friends and families couldn't see us, so we were able to have a private moment - or as private as you can be with two photographers taking a million photos of your every movement. 

Look! I am wearing a pretty dress! 

Hugs and kisses. 

Nathan turned around when I was in place, and it was just as sappy and sweet and teary as you'd expect. It was so good to have that moment together, before the madness really kicked in - it made me feel calm and centered, and I knew as soon as he turned around and we locked eyes that no matter what, our wedding - and our marriage - would be just fine. 

Walking back to the deck.

Then we got some group shots of the bridal party, which we kept pretty traditional. No photos of the dudes holding me sideways, no jumping in the air, no funny faces. I like seeing those photos from other weddings, but it's just not our style. We were getting married, for goodness sake. I didn't have the time or the patience to pretend we were also in a fashion magazine. 

A good looking group.

Kiss kiss.

After the ceremony, we ended up taking a few more formal photos anyway, forming a million different combinations - me and my parents, me and Nathan and my parents, me and Nathan and my parents and my sisters, me and Nathan and my sisters, me and Nathan and my sisters and his brother, me and Nathan and his brother and his parents - you get the idea. I won't post those photos because I don't think my grandmother even knows what a blog is and discovering that she was on one would probably freak her out. 

Once the various family and friend combinations were taken care of, the photographers said it was time for some bride and groom photos. "But I want to go to the cocktail hour!" I said. "Trust me," the photographer said. "These are the photos that will really mean something later. You're going to regret it if you skip them." "Fine," I said, as I gazed longingly at the bottles of wine. "But let's make it fast." 

Here is something the photographer did not know: Nathan hates having his photo taken. HATES IT. He actually tried to convince me we didn't need any photos of our wedding and that a photographer was a waste of money. So it's a miracle that he posed at all, even though he did make a few funny faces. Also: we are regular people. We are not very natural in front of a camera, even less so when we are posed next to trains and wearing strange clothing. I didn't have high hopes for these photos, but we ended up with a few decent ones despite our obvious shortcomings. 

Hello, sir. Come here often?

"Do we look natural?" "Probably not." 

Nathan pretends to drive the train.

"What kind of face was that?"

Ah. Much better. 

I actually really like this one.

What can I say. We love trains.

Now can I have a drink? 

If you thought I would end this post with some sweet and sentimental reflection about how our love for one another transformed these photos, sorry to disappoint. We still look a little awkward, and a little goofy, and like we'd rather be drinking wine and hanging out with our friends. Which is probably the truest reflection of all.

And that concludes Wedding Week! I have one or two more posts, but they're more about DIY and budgets, so I'll save those for later. Thanks again for the chance to share so much of our wedding day on the blog. My readers are the most gracious and patient of all. 

All of the photos in this post were taken by Johnny Wells Photography, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I highly recommend his services! 

You can find the rest of my wedding recaps and planning posts on the Wedding page