Sean and Elyse had the most amazing dance party during their wedding at the World Forestry Center in Washington Park. Photographing their friends and family on the dance floor was a highlight of the day. Their moves were so good! But before the reception got underway, there was tons of other good stuff, too. The newlyweds began their day getting ready at the Hotel Vintage downtown. Elyse had a gorgeous dress so of course I had to hang it off of one of the hotel’s interior balconies because that’s normal, right? Sean later got to see his bride all dressed up for the first time on the top floor balcony with giant overhead skylights. Afterward everyone jumped on a big bus and departed for the World Forestry Center where the ceremony and reception were held.
While walking over to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial next door for wedding party photos, I overheard several of the groomsmen repeating the word “allora” over and over in an Italian accent. Having recently watch the newest season of Master of None on Netlix, I realized they had picked it from the show, and it sort of became the mantra for the day, popping up here and there straight through the reception. Once I realized what they were saying it solidified in my mind that this was going to be a fun group.
For portraits, I drove Sean and Elyse up to Hoyt Arboretum where I intended to photograph them on the Redwood Deck, which is surrounded by towering red wood trees. Unfortunately, there was another wedding going on there at the same time, so we had to turn around. At an earlier stage in my career I may have panicked a little with plans blowing up in my face, but having shot a number of weddings at the World Forestry Center and around Washington Park I knew that the Redwood Deck was extremely popular and that trying to shoot there was a bit of a gamble. So I had a backup plan. At the highest point in Hoyt Arboretum there is a beautiful hilltop overlooking the park and I knew that in a pinch I could get some great shots there.
Afterward, we returned to the World Forestry center for the ceremony. It was one of the more emotional ceremonies I’ve photographed. Lots of joyful tears were shed. Sean’s dad officiated the ceremony, which made things all the more poignant. And when all was said and done, Sean and Elyse danced back up the aisle into the reception, which set the tone for the dance party at the end of the night. 🙂 — KC