When Bernadette contacted me about her June 5th wedding, I first had to confirm that it wasn’t a typo – she really *was* planning a Tuesday wedding. She assured me that the date was correct; she and Larry were getting married at Bella Vista Bed and Breakfast in Placerville on a Tuesday!
Guests From Near And Far
As we talked about their ceremony wishes I learned that many of their guests were traveling great distances to attend. Friends and family would be coming from Washington, Oregon, Southern California and even the Philippines, and Larry and Bernadette were eager to celebrate with the people most dear to them!
So when they told me they were not going to hire a professional photographer but, instead, were going to rely on the iPhone photos from their guests – well, I knew that just wouldn’t do. There would be some once-in-a-lifetime moments during the evening, and I knew they would want to preserve the memories.
So a few days after our meeting I made them an offer I hoped they wouldn’t refuse.
Sweetening The Deal
“Hi, Bernadette and Larry:
“I wanted to offer something that might be a win-win for all of us.
“If you’d like me to attend and conduct rehearsal on June 4th, I would be happy to do that . . . for an invitation to stay and celebrate with you after the wedding ceremony.
“I would like to take some professional-quality photos during the reception: Formals of the two of you, family groups, candids of your guests enjoying the celebration, the cake cutting and any other special thing you’d like. I would give you the best of these so you’ll have them for your memory book, and I would like permission to use some of them . . . .”
To my delight, they happily said “Yes!”
A Few Special Touches
Every couple’s Love Story is unique, and I especially loved telling Larry and Bernadette’s.
Larry and Bernadette’s story began in January of 2015 when they met in the Operations Management 101 class at Sac State.
She first noticed him when she found him sitting in her preferred spot – front row, center seat. And his first impression? When the professor announced a group project Larry looked around the class for the most beautiful girl who also looked smart, spotted Bernadette and, of course, asked her to join his group.
(He says that was “the best decision a shy guy from Idaho ever made.”)
In addition to the ceremony, there were also a few other special touches and surprises.
They each wrote personal vows, which they would read to each other during the ceremony. (This is always one of my favorite parts of a ceremony; these heartfelt expressions of love bring tears to many eyes – mine included!)
In fact Bernadette confessed her fear that she would cry as she read her vows to Larry.
“Frankly, the hardest part was not the writing. It was the tears.
I’m not quite sure how I’m going to keep my make-up on for the duration of the ceremony.”
(Spoiler; *she* didn’t cry.)
Blessing by Father Ramon
Two days before the wedding Bernadette requested a special addition to the ceremony:
“. . . . will you be okay that my uncle who is a Catholic Priest give us a very short blessing shortly after the ceremony? My whole side of the family are Catholics and I would like to give my uncle the respect . . . .”
Of course I was delighted to include Father Ramon’s blessing, and I was glad he was able to attend rehearsal so we could work out the logistics of that special moment.
Bridal Processional Song
Bernadette had one more extra-special touch planned.
She discretely took me aside before rehearsal and told me that she was going surprise Larry by singing “1000 Years” to him as she walked to him. Only a few of us knew of her plan, so many people were surprised – most especially Larry!
(And if you’ve listened to the words, you will understand why *he* was the one shedding tears as his bride walked down the aisle!)
Wedding Officiant and Wedding Photographer
In the past 18 years I have worked with some brilliant, talented and hard-working photographers. I greatly respect their ability to beautifully capture all those once-in-a-lifetime moments while adhering to a timeline that will allow the couple to truly enjoy their celebration and their guests.
That being said, I was unprepared for just How.Much.Work it is to photograph a wedding alone. (And I definitely should have worn comfortable shoes!)
Here are a few of my favorite photos:
I have an even greater appreciation for my wedding photographer friends! (And no, I don’t want to take over your job. But if you ever need an assistant . . . !)
Team of Professionals:
Venue: Bella Vista Bed and Breakfast
Coordinator: April Burnham with J. Marie Events
Wedding Cake and cupcakes: Frank Vilts Cakes
Catering: Hog Wild Bar-B-Que
Photography: Images by RJM