"It was a warm day. Two hours driving in the car in the summer in Kentucky. I was assisting Bellamanda photography as I did so much over the summer of 2016 and enjoyed running into them at the location. This time I arrived a few minutes earlier than my head photographer Amanda and Chad duo. The first location of the day was the hair salon where all of the girls were getting ready. I joined in and introduced myself "" Hello, I am the assistant photographer to Amanda and chad, they will be here shortly while I can begin taking some photos if you don't mind"". I started with the bridesmaids as the bride took the chair for makeup and hair. Chicken salads all around, mimosas, and matching bridesmaids robes. Everyone seemed so relaxed, I found out later that the family's eldest daughter just had her wedding months prior so this was just as important of an event. But everyone had come to understand the rhythms of a wedding at this point.
Chad and Amanda found me upstairs in the salon a few minutes later. We coordinated final details of the day, took a few more details and portraits, and as Amanda attended to the Bride's wedding dress, I set off to find the men at the church.
When I arrived at the church, the ceremony location, I had a sensation of a cozy little church. It was nestled right in the industrial district of the city. Tall exhaust chimneys reached above the city line all above me. Signs of urban neglect such as graffiti and vines strewn the shared parking lots. As soon as I stepped into the church, my mind raced with so many photo opportunities outside.
The men were hiding in the back area behind the church sanctuary. I stepped back there and found the first young man in a suit and asked
""where can I find the groom?""
""He is the handsome one in the back"" he tells me. They were all in suits, completely ready, clean cut and combed, but one guy was the center of all their chiding. I could have just asked him directly if he was the groom but to hold their confidence in me I decided to draw their attention. The attention shifted and eyes were on me as I told them where the bride was, how she was looking, how nerves were calm, and everyone was excited. Everyone looked to one guy to see his reaction. I found the groom.
Then it was time to get back to work, family photos taken cared of on Jacob the grooms side and then the brides family had arrived. This meant the bride was probably outside. We had strict instruction, not a hint of contact before the wedding ceremony. We scrambled, hid the entire family, and then took care of the brides family photos.
the congratulations from 200+ wedding guests,
travel to the reception at the Inn at Wise Virginia.
It never ends, especially when we the bride disappears, the groom too. Plenty of places to hide but not using cocktail hour meant missing out on many photo opportunities. Dehydrated and exhausted was the bride when I found her and a small circle of the family at the back entrance of the Inn. I informed my head photographer Amanda and could't help take the brides photo, who, returned a smile.
A candle lit reception hall. A chance to take the photo I had been after since seeing the story behind Jerry Ghionis's candle lit masterpiece. I asked, they said yes, you can see the photo below.
There was nothing left but the be there for the party, and cover the event."
Thank you for viewing the photos and reading my experience working with Bellamanda photography at the Inn at Wise wedding. Wonderfull wishes to Courtney and Jacob and their new life together.