After shooting hundreds of weddings, I've seen it all - from quiet evenings with families to huge celebrations with raging afterparties. I'm addicted to that variety of style and size and personality, but truthfully it's the common thread of a couple's love and excitement that makes them each special. That's one of the many reasons I was so pumped to document this private elopement ceremony for Megan and Sean. Most wedding days are whirlwinds of excitement and emotions, full of details to remember and places to be and people to greet, with very little time for a couple to settle into the happiness and importance of the small moments together. After going through the possibilities in their minds, Megan and Sean decided to forgo the traditional route and instead focus on the experience together. Private destination weddings and elopements may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's a treasure of incredible times for a couple: a way of crafting a wedding day that isn't weighted by the details or pleasing the Joneses, but purely about making the most of every moment. And boy, did these two pick a hell of a spot. St. Barthélemy (or St. Bart's, to those like me who would butcher the full pronunciation) is a luxury resort island in the French West Indies, and the most exclusive destination in the Caribbean. There are no direct flights in, so it's only reachable by boat or tiny puddle-jumper planes from larger nearby islands. It's crawling with celebrities, but without any of the fan fare or tacky tourism one might expect - it's tasteful in every way, overflowing with the perfect romanticism of adventure and solitude. Megan and Sean are beautiful people inside and out and fit right at home there, which made my job of location scouting and documenting their excitement such a treat. But in all truth, even if these two were getting married in a parking lot I'd feel honored to be a part of it. They're hilarious and an absolute joy to hang around, and it was beyond humbling to be able to document this week with them. Their affection and appreciation for each other is so genuine, and it's that pride in each other that made it all so special. All the love to them and their future adventures together :)
I somehow just consistently get to work with amazing people, and I'm quite thankful that train hasn't slowed. But Candice (and her husband Daniel) has darn neared messed up the whole system by being so doggone great that I've almost felt spoiled. If you've seen any of my other recent posts, you've likely read a few of the many reasons why she's amazing and they're just the very best kind of people. Being able to document the last year with them has truly been an honor, and thanks to their fun loving attitudes and badass sidekick pup, a total blast in the process. Much love and many thanks to Candice for being such a killer sport through her nature and adventure inspired bridal session :)And thanks as well to Flower Vibes for the killer bouquet!
Okay, so here's the deal. I'm kind of a weird dude, and probably far too rebellious for my own good, at least when it comes to maintaining clean-cut seriousness in the wedding world. I'm not an expert on current wedding trends, I barely know what forks are for what in a multi course meal, and most of my photographic inspiration comes from outside of the industry entirely, whether it's fashion or adventure travel and photojournalism from 50 years ago. The core of everything I do is a hope to understand people and share their stories in a genuine way, not simply take 'pretty wedding photos'. In some ways I think that may hurt me in the business, but I honestly couldn't have it any other way. Every once in a while I'll meet a couple who just 'gets it': who know that they want something different, but above all just want to be themselves, not pressured to rehash someone else's day but instead falling completely into the moment with each other and their friends. Marley and Trace were that couple. We got to know each other for the first time over beers, talking about everything from their history to antics with friends and their skateboarding exploits. That can't be understated - Trace and basically all of his friends are legitimately killer skaters ( after looking through the blog, you'll recognize several faces in Houston skate videos like this one ). Marley is beyond sweet, Trace is hilarious and they're both just refreshingly real together.
But as awesome as they were to hang with, you can also tell a lot about a couple by the friends that keep them close. This was not only one of the most chill and genuine bridal parties I've worked with, but also one of the most dedicated to supporting them. People did whatever they could to make this wedding - one friend had been in an accident and was stuck at the hospital hooked up to an IV, but he ripped it out and came anyway. That really says something, both about their community and their character.
All in all, this wedding was a total blast. Marley and Trace are goofballs that know how to party hard, but they're also just top notch people with a heartfelt love for each other and the people around them. I count it a privilege to have been a part of this with them, and am stoked to share some of our documented escapades.
Venues and Photo Locations: Magnolia Hotel // Nouveau Antique Art Bar // Downtown building which shall remain unnamed due to our low key B&E for hangout with groomsmen // Midtown street art, namely 'Preservons La Creation' (Let's Preserve the Creation) by French street artist Sebastien "Mr. D" Boileau