It was a cold day in Toledo, Ohio, the first real temperature drop of the fall and the air smelled crisp. I stepped off the plane regretting my choice of clothing instantly but having lived in Charleston, SC for the last 5 years I didn't have many winter clothes left. This was my first time back in this city in over 10 years and I was excited to spend the weekend celebrating Monica and Jason. I had never met Monica actually, but Jason and I have known each other for over 15 years. I use the term "know" very loosely. We were Halo 2 clan members from 2005-2009 and I met him and a group of other guys from Toledo while playing an online match of King of the Hill. Those of you that know Jason Zunk know that he is stupid good at video games, specifically first person shooters. STOOPID GOOD. But either way we all became online friends fast that day with I kicked major ass and they found out I was a chick playing a very male dominant game. Anyway, fast forward about 15 years and Jason proposes to Monica and he asks me if I would be interested in photographing their wedding. I'm not gonna lie, I was totally shocked and SO honored. Here I am, hundreds of miles away, and a person I haven't seen in over 10 years thinks of ME!
I agreed, and then began the waiting game for the big day to arrive. It was a whirlwind of a day, but all in all it was a total blast and they made this day everything they wanted out of a wedding - and more.
I began my day as most photographers do, with the ladies. And as usual it is a whirlwind of hairspray, makeup, dressing, re-dressing, curling, spraying and re-curling. There is always a lot of anxiety in the room, but like, the happy-nervous-excited anxious. There was some serious work being done in there and I pretty much just became a fly on the wall, listening and observing and capturing each moment. I like not to direct these moments and just catch them while they happen.
And then of course you head over to the guys' room and there is football on TV and bottles of Jameson being passed around more often than not.
Monica's dress was the last detail, the finishing touch. The long sleeves and lace detail were stunning on her and I wish I had more time to photograph her in it!
The next hour was a complete whirlwind and time flew! Between shots, walking down the isle, some booing, some laughing, nuptials, and the kiss to seal it all.
We then headed to Promenade Park in Toledo, just a short, two block walk. I had done some scouting that morning and I really loved the artsy vibe and the grassy levels with a view of the water. I thought this would make a perfect spot for bridal party images. We were racing against time and the sun had already begun setting so unfortunately our time was cut a little short but we absolutely made the best of it.
Did I mention how cold it was?
With that being said, we got our essentials and hurried back to join the party at the reception! And what followed was a bridal party entrance like I have never seen before...
In between the heartfelt and hilarious speeches by MOH Jaimi and BM Chris we had a surprise "returning of the keys" ceremony by Mark. I mean I think everyone was in tears from laughing so hard. Well played.
And then there was cake...
All in all, I'm incredibly lucky to have spent this day with this couple, their families and their friends. It was an amazing and wild experience like no other and I can't begin to tell you how meaningful it was to be there and capture it. I don't know if this wild of a wedding is normal in Toledo, but my God was that a party to be remembered!
Wishing all the best to Monica and Jason on this new journey as husband and wife!