When I envisioned my wedding day on October 29, 2011, I pictured a crisp and sunny afternoon in Central Park, with glorious plums, burnt oranges, and deep reds circling above us in a flurry of leaves eager to drop—nay, cascade—down around our feet, as my new husband and I posed for photos in wedded bliss. What I actually got was a historic blizzard, the likes of which hadn’t been seen in the tri-state area in October since the Civil War.
We love it when brides want to blog for us about their wedding day. Today’s blog is written by bride, Lauren Teague!
When I envisioned my wedding day on October 29, 2011, I pictured a crisp and sunny afternoon in Central Park, with glorious plums, burnt oranges, and deep reds circling above us in a flurry of leaves eager to drop—nay, cascade—down around our feet, as my new husband and I posed for photos in wedded bliss. What I actually got was a historic blizzard, the likes of which hadn’t been seen in the tri-state area in October since the Civil War. Instead of leaves falling delicately about our feet, full trees crashed down, power lines dangled over highways, and the electricity went out in my parents’ house in Northern New Jersey mere moments after my hair stylist positioned the veil in my freshly-coiffed hair. In short, the vision for my “fall chic” wedding at the Central Park Boathouse quickly turned into a Winter Wonderland.
Before having a full-on panic attack, I remember Berit reassuring me—as my father and husband-to-be frantically searched for back-up locations where the wedding party could take photos—that in her experience, these unexpected change of plans always lead to a photographic gift. She told me that despite the weather and the need to revise the image I had in my head for the perfect backdrop for our wedding photos, there would emerge photos that were spectacularly special and unique that we would never have captured otherwise.
She was right. When I look back on the photos from my wedding day, I see a playful image of my bridesmaids and I, huddled in front of the door of my parents’ house, smiling and laughing in disbelief as the snow danced around us. I see my father in his tuxedo shoveling the driveway. I see my bridal portraits against a backdrop of majestic white. I see the glow from hundreds of candles in the Boathouse’s rustic reception room offsetting the snow still falling outside onto the lake. I see an abandoned martini glass stained with my pink lip gloss beside my pearl-beaded clutch and my bouquet of all-ivory garden roses (wrapped in my grandfather’s handkerchief)—an image Berit later told me she took because it was “totally Lauren.” I also see our formal wedding portraits in the majestic Riverside Church where we exchanged our vows that look like something out of a Victorian novel. In short, I see special and unique shots that my husband and I treasure honed by Berit’s professional and talented vision.
I learned two important lessons on the day of my wedding. The first was that you must always have an equally beautiful and perhaps more reliable back-up plan for the location of your wedding photos, especially if you’re planning on taking photos outside. You just never know when Mother Nature is going to give you a little wedding gift you wish you could return. The second lesson was that spending the extra money to have a wedding photographer who is a consummate professional and who understands your personal vision for the day is invaluable.
While some may attempt to save money by hiring a less in-demand photographer or pass the job off to an amateur friend or family member, for me, having Berit on hand to not only keep the entire wedding day unfolding in a timely and organized manner but also to find the photographic gifts in our new and impromptu photo location was priceless. She turned what could have been a truly heartbreaking dilemma into a fabulous and singular opportunity.
In the end, our wedding was a timeless, incredible event that no blizzard could spoil. All of our professionals and guests showed up. My husband and I said “I do.” Most importantly, Berit was there to capture every beautiful moment, from the formal walk down the aisle to the impromptu dance-offs between groomsmen. And while Berit graciously offered to take my husband and I back out to Central Park after our wedding to take portraits that fit my original vision, we declined, because Berit’s ability to capture our actual day became an even more beautiful and incredible memory.