Justin and Melissa’s wedding was, hands down, one of the most emotional and beautiful weddings I have yet to photograph. The love they have for one another is so strong, it reflected in every detail of their day, and in every guest holding back tears. Everyone around them could feel the deep joy they bring one another. Each meticulously placed detail reflected their creativity, quirkiness, love, and care for others. Birdie, my second shooter, and I walked in and stood in awe of it all - taking in the entire room with our mouths agape. The bride, herself, was stunning in every way. If she was stressing, she did not show it. Even when something hadn’t gone as planned, like the timeline running behind schedule, she was as cool as a cucumber! Melissa cried, her mom cried, her sister cried, her brother cried, the groom cried, the groom’s entire family cried… HECK! We all cried! Luckily, Birdie and I just had our cameras to hide behind with our ugly crying faces! Haha! The in between moments of the bride and her grandmother were especially precious as they made their way to the car that would take Melissa to the first look and ceremony location.
The most precious moment of all was a private one, which took place in the middle of the forest. Their first look. Justin and Melissa exchanged their letters to one another and read them aloud. It was the most emotional of moments - yet it felt so at ease, like we were just watching them happening in their own world. They discussed what wonderful doting parents they would be together and how harbored they felt with one another. It was full of chills and tears and we were honored to be part of such a pivotal intimate moment. Melissa was crying. Justin was sobbing. Birdie and I are trying to keep it together and stay silent, not breaking sticks, as we rotate around them, hoping not to kill the moment! You see the reoccurring theme here? So many feels were happening and flying around, it was wonderful!
After the ceremony and dinner, we trekked back up to the top of Rib Mountain for epic sunset photos on top of the lookout tower. To our delight… and slight panic there was about 5 minutes of sunset left - and 7 flights of stairs to go! I sprinted ahead to get my settings ready. We had to shove the entire crowd admiring the sunset, to the corner, as they oohed and awed over Melissa’s dress and their twirling skills. REWIND! Mind you, earlier in the day Melissa had voiced concern and anxiety over using the lookout tower, so we decided against it. And much to our delight, Melissa said “Let’s do it!” when the time came. She was so brave climbing those stairs, twirling on the tower, just clinging onto Justin! The bride overcame such an angst to capture these photos with her new husband. So proud of you girl! All the while, Birdie is arguing with a park ranger who is threatening to tow her vehicle, because we didn’t have time to park in a proper spot, just so we can capture these last 5 minutes of soft beautiful sunlight that had already passed the horizon. She was yelling from the tower above, as he stood there at the bottom, timing us, tapping his toes. All of our other gear was in there, our phones, and that was our only transportation to get the bride and groom back to the reception! All of the odds were stacked against us and we had to be so quick, trying not to panic because we didn’t want the bride to panic!
It just goes to show that things can go unplanned or run way behind schedule. You can have guests sitting waiting for a late ceremony. You can have guests waiting at dinner for you, because what mattered were those memories you two had built together that day, just the two of you. They stayed chill and trusted us to do our jobs and it turned out to be such a perfectly imperfect day just the way we like them at Miss Lyss Photography! Congrats Justin and Melissa! We loved working with you two beautiful souls so much!