On Saturday, August 9th, my cousin Deborah got married to the love her life, John, at the beautiful MacRay Harbor in Harrison Township. My sister and I had helped Deb earlier in the summer to select and assemble the wedding invitations. She told us that we should consider this help as our gift to her.
But, of course, I wanted to do something more for her than just the invitations, and since I've been on a scrapbook-gifting kick lately, I told her I would do her guestbook for her as my gift to her.
Obviously, this wasn't going to be just a guestbook, it was going to be a scrapbooky guestbook. The plan was for me to take a picture of every couple at the reception and ask them to write a special note to the special couple with the special pen on the special scrapbook paper I had purchased just for this occasion.
I was looking forward to putting this gift into action when I got a phone call at 7 am on the day of the wedding. My first thought was, who in the SAM HELL is calling me at 7 am on a Saturday?!?!
My anger was quickly diffused when I heard the voice of THE BRIDE on the other end of the line…
"Heather? This is Deb. I'm having a bit of a Wedding Day Emergency. My photographer broke her ankle yesterday and can't shoot our wedding today. Shawn says you take pretty good pictures and I was wondering if you would be our photographer."
OK, first of all, I wasn't fully awake when she called and my knee-jerk reaction was HOLYSHITNOWAY. I'm a SCRAPBOOK photographer (a mediocre one at best), not a PHOTOGRAPHER photographer. My camera has TONS of settings, and I think I know how to use TWO of them! Things like aperture and shutter speed are utterly lost on me. And Deb wants ME to take her WEDDING pictures?!?! That's a HUGE responsibility!!! Heart racing. Mind spinning. I think I was more freaked out about this whole thing than the bride was!
But, not wanting to rustle the bride's feathers any further, I told her not to worry, relax, finish getting ready, enjoy her day. Between my sister and I, we would either find a replacement photographer or take the pictures ourselves.
Time to kick it into high gear.
I immediately called my sister and we put our heads together. We came up with a couple of plans.
Plan A was for me to get a hold of my friend Amy's little cousin, Jami, whose hobby is photography, and while she's never shot a wedding, I'd seen some of her stuff on Flickr and it's pretty good and she had just spent a week at photography camp at Michigan State University.
Now it's 7:15 am and I have to somehow get a hold of Jami (by calling and waking up Amy - sorry Aim) so that she can contact Jami who (if she agrees to do this) needs to get to the wedding venue by 11 am, where the wedding was to commence at noon, which means she needs to leave her house by 10 am, and if she can't do it, we needed to know so that my sister and I would have time to put Plan B into action.
Long story short, Jami said yes (money talks) and by 8:45 am I was able to call the bride and tell her we had found a photographer for her. Phew!
Like I said, Jami had never shot a wedding before. Added to her inexperience is the fact that she's young (she's going to be a junior in high school this year). She's a total sweetie, but she's very shy and she was a bit overwhelmed/intimidated by the whole ceremony thing and not knowing exactly what to do, or where to stand, etc. But, in my opinion, Jami SAVED THE DAY. Granted, I've only seen 4 of the 400 photos she took, but they've GOTTA be better than what I could have done.
Additionally, there's NO WAY I could have been the official photographer AND still have done the scrapbooky guestbook gift I had planned. I worked on that guestbook from the moment the reception started until the very last guest left. With the exception of slurping down my soup and scarfing down my salad, I worked on that guestbook the entire time. I saw the scrumptious looking dessert table, but I didn't have time to eat any of it! And I only had one glass of wine the entire time….AT A WEDDING! (I know, I can hardly believe it myself). It was hard work, but so so so worth it. I can't wait to assemble the album and give it to the happy couple.
Between my guestbook photos and the many other photos I took during the ceremony, I managed to take about 200 pictures. Here are a few of my favorite shots from this beautiful day (and a couple from the day before):