Forrester & Lisajean
St. Thomas More Catholic Parish (Ceremony)
October 8th, 2016
One of the best things about being a wedding photographer is every once in a while, you'll be asked to photograph the wedding of a longtime friend. These shoots are incredibly stressful as you want everything to go perfect for someone you care about but can they also be among the most fun you'll ever have is there's already a built-in relationship with the client and, if shot right, you feel awesome looking at the results.
That was definitely the case back in October when I photographed the wedding of Forrester and Lisajean.
I've known Forrester for well over a decade and he was one of my closest friends in college and though I had only met Lisajean once prior to our discussions about their wedding photography, I could tell pretty early on why they fell in love with each other.
Like all good couples, these two bring each other balance and compliment each other perfectly.
I knew their wedding day would be one of the happiest days of both their lives and knew it would be an amazing display of family and friendship and, boy, was I ever right.
Not even a little bit of clouds and rain could put a damper on this affair. No. It was perfect just as it was.
My coverage of Forrester and Lisa's wedding actually began the day before as I was lucky enough to shoot their rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. I really enjoy when a couple books me for these pre-wedding events as it gives me a chance to meet their closest friends and family and get a feel for how the wedding day itself will go.
Such was the case with Forrester and Lisajean's wedding and by the time I left the restaurant the night before, I knew this would be a fun wedding.
Lisajean and her bridal party didn't disappoint and once I arrived to bridal prep, the fun and laughs began and, before we knew it, it was time to get serious about heading to the church. This day truly flew by.
I really liked Lisajean's bridal party. Though, I'll admit, it was one of the most nontraditional I've ever seen. Lisajean had two bridesmaids and FIVE bridesmen. Yes. That's an actual term.
Lisajean's bridesmen were some of the most relaxed and easygoing guys I've seen in a wedding party and it made the pre-wedding formal photo session a breeze as each member of the seven-member party was different than the other, making it rare that I actually remembered everyone's name and could call them out when it was their turn for a photo.
Add to that how relaxed they made the bride-to-be feel even as the countdown to the ceremony was beginning and you know you've got an amazing wedding party on your hands.
But as cool as hanging with these folks was, I'll be honest and tell you the thing I was looking forward to most during this wedding was the ceremony. I've always known Forrester to be a romantic at heart and hoped seeing his bride would make him cry. I was not disappointed.
Forrester and Lisajean's wedding ceremony was one of the most unique I've ever seen. A blend of traditional American Catholic and Filipino, this ceremony was full of a bunch of special little touches, each more meaningful than the last.
By the time it was over, I can say my heart was full of joy in seeing a person I've known for so long so happy.
And the best part was ... we were just getting started.
As nice as Forrester and Lisajean's ceremony was, I knew the reception would be what most guests remembered long after they went home and, boy, was I right.
Forrester and Lisajean had their wedding reception in the backyard of Forrester's childhood home and that meant a large portion of the guests, and the couple themselves, had to travel hours to attend the fesitivities. Thankfully, it was worth the travel time.
In a beautiful tent with fantastic lighting and a great breeze caused by a small rainstorm coming in and out of the area, Forrester and Lisajean's reception was a special one. From the minute the couple were introduced until they left hand-in-hand, there were laughs shared and memories made from large groups of people who barely knew each other hours earlier.
What I adored the most about Forrester and Lisajean's wedding was the love and genuine happiness in the room.
Listening to two touching speeches by the maid of honor and best man, or watching Forrester and his parents embrace on the dance floor, it was obvious the people in this tent had known the bride and groom, respectively, for years and were so happy to see this moment happen for each of them.
I think my favorite part of the night was how laid back Forrester was.
I've always known him as a joker and he delivered in a big way on his special day. Not only did he had a hilarious dance with his best man but he played the best wedding-related prank I've ever seen by taking the place of the guest who caught the bouquet and surprising the poor gentlemen who caught the garter. Seeing this grown man recoil in horror as he brushed up against Forrester's hairy legs is easily one of the funniest things I have ever seen at a wedding. I will remember it for as long as I'm lucky enough to shoot these events.
The one thing I wasn't too sure of in relation to Forrester and Lisajean's wedding was how much, if any, dancing would actually go on.
Forrester and Lisajean weren't much of a dancing couple, at first, and spent a good chunk of their wedding mingling with friends and family but once the DJs started throwing some old classics into the mix, they got the dance floor rocking and the bride and groom just had to join.
By the end of the night, Forrester and Lisajean were both emotionally and physically drained and who could blame them? Weddings are stressful affairs and, even if you plan everything to a tee, the nights are taxing.
But this new bride and groom weren't tired because of the difficulty in the day. Far from it. This wedding could not have gone smoother or run more like clockwork if they tried.
But it was an emotionally-draining one as I don't think I saw either the new bride or the new groom along by themselves for more than a minute.
There was a lot of love in the room the night Forrester and Lisajean committed to spend the rest of their lives with each other and I'm just glad I got to be lucky enough to witness it. To say I feel blessed looking back on this day is an understatement. It was an honor and privilage to shoot this event and a shining example of why I do what I do.
So congrats Forrester and Lisajean. You guys are amazing. I hope your day was everything you wanted it to be and much, much more.