My niece Kaelin was all set to marry her fiancé Dylan on the first Sunday in April. On March 16th the reduced gatherings order was put in place here in Washington. The wedding was still scheduled for several weeks out, but the projection was that the gathering limitations would only get worse. The wedding vendors (venue, DJ, and caterer) all cancelled. A couple of days later, the stay at home/quarantine order was issued for Washington State.
While many brides are also dealing with wedding upheaval, my niece is marrying a member of the military. That adds an extra twist for them. Those who have served or know people who have served understand that a servicemember is not able to plan leave too far ahead. There are also the issues of possibly being separated from your loved one if they are transferred before you get married, or if they are deployed you may not be able to get pertinent updates on them. These are just a couple of things that come to mind.
So, what are they going to do you ask? After much consideration, they have decided to elope and then have receptions at family homes to celebrate when it is safe for gathering in groups again. It wasn’t an easy decision but they weighed the options and ultimately decided it was best to do an elopement. She will not be walked down the aisle with her dad, they will not have both families there to celebrate, the memories will be so different from what they had planned. But they are both rolling with the changes and doing their best to adapt.
When I spoke with my niece about all of these changes (I was going to be the photographer at the wedding so she needed to let me know about the cancellation), I had a couple of suggestions to help still make the wedding special.
These suggestions were about keeping some of the traditions she planned to incorporate into her more traditional wedding day into the elopement. It may not be what they originally envisioned for their wedding but there are ways to still make it special and memorable.
What about wedding photos you ask? Well, we talked about that too. While she will not have the traditional wedding photos, we talked about still taking the time to do a photo session with her getting ready. It would include those special shots with her mother and bridesmaids, a first look, and family/wedding party shots (to the best of our ability). They may be married but it will be the first time her new husband will see her in her wedding dress. No need to miss that “first look” moment! We are going to try and capture as many of those photos that we would have done on their wedding day next month (or when it is safe).
The groom’s grandparents are elderly and were not going to be able to attend the wedding as they live down south and the wedding was going to be in northern Washington. One thing they had already talked about doing for them was a Facebook Livestream. With social media, we have options to share the special moments, even if it isn’t in person.
For all of those couples out there who had to cancel their wedding, reduce it to immediate family, or decided to elope, I hope you find a way to still make your day special. I’m sure your photographer would love to work with you on scheduling an after the event session as well. If not, let me know! I would love to help.
It’s the last weekend in February, the clouds are heavy with rain and there is a chill in the air. All signs that it must be time for the annual FishersPoets Gathering in Astoria, Oregon. This year, the regular photographer was unable to attend the event due to a family emergency. He put out a call for volunteers to photograph the event in his absence. I was one of those who responded and offered to help.
This year they celebrated their 23rd Gathering. Men and women from the fishing industry and their spouses read their poetry, told a tale or two, or sang a song. It is an opportunity to learn about their way of life and the beauty and challenges of making a living off the sea. These talented individuals have unique perspectives and stories to share through different mediums. Some seemed to be at ease in the spotlight sharing their story and others maybe not totally as comfortable. But every one of them was spectacular and left the audience appreciating their stories and loudly applauding.
On Friday and Saturday night, I spent a couple of hours each evening at two of the locations taking photos. The two spots of my focus were the Liberty and Ten-Fifteen theaters. They were dark venues with spotlights on the presenters. This was a little bit a challenge for me not knowing the group and trying to get photos without interrupting their stories or blocking the audience’s view. The lighting in these venues presented an interesting challenge as well (no flash and stage lighting). I was able to get a few photos to share with the main photographer and am sharing a couple with you.
This event has multiple venues and runs Friday through mid-day on Sunday. Friday was busy but not as heavily attended as Saturday. Both nights had incredible talent on display and many if not all of them performed a couple of times throughout the weekend.
The readings were held at several pubs and theaters throughout downtown Astoria and all within easy walking distance to each other. It is a lively bunch and you can see what a close community it is. And if you aren’t in the fishing community, you may not get all the jokes, but you feel welcome just the same.
If you haven’t attended this annual event, I highly recommend it. A weekend in Astoria is always a good idea!
I'm a Vancouver, WA photographer focusing on portraits and have a love of travel!