I love photographing weddings at The Gatehouse in Baton Rouge.
They have the best clients who find them, and I think that says a lot about a business! They just attract great people. And I’m always happy to photograph those people, as they start the rest of their lives with the vows pronounced here!
This is pretty much how the wedding meeting went when I first met Brian and Sophie in the early stages of planning their wedding:
THEM: So, there are gonna be kilts.
THEM: And also, we’re kind of emotional. We’re not big on fussy stuff. We like to have fun.
THEM: We’re thinking about having dragons in our theme…
ME: You realize that you had me at “kilts”, right?
I can’t even describe how much these guys “delivered” on all of my hopes and expectations for their wedding day. This couple’s story also provided a big gut-check moment, for me.
See, their wedding happened just days before the virus currently sweeping our nation put our whole state on quarantine lock-down. We were in the early stages of understanding just how serious things were, as we filed into The Gatehouse.
Naturally, they’d taken every precaution available to keep guests safe and everything sanitary, but I still wasn’t sure what to expect from the crowd gathering to watch Sophie and Brian say their I-Dos.
Would people be anxious? Worried? Distracted? I was starting to hear early reports from other friends in the industry, saying their clients were postponing weddings at other venues. Businesses weren’t actually closing yet, but the brewing concern was causing wedding guests to cancel travel plans for fear of exposing themselves.
It kind of broke my heart a little, to think that the wedding day could be overshadowed by something so uncontrollable. And after so many months of planning and anticipation!
You can see how silly this worry was, from the images below.
When Sophie told me that they were an emotional group, she was not kidding. Every single person on this day–family or friend–was fully invested in this wedding day with these two.
One of the reasons I love smaller, more intimate wedding ceremonies like those at The Gatehouse in Baton Rouge is that often, the guests invited are–by necessity–closer family and friends. There just aren’t any polite, impersonal nods–no awkward congratulations from people you barely know.
Just a lot of joy, a few tears–and a great time.
There were so many fun, unique details that these two incorporated into their day to make it their own. From the dragon cake-topper, Sophie’s lace leg-covers that perfectly matched her dress and allowed her to go barefoot, to my new favorite honeymoon-fund game: Cake Wars (check THAT one out below!)
Annnnd, I’m also now declaring handfasting a “thing” – in case anyone was wondering.
I love so much about this wedding–but chiefly, I love that they made it their own. It wasn’t about the “expected”, it wasn’t about what they were “supposed” to do. It was about their love for each other, and their love for the people in their lives whom they treasured enough to invite to witness this.
My gut-check moment came at the end of the night, when Brian’s mom laid a hand on my shoulder. This tiny, beautiful little lady told me–voice trembling–that she hadn’t believed she’d lived to see this day. After her cancer diagnosis of a few years before, watching he son get married seemed a goal she’d never reach.
I think I’ll always remember that woman thanking me and Christi (The Gatehouse wedding-fixer-extraordinaire) for that day. Telling us how perfect it had been, and how grateful that she was for her son to have these pictures.
We “know”, as professionals in the wedding industry, that we have a big responsibility in our parts on a wedding day. We know, objectively, that the day as we help construct and document it will live in our clients’ memories forever.
It’s a humbling reminder, though, when a big reason why you do your job stands about 5 feet tall and is thanking you with tears in her eyes.
If I’ve learned anything in the days since the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s that I never want to lose sight of what really matters.
When disaster strikes–any kind of disaster–we never reach for “things”.
We reach for people.
So, squeeze your loved ones until they’re out of breath (the healthy kind).
Cry even though you just finished putting your makeup on.
Wear a kilt even if it makes you feel a little silly–because it makes someone you love happy.
Dance like there’s not a damned person in the room other than the two of you.
Savor every moment, and take the picture so you have those moments forever.
Okay, enough from me. Check out this The Gatehouse Baton Rouge wedding, and DROP ME A LINE if you’re getting married and want to document this level of emotion for YOUR day!
No shoes = no problem. Coolest footwear EVER!
This moment meant so much to Brian’s mom!
When in doubt, give your mom a sweet gift that’ll make her cry on your wedding day. That’s *my* advice, anyway.
It’s time. It’s really time!
Brian had the best reaction to seeing Sophie in her dress! I told him I had high expectations. He did not disappoint!
Kids at weddings, again…if you watch them for long enough, they will give you absolute gold 100% of the time.
How cool is this wedding tradition? Boxes were provided for guests to place money in to go towards the honeymoon fund. Whoever had the least amount of money at the end of the night got cake in the face!
I know I don’t normally show a lot of cake, buuuuuut – a dragon cake-topper and giant pickle cake deserve some attention – no? Thanks to Gambino’s for these gems!
THAT TEAR ON MOM’S FACE. I barely made it, y’all. So much emotion! 😭
I had to have this shot. HAD to have it. I have no regrets.
Did I mention kilts? ‘K.
One of *the* most emotional father daughter dances ever. Of all time, probably.
And then the mother son dance raised the bar! (I’m not crying, you’re crying).
I think this reiterates my kids at wedding point pretty effectively even without a caption. Right?
If this isn’t a memory in a single frame, right here…
I love that these two decided to do the last dance of the night under the balcony, alone together. Just the two of them! ❤
Congrats to these two miracles!