So earlier this year, I was approached by Marta asking for a favor. She and Rob were getting married (yay!), and they were having this bad-ass wedding in a cave, and reception at a beautiful site off a golf course and everything was going great with the planning. Blah blah blah perfectcakes. Except: she had a photographer booked for her day, but that person wasn’t available to shoot the ceremony. And other photographers she approached were not comfortable shooting her ceremony. Because, you know – cave. Dark, no lighting systems allowed, etc. etc.
Anyway, as a last-ditch effort, she wondered if I wouldn’t mind shooting the ceremony for her. And dude, I adore Marta, so I wasn’t gonna say no. I am no professional photographer, but I was up for it and she trusted me. So that was how I found myself at Cave of the Mounds on a chilly fall morning, taking some pictures for Marta and Rob on their wedding day.
So I am not a person to believe in all the woo-woo Signs from the Other Side, but. BUT. Marta and her family are incredibly tight, she has always been extremely close to her sister and parents. Which made it extra terrible when she lost her mother to a long illness earlier this year. She and her sister and dad, they have soldiered on. And when she asked me to look out and if I could, get a picture of her dad seeing her in her wedding dress for the first time, I made it a point to make sure I got that shot if nothing else pre-wedding. It was a picture that meant a lot to her, frankly to all of them.
So we’re all standing outside and I see her dancing along in her happy little Marta way, then I see her lock eyes with someone behind me. And I realize, it’s gotta be her dad. So I scoot over and get into a prime shooting spot, lock my frame, fix my settings, and just start shooting. And all the shots came out just as planned, except for when she is finally in front of him and he bends down to kiss her, and all those images – they flared the fuck out. Like almost white out, I had a hell of a time editing them back to some semblance of normal.
I have no real explanation, my angle or setting didn’t change, the sunlight didn’t suddenly MOVE, I mean I positioned it so the sun was behind a solid unmoving mass. I can only think that maybe, somehow, her mom was there too. And even though I don’t believe in that stuff, I guess now I kinda do.
A funny aside about the ceremony: the cave was so pretty and romantic with candles and little lights strung around, and everyone was so happy, and we’re all just enjoying the ceremony as it unfolds, and then the pastor asked for the rings. And he held them up, and began to speak of their importance, and then suddenly we all hear it… PIIIIIING! A loud, clear-as-a-bell Ping. Like as in, the ping of a ring that had been dropped hitting the ground… which was immediately followed by the sickening PING-PING-PING of what could only be one of the wedding rings then bouncing around on the floor of the stairwell, you know, THE STAIRWELL OF A FREAKING CAVE, IN THE DARK, NOTHING STOPPING IT FROM FLINGING ITSELF OFF THE PLATFORM AND INTO THE ABYSS BELOW, and you guys: everyone froze. And then a split second later there was a flurry of shadowy movement up near the pastor’s feet, and one very amazing groomsman plucked up the runaway ring, and all was saved.
After we all started breathing again, we all had a good long laugh, like I mean every single person in attendance, and then we got that shizz finished up.
And that’s all I gots, they signed their wedding certificate and blew that joint, to go have a nice brunch downtown and some drinks and head to their gorgeous reception. On the way out I stopped at the gift shop and got myself a sweet new rock and a geode keychain, so I too left a very content person.
Marta and Rob are great people, and if you know them, you know that they both possess this awesome, quirky, larger-than-life type of personality. I was so, so glad to spend their wedding morning with them – the cave was a bitchin’ location to get married and all, but in the end a wedding is a wedding, and those two have a marriage and partnership with a spouse who has the same desire to kick life in the balls when necessary. And that’s the best kind of partnership to have.