Try not to laugh, but being a wedding photographer, not a writer, sometimes titling a blog post can be somewhat challenging. I’m more of a let’s sit down and chat about life than a ‘one-liner’ kind of a person… so thinking of a phrase that is going to sum up the person or event that I’m sharing about can be um… difficult.
This time, however, that was not the case. There are so many things that I could say about Claudia and Paul, I’m not even sure where to begin. How from our very first email exchange, I knew Claudia was going to be “that” bride. As in, my-favorite-kind-of-human-love-talking-to-her-laugh-so-hard-we-cry kinda bride. That when she pitched me this so insane it’s brilliant engagement session idea (more to come on that)… I thought this is going to be epic or super cheesy but I like her enough to go with this…
It. Was. Epic.
Once I figured out that her taste was impeccable and her attention to detail perfect, the idea of this laugh-until-we-cry bride planning her wedding in a city that has become so close to my heart… I have been one happy wedding photographer.
Claudia and Paul adore each other, they adore their families, their friends, they love life. From the moment our team stepped foot in her fantastic rehearsal dinner (which deserves its own blog post) to the moment we sent them off at the end of their wedding day, you could just feel the love and care for those around them.
Claudia was planning her wedding theme as “Blacktie Botanical” and she told me they wanted to turn the indoors into a garden. I’m pretty sure that one of my lifelong dreams is stumbling upon a secret garden somewhere hidden behind a wall… This, I’m sure, comes from reading way too many books that include stories on this topic which continues to make me think it could possibly become a reality for my life… 😉
It is one thing to have a wedding vision, but bringing that vision to life is usually slightly harder said than done. When I walked in the Harriet Himmel in West Palm Beach I realized that she had accomplished everything she had set out to do, creating a beautiful garden… inside. Having an insane team of vendors around her including breathtaking talents of Flower and Fringe and the ridiculous dessert table and cake by Johnson’s Custom Cakes made every part of her vision jump to life like it was jumping out of a storybook… (see what I did there??)
They had incredible music throughout the entire night (note and disclaimer: I may rate your wedding based on excellent music choice alone) with Bay Kings Band doing an amazing job and playing everything from Dean Martin to salsa… For those of you who looked over and saw us grooving on the side strapped down with cameras, don’t judge, it was great music… They had a coordinated champagne pouring event (I mean…), they danced the hora (always my favorite!) and they had a pretzel bar that would bring a grown man to tears. STOP.
But besides her impeccable taste, beautifully planned wedding day, and gorgeous vision, the thing that makes Claudia and Paul stand out to me is the amount of love and respect their family and friends had for them. They were obviously adored by everyone around them, and they obviously put a great deal of time and energy into loving those people back well.
At the end of the day, when the wedding is over, you move on to this thing called life. And as much as I love a beautifully planned and gorgeously executed wedding, it is, in the end, simply a moment of commitment and celebration of that commitment. It can, at times, be hard to remember just that in the midst of colors and details and vision boards. Claudia and Paul never forgot that for a second.
The number of times the two of them asked me or one of my team to grab a picture of them with their grandparents pretty much sums up these two in a one-sentence kind of phrase… These people are important to us. Legacy matters, commitment matters, family matters.
Those are my favorite weddings, and people like Claudia and Paul are my favorite kind of people.
Claudia and Paul, you both are treasures. Thank you for letting me come along for the adventure, and take a peek at your love story. I look forward to many more years of friendship and watching all those babies you two are going to make arrive… 😉 Everyone else, enjoy.
PS – Full vendor love for everyone that made this event possible and links below.