Monday, April 30, 2012

Woodinville Wedding :: Erik & Melissa

Oh my goodness gracious am I excited to share this wedding with you, or what?! At the beginning of March, I had to incredible privilege to photograph Erik & Melissa's wedding in Woodinville, Washington. Melissa just so happens to be my best friend's big sister so the whole day was already so personal and then seeing it from a photographer's perspective (I got to go places that other guests didn't go!) made it even more incredible. My family were there too! Erik & Melissa's wedding was my first full wedding (before then I had only shot an elopement) so I was bursting with excitement for the chance to photograph lots of people and pretty things. Melissa & Erik already had a photographer (Bryce Covey) booked when I offered to shoot their wedding but they welcomed me along as a second photographer. Instead of teaming up, Bryce and I decided it would be best for us to just work independently and I'm so glad we did! Let me tell you why...

It took me the first hour or so to figure out how I was going to work around him/not get in his way, and not just take the same pictures that he was taking. Finally...I had my little stroke of 'inspiration' and decided that I was going to let him take care of all of the essential, required and traditional photos. Since I knew the whole wedding was going to be documented beautifully by Bryce I felt free to ask myself what I really wanted to capture. I brainstormed all of the different ways I could approach the day and then I realised that what my heart really wanted to do was stay by Melissa's side all day long and document their wedding day from her perspective. 

I had the absolutely honour and joy to be with Melissa right from the beginning of the day. Just like when I was in high school (carpooling to school with her sister Kaitlyn) I woke up early, drove up their neighborhood, burst through the door and her dad offered me a smoothy. No time for smoothies on that morning lol We were off to the hair salon! And let me tell you...what a totally awesome salon! Salon Rouge in Bothell, Washington — gorgeous vintage decor and a wall full of colourful shampoos and creams!

Once Melissa's hair was all curled up and she looked like a porcelain doll (she let her hair down for photos hehe), we (Melissa, Kaitlyn & I) headed to Macy's so they could have their make-up done by the pros at Clinique.
While they were getting all dolled up, I had fun riding the escalators up and down taking "semi-aerial" shots, 'dating' their wedding with shots of Beiber Fever in the background and playing with my macro lens to get close ups on their eyelashes! 

Melissa's gorgeous flowers were designed by another family friend (the mom of one of my other bridesmaids!)...Therese White. She is such a fabulous florist. I particularly loved the giant centerpiece she created for the ceremony aisle & later it was moved to the serving table during the reception.

Melissa's bridesmaids were absolutely amazing! They were all so loving and supportive (and really excited for her). It was so sweet watching them help her lace up her dress, slide on her shoes, give her tons of hugs and the list goes on of all the ways they were utterly wonderful. (Plus, again...I knew some of these girls from growing up which made it even more fun for me to spend the day with them!)

Funny little bit of mom wore the same shoes to the wedding as the bride! Fancy that :P

Ahh the first look! This was the first chance I had ever had to see/shoot one and it's so incredible. Erik was standing on the stage where they would later be married and Melissa & I were hiding out in the hallway. She grabbed my hand really tightly and I squeezed it back as we looked at each other with big eyes and big butterflies in our stomach — the adrenaline running through me was crazy...I bet she had even more!
Family photo time! Again, I just let Bryce (the other photographer) do his thing and capture all the smiles. I had so much fun going for candids. This photo is one of my favourites because half way through the family portraits somebody said "Hey Erik, your shirts untucked." Everyone waited for him except Melissa who was clearly still workin' it for the cameras heheWedding party photos were taken at JM Cellars, a local winery. I really let Bryce do his thing here as this was the moment when I had a minor mental flush of panic hehe — I hadn't quite figured out my strategy by this point hehe 

Of course, being Seattle, the rain wanted to celebrate with us so out came the umbrellas. I've been so used to living in Britain where everyone complains about the rain it was so refreshing to step out of the car and hear one of the bridesmaids say, "Ah...I love Seattle rain." :P
Introducing...the flower girl! What a cutie :)
These bridesmaids were so much fun. They are seriously good at pulling funny faces. hehe The beautiful vision in the middle is Kaitlyn (my bestie/bridesmaid)!

Being in the car with Melissa & Erik as they drove to the ceremony was such a tremendous honour. Oh my goodness, the only other people in there were the maid-of-honour & best man. I don't think I was 'supposed' to hop into that car but I'm so glad I jumped in because it gave me a few extra special moments with them. Melissa & Kaitlyn were so cute in the back seat — at one point they nuzzled their noses together! hehe bridesmaids ever! hehe
Therese's GORGEOUS flower designs! What an phenomenal artist she is!

We folded these beautiful flower shaped napkins a couple days before the wedding. I went over to Melissa's for pizza night and joined the circle of ladies fiddling around with fabric. Some of us were much better at it than others. 300 napkins I believe — ah the beauty of teamwork, eh?! It was really satisfying to see them all out on the tables :)

This is Melissa's cousin, Ben. Does anyone else agree with me and think he looks even a little bit like Jesus all cleaned up in a suit? hehe Ben is so much fun and I'm so glad I got to see him again (he flew all the way from North Carolina for the wedding!)
The cupcakes were made by Taylor Frazier, the lovely girlfriend of Melissa's brother David. I had no idea that making cupcakes for weddings was her thing but my goodness they were delicious! She made soo many and all sorts of flavours. I tried the coffee one right at the very end of the wedding when we were all packing up — by then I figured they wouldn't miss one :P

It was so lovely to see the mothers of the bride & groom dancing together. I think they had both been a little stressed before the wedding and it all seemed to melt away and they could really enjoy the party.

And off they went on their fabulous honeymoon to Jamaica & DisneyWorld! Thank you so much Melissa & Erik for invited me to your wedding & letting me follow you around all day with my camera! I had an AMAZING time! 
To see more of Erik & Melissa's Woodinville, Washington Wedding, feel free to CLICK HERE for a BIG slideshow or simply watch the smaller version here :