Monday, September 3, 2012

Alki Beach Bathhouse Wedding :: Sophie & Johnny

I could have sworn that I'd taken a cruise ship down the West Coast and disembarked for a Laguna beach wedding in California; the sun was beating down and bikini-clad roller-bladers were scooting past me on the promenade. One thing gave me a reality check though....the view. Instead of the expansive Pacific Ocean with cool surfer dudes carving their way toward sexy Baywatch lifeguards, I was staring out at Seattle's beautiful Pudget Sound, rimmed with blue mountains, ferry boats plowing their way through the water, seagulls swooping overhead and in the distance, a little baby Space Needle reaching it's iconic silhouette up towards the heavens. It was the perfect day for Sophie & Johnny's (second) wedding celebration.
The day began at the Edgewater Hotel (famous for being fabulous & for that one time when The Beatles checked in and went fishing off their balcony!). I had flown in from Scotland to shoot this wedding and the change in climate was absolutely glorious! Nothing but SUN! (it wasn't until I was standing on the beach that I realised just how white and pale my skin has become beside the North Sea). I felt like I was on a cruise ship with that view from their Pacific Northwest-themed suite.

After months of small stressin' & shopping worldwide all of the bridesmaids dresses finally came together. The teal, yellow & coral worked perfectly as a colour palette for the day and really added to the beachy atmosphere.
My parents were my second & third shooters the whole day long (I love working with them!) and my mom is literally AMAZEBALLS at stylizing details. She arranged all of the beautiful dress & shoe displays that I shot that day. I could have photographed the dresses on the bedframe all day long. I must have taken at least 100 shots of them just for fun! I couldn't stop myself. :P
So while we were busy zooming in on shoes and buttons, the bride & her ladies were elegantly poised over the freestanding bathtub making their legs silky smooooth! So many giggles were coming from that bathroom :D
Styled details are beautiful but sometimes I love it when I can photograph details that have been placed somewhere naturally, you know — just thrown down without thought. Maureen (one of Sophie's bridesmaids) walked passed me and dropped her shoes on the bed, one tipped over and snap snap snap!!! I just love it.
Work it girls! That's my mom taking the photo on Gayle's iPhone.
And of course, nothing quite like instant gratification. Sophie & Gayle seemed to like mom's handy work and off flew the photo to Gayle's mom via email. Technology these day! Flippin' amazing :DAnd then, the room was empty. Empty breakfast plates on the table, one sip of champagne left in the bottoms of the lipstick stained glasses scattered around the suite and silence waiting with Sophie on the balcony. "Can I have a moment just with him?" she asked me. "Of course!" I replied. "I'll hide in this corner so I can capture his reaction when he walks out and once I've got it I'll slip back inside and give you some privacy." So I wiggled myself into the back corner.
Throughout the evening special guests and family members performed songs and recited readings that put a tear in corner of nearly everyone's eye. Sophie's brother and good friend kicked off the party with some guitar goodness and Sophie & Johnny in their typical Sophie & Johnny chillaxed-ness watched and cheered them on from the floor.
Woot woot for teal bridesmaids! See a familiar face in there somewhere maybe? :P
Everyone seems to have thought it was pretty funny when I declared that Johnny was the most desirable man in the world that day and that we should all snuggle in and Sophie can beat us off one by one to defend her man. What is so funny about that ladies?! The man's a stud! hehehe

Sophie & her dad have a very special relationship. It was beautiful seeing them walking down the beach together arm in arm.
Have you ever seen such a cool wedding cake?! The little daemon on the top layer is a benevolent Chilean god that Johnny was very proud to have join them at their wedding because he's such a strong representation of his home culture.
Sophie's brother had brought along a bundle of funky sunglasses for everyone including the flowers :P
My favourite moment of the whole day was watching Sophie & Johnny through my camera as they danced with their foreheads pressed together and their lips whispered to one another with big smiles spreading all the way to their eyes. My own eyes watered up and I just knew, again for the thousandth time, that these two are so filled with love for one another — it's contagious and inspiring.

To view more images from Sophie & Johnny's Alki Beach Bathhouse Wedding, please feel free to enjoy their slideshow below. The theme tune is "Free" by Liz Longley, provided by!

Congratulations Johnny & Sophie. I love you both :D