Chelsea & Chase’s Maple Valley Wedding
Wedding: Beautiful Backyard Intimate Setting, Maple Valley, WA
Reception: Gino’s Bistro, Maple Valley, WA (Not Photographed)
February 29th, 2020
For me, as a wedding photographer and being of Irish descent, photographing a wedding on this special day is pure serendipity. So, when my hairdresser contacted me about a friend, Raelyne, who was having a small, intimate wedding for her stepson in Maple Valley, WA, and needing a photographer, I jumped at the chance. Leap Days only occur once in a blue moon, so why not.
The cloudy sky meant for good luck showers as I drove to the house for this special event. I met the parents and the bride’s two grandmas and found out that they were identical twins. Since I am also an identical twin it was fun to talk about the unique relationship twins have. I met Chelsea and Chase, the bride and groom, who were so sweet and happy. They gave me a tour of the house and we talked about the rain potential and where they planned to have their ceremony.
I started with detail shots of the rings which were a matching set of the most uniquely designed serpents eating their tails; an ouroboros symbol. It’s a powerful image of eternity and primordial unity. I added the single rose the bride planned on carrying and the knotted, braided-ribbon for the knot tying ceremony. I then started taking pictures of the dress and captured the bride getting ready including a special necklace her grandmother placed around her neck. The dress was originally Raelyne’s dress that she had remade into a special gown for Chelsea with intricate black lace on the bottom. Under the dress and showing from the front, was a pair of shiny leggings and red ankle boots. She wore little blue, bird earrings and an infectious smile.
I love the emotion expressed by both the bride and her grandmothers as they prepared for the ceremony. They all just bubbled with happiness and joy and there was such excitement anticipating the upcoming wedding they were about to embark on. After capturing all the fun of the bride getting ready, I went downstairs to capture the groom getting ready with his dad. I have to admit the expressions of both the bride and the groom were just complete fun.
I next brought the groom to the “first look” spot. As the groom didn’t want to see the bride before the ceremony, I had them stand on opposite sides of a barn door at the top of the stairs. They passed a bottle of homemade mead the groom had made. Truly these were the sweetest moments. Once I finished with these shots, we hid the bride and got the groom back downstairs and ready to stand next to his dad who would preform the ceremony.
Then, I took pictures of the bride as her grandmother escorted her down the stairs and through the hall to the door of the ceremony room. The rain had started to fall lightly but it wasn’t pouring. The bride carried her book with her vows written inside and a single rose in her hand. The awed expression of the groom was priceless. I thought… this groom loves his bride. They exchanged their vows. The groom unrolled a scrolled parchment and the bride from her book. They literally tied the knot with a “handfasting” ceremony with a red, white and black corded ribbon and the exchange of ouroboros rings all sealed with a dip and a kiss. The audience of close family and friends was delighted and cheered and clapped when the wedding concluded.
From there, I captured the handwritten vows and did intimate couple shots of the couple. We went out front to take photos of the family and friends who were lucky enough to be part of the intimate wedding. We followed the group shots with a toast to the newlyweds using the homemade mead and the signing of the marriage license.
As I left, the sky opened and dumped rain in a rare thunderstorm. I believe that rain on your wedding day is good luck because it signifies that your marriage will last. Just as a knot is extremely hard to untie when wet, when you “tie the knot” on a rainy day, your marriage is just as hard to unravel. I know Chase and Chelsea’s marriage is truly blessed with good luck and I wish them a long life of love. I hope they never lose the joy they felt on this special day. Sláinte
Are you getting married in Seattle or the greater Washington area this year? If so, I’d love to chat and hear about your wedding plans and visions for the big day!