From watching the exuberant smile on Alexis' face, you would never guess that smoke had slowly rolled over this Washington state wedding about six hours prior.
As I drove deeper into the forest mid afternoon in September, worry was setting in. I was heading toward a cabin Airbnb where the wedding party was getting ready. I saw police lights light up behind me, and pulled to the embankment with a little pit in my stomach. I rolled my window down, only to have the heavy grey air roll in. The officer let me know that if I ventured further into the woods, I'd be in an area where I wouldn't be rescued (eek!) And that a fire would be there any moment.
I promptly turned back and called Alexis. Who.. was unrealistically chipper! She let me know that we'd all be making a scramble to the venue, and to meet there. The venue was a sweet family-owned property nestled amongst rolling bluffs and mountains in Southern Washington.
The rest of the wedding was a joyous blur. Folks partied to distract from the natural disaster looming just over the hills. The groom's family broke out into a robust rendition of Oh Canada.. I mean, his entire family stood and bellowed the full national anthem. We used the diffused light, the red barely peeking through the smoke, to make photographic magic. The newlyweds were lit perfectly as the tramped through a mountain stream, rode a vintage motorcycle around the property and held each other under string lights.
It was a stunning day full of color, Motown music, family and genuine love. I was so thankful they chose to remember their day with Super 8 film. It really highlighted the authenticity of their love story, and exemplified their nostalgic, warm love.
Watching their film feels like a road trip with your best friend, harmonicas by a campfire (smoke left on your clothes after!), deep long hugs, and oldies playing with the windows down.