“He’s my calm.” With all the softness and sincereness of an angel, she smiled and whispered those words to us. All around, Murphey and his friggen Laws were in full force. Record setting temperatures, limo #2 doubling as a sardine can, and groomsmen being… well, groomsmen. And her perfect calm among the storm is how I’ll always remember Damien & Nicole’s beautiful wedding day.
I don’t know who invited Murphey to their wedding, but he showed up, dressed to impress, with all his Laws in tow. Record setting temperatures poured down on a breezeless and sun-soaked day. We started photographing Nicole and her bridesmaids at 11am and it was already scratching 90 degrees. Murphey and his “Laws” was just getting warmed up. We were having a great time at their house, using that beautiful window light the living room had to offer to photograph Nicole and everything was perfect. Excitement roared as everyone saw the limousine pull up. With over 20 people in the bridal party to get from one celebration to the next, this limo docked in front of the ENTIRE front of the house. And then it happened… And then they gasped… And then awkward silence.
The limo driver spilled out of the front door and frantically lifted the hood to release the plume of smoke trapped under the hood. He stood back to let the limo cough out the toxic fumes. Rolling up his sleeves he climbed inside the throat of this beast and did his best to resuscitate it. It was no use. The air conditioner was gone. After a moment of silence, Nicole and her entourage climbed in for a 20 minute ride to meet Damien for their First Look.
That final voyage for this limo landed them at Nicole’s parents’ house and their much needed air conditioned home. While we were getting Damien and Nicole ready to see each other for the first time on their wedding day, the driver was making arrangements for another ride for the rest of the day. It arrived soon enough and it was fully prepared to seat as many as 14 people. The rest of the day required 2 trips to each destination.
Back to Nicole & Damien. I’m sure you can imagine how anyone would feel, let alone a bride, after a ride in a heat packed box of a limo, then standing outside in a wedding gown with no breeze to speak of, just waiting. Waiting for the first look. And then it happened. She turned around to meet Damien and nothing else mattered. Everything felt as it should. Their eyes connected and then scanned each other from head to toe to enjoy the effort and beauty they each prepared for one another.
After two trips to the church they were married. It was a beautiful ceremony. For the creatives, Damien & Nicole wanted to go by the water for photos. It took a few weeks leading up to the wedding for them to find the perfect spot for photos and we were excited to see where they were taking us.
As it should be – ladies first – the limo took the bridesmaids to the reception and came back for the groomsmen and the newlyweds. We drove to Greenwich Bay for a quick photo session with Nicole and Damien before getting them to their guests and the cocktail hour everyone was enjoying.
We got to the bay and noticed the perfect backdrop of sailboats that were waiting for us, happily floating along. I say floating as if they had a choice. Their sails were up as a mere formality. The wind hadn’t made an appearance all day.
As we were photographing Damien & Nicole at the water’s edge, the groomsmen exited the limo with all the celebratory excitement that groomsmen do and did their best to help us make the bride and groom forget about the camera. Despite the cooling temperatures (it had dropped to 98 degrees outside) and the fun and chaos happening behind me, the photos we captured of Nicole & Damien were exactly what they wanted, and what I wanted to for that matter. After asking the guys to get back on the party bus, I turned to Nicole and asked her how she kept her composure with celebratory chaos happening all around. She looked at Damien and whispered, “He’s my calm.”