Prior to shooting a wedding I always go out in advance to familiarize myself with the venue so that I have both a plan for perfect weather and for rain (which luckily I normally don’t have to use). On the day I went to visit Glen Magna Farms the garden had to be one of the most picturesque settings for a wedding I ever had the privilege to lay eyes upon. I’m talking about flowers of every color of the rainbow and sweet little bunnies hopping around the grounds. I was all atwitter with excitement to get to shoot there. This was the same feeling I got when I looked at my own wedding venue 3 years ago when planning my very own outdoor wedding at the Pleasantdale Chateau. The only hitch to an outdoor wedding is the weather. They say rain is lucky on a wedding day. If that’s true, Brenna and Eric are even luckier than Matt and I were on our rainy wedding day.
I was expecting a couple that understandably would be a bit sad that it was raining, instead I got a smiling Brenna and Eric who were just so happy it was their wedding day, nothing, not even a torrential rain storm, could dampen their spirits. The staff at the Glen Magna were AMAZING at coming up with last minute accommodations for an indoor ceremony and cocktail hour. We did the big reveal by having Brenna descend the grand staircase inside the mansion and did the formals on the back patio allowing us to still have some beautiful natural light filter in. I loved that even though it was raining Brenna and Eric were game for taking shots outside. To make sure her dress stayed clean I had her sisters help me safety pin white garbage bags to the bottom of her dress. We were going to take shots with umbrellas, but the rain briefly changed to mist, allowing us to get this dramatic shot on the lawn.
135 guests then filed into the drawing room for the pseudo-ceremony. That’s right, a pseudo ceremony. The night before Brenna and Eric exchanged vows at their church with their immediate family. So instead of a traditional ceremony they had the regular procession, but their friend officiated more of a roast of the couple (mostly Eric) than a ceremony. The two tried to re-exchange their rings, but Eric couldn’t get his ring off. This resulted in quite a few quality one liners from the MC, I ah mean officiant. They ended the ceremony on a traditional note with the first kiss. After the cocktail hour it was time to make our way to the tent for the reception. The Glen Magna Staff brought out seemingly endless buckets of golf umbrellas to usher everyone through rain to the tent. The decorations inside the tent were magnificent including chandeliers, beautiful centerpieces, a candy bar, and the pièce de résistance, a grand photo station created by Brenna’s dad. She saw the idea on Pinterest and showed it to her dad. He said, if my little girl wants that on her wedding day, she’s getting it!
Brenna’s dad created a false wall complete with wall paper, crown molding and wainscoting. He hung up wedding and family photos from many generations of both Brenna and Eric’s families. Then he mounted two larger frames in front of holes he cut out of the wall. In the back it had supports and a step in front of the taller frame so that people could easily reach it. Brenna’s family’s creativity was not limited to her dad. Her mom created a BEAUTIFUL cake for them. The staff of the Glen Magna moved the cake for me from it’s white on white tent background to this fab spot with the mansion lit up in the background. After the cake cutting it was time to party down. At the end of the night I was so touched by how well Brenna and Eric took the rain on their big day I asked their amazing wedding coordinator Heather if it would be possible for us to do a make up shoot with them on a day when it isn’t pouring outside. She said of course. So I offered to do a “trash the dress session” with Brenna and Eric during which her dress would be much less likely to get “trashed” than on her actual wedding day so that we could take pictures in the beautiful gardens that they were supposed to have their ceremony in. I hope this shoot will let them get some of the photos they had dreamed of and deserve, like when when my in-laws were driving Matt and I home the sunny day after our wedding and we stopped by our venue and took shots with their little point and shoot that I will forever hold dear in my heart.
Note: Originally Brenna and Eric had planned for it to be a DIY photo station with a little point and shoot camera on a tripod, but it lacked a remote trigger and quickly ran out of batteries since the flash had to go off repeatedly. If you want to do something like this at your wedding I would suggest you either rent a digital SLR with an external flash and a remote trigger or borrow one from a friend. Since the little point and shoot was out of commission I took a few minutes to take shots of those who wanted their shots at the wall. Some were super creative. My favorite by far was Eric’s grandma’s pose.