Salena + Kelly | Cabo, Mexico | Destination Wedding Photographer
Some people may think its crazy, some people may think it can't be done, but I'm here to tell you that it can. You can do whatever you want for your wedding. So when you want your best friend to be your photographer and your maid of honor, well, ask her. Chances are she'll be thrilled.
Salena and Kelly got engaged in New York last fall. Their vacation overlapped with ours and we actually spent quite a bit of time together in the city. (Who knew the Russian Tea Room was for fancy pants people???) When Salena told me Kelly wanted a couple nice photos of them in Central Park I KNEW he was planning on purposing. I (surprisingly) kept my mouth shut though, for months. Right before we began shooting, he walked up to me while I was switching lenses to tell me just what I thought - I cut him off and just said "I know." We exchanged giddy smiles and I began to pose them and take some photos. What was hilarious is that he handed my fiancé, Jon, the huge box he had the ring box in, but then when it actually happened Jon was busy taking a photo for a mother and son passing by. Jon was so mad he missed it, but that's okay, there's photos ;)
The moment he "had to fix his shoe" was the best, and Salena instantly knew what was happening. This is probably one of my favorite photos ever.
He looked at me to make sure I was ready and I'm pretty sure I started tearing up behind the camera. (It happens often.)
I was so happy our vacations overlapped and I was able to capture this moment! Since then I've gotten inquiries to cover other New York proposals and I kick myself every single time... Why don't we live there??
With a proposal like this, the wedding is bound to be amazing, right?
Salena and I have been friends for quite a while, but were instantly brought much closer over the past three years. We were both living life as working mothers, lovers, and women in our twenties. Sometimes, that can be a daunting task itself. (Am I right ladies?). As we both were planning our destination weddings, neither of us were really interested in a lot of the traditions of a typical wedding day. So when I asked her to be my maid of honor, she was shocked. Instant tears. And when she asked me to be hers on my birthday, I jumped for joy. She had been teasing me the whole time saying she wasn't going to have one! But I so desperately wanted to be the part of her day as she would be mine. Being able to photograph her wedding was one of the biggest honors. I was so touched that she had faith in me to capture and preserve the memories of their day, and as a photographer who just quit her part time job to make it in the real world of wedding photography, it meant the world to me.
Sure I walked down the aisle backwards... while capturing her arm and arm with her dad. Sure I ran up and handed her vows to her in the middle of the ceremony... (which I totally had in my bra.) And then a few minutes later, ran up with a tissue when Kelly read his vows to her. (which I also had in my bra.. I mean where else do you put things when you're a Maid of Honor and photographer with no assistant on a beach in 95 degree weather?!) The experience of being there as a maid of honor is unforgettable, but the experience of living, breathing, capturing, and treasuring every single moment side by side with your best friend on her wedding day is truly an honor.
So my advice to all those brides out there, if you want, just ask your photographer best friend to take on both parts of the day. Yes, it's hard, no, it won't work for everyone, but for us, it was so worth it, and wouldn't have wanted it any other way.