Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ryan + Marisa at the Aerie Ballroom in Centrailia...or the story of the time I dragged a Bride and Groom to a bar on their wedding day

This is the story of the time that I dragged a bride and groom to the bar on their wedding day. Well, not just the bride and groom. It was actually the whole wedding party, minus one bridesmaid because she was underage.
Hang with me, though, it's not as bad as it seems. It does require some back story.

So, I photographed a wedding in October. Downtown Centrailia is full of antique shops and great old buildings with tons of history behind them.
Ryan and Marisa (who are so fun and sweet to be around) whose engagement I photographed earlier in the year...see THIS post...decided to have their wedding at The Aerie Ballroom. We scheduled a walk thru so that the bride could show me the venue and man, that is one cool joint. Balconies and high ceilings and rooms full of mirrors; all I needed was a gown and I could have gone to the ball with Mr. Darcy.

Did you catch that allusion to Austen? I'm clever.

Anyway, while we were scouting around we headed outside and looked for a few locations where we could shoot out of doors. We found several likely spots, and ended up in what is probably the coolest bar EVER. It's called The Olympic Club Pub by McMenamins. The minute we walked in the door, I looked at the bride and she looked at me and I said, "We HAVE to shoot in here."

Fast forward to the wedding day. I should have known that October in Washington meant rainy weather. Silly me. Outside photos got nixed. But I was still desperate to get my couple down to the bar. I had spend months visualizing how I would photograph the wedding party and the bride and groom in that bar.  There was a bit of push back, I'm not going to lie. I'm pretty sure I got the evil eye from several grandmothers.
It was REALLY windy and rainy and Marisa looked so amazing with her dress and her perfect hair and here I was trying to bully everyone out into the rain to walk a block down the street in the gale force winds for a few photos, but I just knew that they would be special.
I can actually still see the look of steely resolve forming on the brides face when she decided we were going to get those darned photos, mean mugging grannies or not.

My wonderful assistant and I hurried off down the street holding umbrellas over freezing bridesmaids as I stalwartly dragged my bride and groom, along with their whole wedding party, off to the bar. I still shudder to think of what the family must have thought of me!

We got inside, I equipped my assistant with an LED panel video light, and after getting permission to use the space I began posing the bridal party. Everyone had a great time, including the patrons of The Olympic Club who watched in fascination and even gamely offered some of their pool balls as props!

While it was a gutsy thing to do, these photos ended up being Ryan and Marisa's favorites and both of them were so glad that they braved the rain and wind to get them. So am I, because this is exactly what I want to be doing.
I mean, really...who else is going to have wedding photos like THIS!?

Want to see a few more shots of Ryan and Marisa's wedding at the Aerie Ballroom in Centrailia Washington? Head over HERE. There are lots more.

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