3.8.12

Enjoy Weddings | Ryan + Clairisse | Strong Mansion on Sugarloaf Mountain

so i took my time
oh what a thing to've done
yellow - coldplay
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My last wedding before my own couldn't have been better.
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Hot wedding.  Hot people. The sweat could not be helped.  But neither could the joy.  In a small little mansion room, over fifteen ladies made their way in and out.  There was no walk of life excluded - 70 year old grandmothers and five year old little girls.
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Some people are just cut out for pressure cooker situations.  They can handle them with grace and chill like most society can not.  Clairisse, in her shorts and tank-top, fanned herself and anticipated her day.  It's a beautiful thing to watch kindness when complaining could be so convenient.   Clairisse is, therefore, a beautiful woman.
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Her friends ran to her side and aided the Kindness Cause.  Not a word of fuss or distaste among them.  They simply looked on the bright side, kept creative and complimented everything they could.  
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With temperatures well over 100 and a broken AC unit, we had great fun running around with tissues in our arm-pits and fans galore.  I adore this series:
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Bridesmaid for the win!
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You may recognize these flower girls from my 100th wedding last September.  When Clairisse was in middle school one of her teachers was pregnant.  When the babu girl, Maggie, was born Clair started to baby-sit.  Over the years Maggie happily welcome two sisters into her life, and Clairisse was there for all of it.  Their relationship is quite meaningful and I couldn't help but be moved by the little girls watching their favorite baby-sitter prepare for her wedding.
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But nothing - not even the adorable flower girls - could top the following moment.  With the wedding gown hung in the window, everyone in the room rushed about.  You know: fans, sweating, dressing, hair, make-up, you get it.  All of a sudden Clairisse's mom freezes in the middle of the room, staring at the dress. 
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"I've seen these pictures! And I was with her when she bought this dress! And, oh, it's just so beautiful. And it's here and, oh, my.  Wow."
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Praise God for the little ones to lighten the mood and keep the make-up in tact!  She had us in stitches.
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She is pulchritudinous. (There's a vocab word of the week!) 
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She just got to do what we all wished we could.  Lucky little tot.
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I don't know what the feeling is like for someone who isn't a photographer.  I suppose I have a similar feeling when I realize I made the perfect coaching decision, and that my team was prepared and able to execute.  Or when I make a meal that just, gah, every part of it comes together perfect and right on time and beautiful and delicious.  It's that satisfying, earned "Yeeeehhhhs.  YEHHHSSS!" but you can't vocalize it at all.  You just continue coaching, or serving your meal, or taking pictures.  But the moment I saw Clarisse's dress, I had a vision in my head of what I wanted to create while she put it on.  And it worked.  All the elements came together: her hair was flawless, the light was fantastic, the window sill was wide enough for me to stand on, the 1.2 lens focused abnormally well.  And I've never seen Clair look better.
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The boys kept their cool outside on the flawless property.
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One of my favorite wedding photographs ever, and I didn't take it!  My impressive fiance' second shot with me during this wedding.  And boy oh boy did he nail it.
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Beautiful ceremony to begin a beautiful marriage.
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This could almost come across wrong, and I hope it doesn't, but this wedding was surprisingly grown-up and elegant.  Ryan and Clairisse met in highschool at prom, and have been young loves.  They are fanatical about music (Ryan is the DJ for area proms) and the beach (they even got engaged there!)  I would consider them cool - much cooler than I am - and very, very fun.  I expected them to have great taste.  I expected them to look fiiiine.  I expected them to be welcoming and happy.  But they were so much more.  They carried themselves with classic maturity and graceful depth.  I met Clair in middle school, and, well, I don't know... it just seems like we are still so little.  And even though I know that most of my graduating class is either engaged or married, and I know that I'm about to be a wife myself, it still catches me off guard that we are really starting our families.  And Ryan and Clairisse were just impressively beautiful all day long.  Photobucket
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I'm not even *sure* that this was real life.  
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This wedding was just begging for a black and white series.  Begging.  And bribing me.  I'm a weak woman.
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I love it when cool people are cutesy.  
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But then when cool people dance, I get all self-concious again.  ;)
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Well ain't that romantic! Owww-eee!
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Ryan and Clairisse, I thoroughly enjoyed and even felt honored to be a part of your wedding.  I think you two are a remarkable couple.  Ryan, Clairisse absolutely bubbles over when you say something funny, and her nose is nearly always scrunched.  She watches you in a crowd and relaxes next to you.  Clairisse, Ryan is so tender and genuine with you.  I love seeing his lack of "ego" or need to show-off. He beams with you by his side.  You two impress me.  Your patience, your love of people, your joy.  It's beautiful.
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The tables were named of their favorite albums.  For the win!
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In over 100 weddings, this was easily top three dance parties ever (I would not expect any less from our local DJ!)
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I wish you two an irresistibly fun, continually happy and very, very cool marriage :)

17 comments:

  1. They're awesome. Loved this :D

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  2. Mmmmm, her dress. You captured it amazingly. Gahh, gorgeous images!

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  3. beyond gorgeous! soo beautiful, kristen.

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  4. That dress is so beautiful! Gorgeous pictures as always

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  5. I love the depth in this wedding, Kristen! And that shot you naiiiiiled of the bride is really unreal. I mean, so is every other image but that's just the icing on the cake. Don't ask what cake, cuz I don't know, but just know this is so amazingly fabulous. Beeeeautiful. :)

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  6. I am always speechless at the end of your wedding posts. :')

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  7. whew. this wedding is beAUTiful! the lighting is just to die for. gorgeous job, kristen :)
    plus, i love sugarloaf mountain. although last time i went there, there were about a million stinkbugs. so that wasn't too great. :P

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  8. "Is this the real life, is this just fantasy." :)

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  9. So...this is just insane. Like, that's really all I can say. The bridals are some of the best I've ever seen! You rocked it!! :)

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  10. Anonymous6.8.12

    I am Clair's Auntie M. from Canada and I was THERE in real life and it WAS beautiful....so how did you manage to make it even MORE beautiful?? I guess that truly is a mark of a superb photographer! You truly have a gift and a super sweet and humble attitude to go along with it! Lovely, lovely pictures!!

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  11. this whole wedding is stunning. love them all!

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  12. Wow, these pictures are amazing. I literally did NOT want them to stop. They are a beautiful couple and you are an amazing photographer. :)

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  13. stunning, enchanting, lovely, I can tell in every wedding blog how much you love getting to know the couple that you shoot for and how sincerely you represent them. but this? this was incredible, kudos Kristen! :)

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  14. great pics, Kristen! Good job!

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  15. wow o wow.

    Some of my favorite pictures you've taken :).

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  16. Oh my goodness, Kristen. I can't even get over how absolutely stunning these shots are.

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Oh, you've made my day! Thank you for the thoughts and words!