It rained for the last hour of my drive to St. Augustine that morning, a small town I had never been to prior to Johanna and Clint’s wedding day. As the stylist started curling Johanna’s hair, I pulled the back-up umbrellas out of my vehicle, preparing for the continued forecast of intermittent rain throughout the day. When you work in an industry where the show goes on despite the weather, you often find yourself watching the forecast relentlessly, hatching back up plans, and crossing your fingers that the people you’re taking pictures of won’t be disappointed by the weather. My fingers were crossed. It continued to come down as Johanna’s mom and sister helped her into her wedding dress, and as she put on the earrings that had been in her family for years. The man she would soon be marrying was adjusting his tie in a room upstairs just above her, their friends and family members helping make sure they didn’t cross paths before that moment in the aisle.
The rain stopped just prior to Johanna and Clint’s ceremony, which was held at the church on the outskirts of town where many of Johanna’s family members had attended and married in years prior. We made our way to Johanna’s grandmother’s property just a few miles outside of town after that, where the bride and groom hung out with their wedding party as my second shooter and I continued to photograph. Then, it happened – it started to lightly drizzle, just as the wedding party was getting ready to head off and we’d be taking photos of the bride and groom. This is the moment when I briefly hold my breath as raindrops dampen the hair that took so long to perfect earlier in the day, when I watch the bride nervously to see how she’ll respond, when I start thinking about how quickly I can make a mad dash for the nearest umbrella. As I’m mentally preparing, I ask Johanna what she thinks, if they’re okay with the rain, internally wondering if we need to get indoors as soon as possible. Johanna and Clint laugh it off, because they don’t mind a little rain, and they’re all for soaking up this time between just the two of them, and actually yeah, they’d definitely be down to go out in that bean field nearby that will likely involve mud that could get on her wedding dress. They were entirely unfazed.
There was something sorta magical about photographing the two of them in that moment – the natural softbox the overcast sky gave us, the way they looked at and held each other, the stillness of everything around us besides the rain – there was a calm and a quiet in that moment, a calm and quiet that you really can only find when you’re on a back road in the country, and when you’re feeling a certain type of way. They then made their way to their reception, where their wedding guests greeted them with sparklers and hollers and hugs. It was such a fun, thoughtful wedding day, and the rain, for once, just found a way to make it even better.