2020 has been…special. It’s been challenging to feel creative and inspired in the midst of all of the madness that has made this year impossibly difficult for humanity. It feels frivolous to talk about adventure and travel and weddings and parties when the world is falling apart…but we miss sharing. If we can’t get out into the world and photograph, we need to at least share some of our past experiences. We need to remember the feeling of traveling and photographing and sharing love. We are destination photographers who have been grounded..and we don’t like that feeling at all. Staying home and keeping our loved ones safe has been our priority over the course of this pandemic, and we are fortunate to have been able to hunker down and work on some personal projects while weddings were postponed into 2021. But we really really miss the world. So let’s take a journey into the past before Covid had touched our lives, and let’s talk about hurricane wedding photographers 😉
That’s right. Hurricane wedding photographers. After shooting together for over a decade, we have experienced a lot of intense wedding weekend weather. We’ve photographed weddings in ice storms and downpours and even a freak lightning storm followed by sleet and snow. We’ve shot in extreme high temperatures, and in freeze your eyebrows temperatures. And thanks to Abby & Joe and Hurricane Dorian, we can officially say that we have driven straight into a hurricane in order to photograph a wedding.
Abby & Joe are our people. They aren’t just clients, they are family. And we were SOOOO excited for their wedding weekend at Wrightsville Beach. Verge Events (starring Nicole… Ian’s lovely wife) were the event planners, and they had a dream team of vendors lined up for an absolutely epic wedding. And then the universe decided to toss a hurricane our way. Dorian was expected to nail the North Carolina coast on Thursday, and we were to start shooting the wedding weekend events starting on Friday. So we loaded up the car and headed towards the coast a couple of days early in order to be in place before the storm. There was a strong likelihood that access in and out of town was going to be limited due to storm damage, so while the coast headed to the mountains…we headed to the beach 😉
The rehearsal dinner was supposed to be on Battleship NC in Wilmington. But the storm surge had other plans. So Nicole went to work finding a new rehearsal dinner location in a city that was preparing to lose power and water. A huge undertaking for a normal event planner, but she’s a rockstar, and she had us to assist…and provide emotional support. (and let’s be honest… we really assisted by becoming very familiar with the local bar scene 😉 )Because of the uncertainty related to the incoming storm, Abby & Joe and their families also headed to Wilmington in order to be in place ahead of the storm. And then we waited. We watched the weather. We crossed our fingers.
Watching a coastal city prepare for a hurricane is fascinating. We embraced our new status as hurricane wedding photographers, and spent the majority of our time exploring the city and documenting the storm prep. Locals were calmly and efficiently boarding up their windows and sandbagging their doors. You could feel the storm long before you could see it. We could feel the pressure in our bones. The air was heavy. The wind picked up. Before the rain kicked in, the group decided to take a walk and grab some food. As destination wedding photographers, our focus is not just on the wedding day, but on the wedding experience. Super fun couple and their people fighting the wind in search of sustenance in a hurricane? Yep. Sounds like a fantastic evening to us 😉
We went back to the hotel, grabbed our rain jackets and we headed straight back out. The rain had really started, and we found a bar to with a jukebox where we could play Hurricane by Band of Heathens, watch the weather, and enjoy this strange new local culture.
The storm surge rushed in and started taking over the streets. We chose to embrace this moments by playing in the water like small children. Don’t judge. We could feel the storm in our bones. It was raining, and the water was rising, and the wind was whipping. But there are no words for the way the air feels just before a hurricane makes landfall. It is heavy, and it is electric. It’s a feeling that is both terrifying…and also exhilarating.
The storm was fast and furious, and it left a gorgeous blue sky day behind for Abby & Joe’s wedding. We can’t wait to show you some of those images, but for now, we hope you enjoyed our tale of the hurricane wedding photographers 😉
More soon! Stay safe. Stay home. Stay inspired.
a & I