I don’t know what it is about Pictou Lodge weddings but here I am again posting a story about a turning point in a wedding. The last time something like this happened it was Emily and Chris and some torrential rain that caused a ceremony to happen inside instead of outside. Emily put that minor detail behind her and they threw down one of the greatest wedding parties I’ve ever seen at the Lodge. From a photographer’s point of view, its amazing to watch this happen. To see the disappointment creep in, only to be kicked in the ass and sent packing. There will always be logistical pains in the ass at every wedding…it’s how you deal with them that can really make or break the wedding.
Enter Miriam and Chris.
We knew these guys from a previous wedding so in our heads, this was going to be one of those late nights with everyone dancing on the ceiling. We arrived in New Glasgow to shoot the girls and everything was going smoothly. Miriam, a self confessed control freak (and I mean freak in the most loving way) was frantically peck, peck, pecking away at her blackberry about the logistics of the day ahead for a few hours and when the girls arrived at the lodge to get ready someone made the comment that, “this was the most sober they had all been at this point in any wedding they’d ever been a part of”. This was about to change.
Everything went off as planned and there was very little stress but you could tell that in the back of Miriam’s mind she just wanted to have everything unroll as it should and get to the party. The ceremony was beautiful and the sun beat down on about 150 guests on the cliff overlooking the Northumberland Straight. Photos were fun, dinner and drinks were broken up by hilarious speeches and tears, lots of tears. The bottles of wine on the head table were nearing the bottom as the dinner wrapped up and we stole Miriam and Chris away for 20 minutes for a few sunset photos.
That’s when it all happened.
“Let’s go in the canoe” said Miriam with a giggle. “Oh hell yes” I replied.
We wandered over to the dock, swatting away the copious amount of flies that were sure to cut this shoot short. Miriam leaned over to get into the canoe in the dark and Chris followed with a swagger infused with a small bit of hesitation.
It happened that fast. Miriam was in the water between two canoes and for a split second I thought, “Help her”. That’s when the photographer in both Steph and I kicked in and Steph flung the flash from her side like she was in a 10 man gunfight. I threw up the camera and pressed the botton and hoped, prayed, begged and pleaded that this exposure was right because there was no time for adjustments. This was a moment. This was the turning point.
So while most brides would probably lose their minds over falling into 4 feet of mud and water, Miriam did not. So…we kept shooting and poor Chris bent over to help her out, saying something along the lines of, “Oh no. Oh no, Oh no”. All we could see was Miriam from the waist up. the rest of her very expensive gown was hidden below the surface of mud and water but what shocked us the most was the contagious laughter echoing over the lake. “It’s ok. It’s fine. Don’t worry about it. I’m ok” she kept telling Chris as he plucked her from the water. (we kept shooting)
As we walked up the stairs that lead away from the lake and headed back to the Lodge for the first dance, I heard the greatest words ever spoken by a bride. Slopping her way up the stairs in what was probably a 50 pound dress at this point, Miriam says, “Fuck it. I’ve been stressed out all day long and I want to have fun. I’m not going to let this ruin our day. Let’s go party.”
And party they did. They danced on tables, they removed articles of clothing, they broke bottles and danced and sang all night long. At 4am that morning I put myself to bed on a pullout couch in Meaghan and Justin’s cabin as they played guitar, ate pizza and made puppets w over mitts around me.
This, my friends, is how you celebrate a wedding. The little details are just that. Little. Weddings are a gathering of friends and family and when these little details fall out of place the best thing you can do is heed the words of Miriam Denise Watts and just say “Fuck it”.
(dear parents and grandparents, I’m sorry for the cussing!)
(dear staff of the Pictou Lodge, you are incredible! thank you for opening the pool at 2am and your high level of tolerance for chaos and good times)