I have so many more stories from our photography days when we were Curtis Rhodes Photography...and why not, we were at it for about 20 years! Here's a story about the wedding of a very lovely young couple...he, very French and she, a member of the Swinomish Tribe of La Conner. They lived and worked in Seattle but certainly wanted to bring her traditions to their wedding. And so they planned the ceremony to be up in La Conner at the reservation's lovely little white, barrel ceilinged Catholic chapel and the reception back in Seattle in the Olympic Hotel's elegant Georgian Room. The entire church could have fit into the Georgian Room! They were to have the Catholic priest marry them and then the Indian Shaman perform the Sacred Indian Smoke Ceremony.
We finished our pictures just before the guests started arriving and just as the Shaman made his appearance. He was, of course, a very respected and elegant gentleman who used a wheelchair. He called me over and told me about his ceremony. He said that it was fine to take pictures...up to a point. Once the Smoke Ceremony began I was to respect the sacredness and refrain from photographing. I, of course, said, "Of course!" I pointed out a door at the back of the altar and asked if I could come through it early in the ceremony to get a good angle of he and the couple sitting on the Indian blankets he told me he would spread on the floor. He said that would be fine...as long as it was before the Sacred Smoke Ceremony.
And so the couple were married by the Catholic Priest and then the Shaman wheeled himself to the front of the church. All the elegant guests from around the world were in hushed awe as he turned and explained the ceremony...then said that if everyone would please show respect for the Sacred Smoke Ceremony and take no pictures...and it began. He spread his blankets and placed the paraphernalia and he and the couple took their places on the floor. I saw my chance and went around the back and quietly stepped through the door, took aim with my giant Hasselblad and fired...CLICK, CLACK! The crowd GASPED in shocked disbelief!! Poor Vickie, sitting at the back tried to tell a few people that, "No, he was told that before the Sacred Smoke Ceremony......" But I must say that as I slinked to the back of the church amidst the scowls and reproving glares of the congregation and the Sacred Smoke Ceremony began, it was truly a sacred event.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
OK, it's true that not every wedding runs as smooth as silk. Back when I was photographing for Uncle Otto, before Curtis Rhodes Photography and A Perfect Little Wedding, before I was a full time Seattle Wedding Officiant even...way back when...I was assigned to a very elegant Bellevue wedding. When I arrived at the church I knew this was going to be a fancy event. The flowers were sensational, the church was dripping in beautiful arrangements and the corsages and Bouquets were the most unique I had ever seen. The Bride was from Texas (must have been oil money!) tall, brassy and beautiful. The Groom hadn't yet arrived and everyone was waiting, and waiting and waiting. Nerves were beginning to become a little frayed and I was running out of photo time. Finally his car was spotted. He parked at the far end of the parking lot and got out, wearing his sweats. "Uh Oh," the Bride said and headed over to talk with him. They said a few words then headed off, across the street and disappeared...for a LONG time. The guests had all arrived, the minister was fretting and the photographer had gotten philosophical...he'd already been paid, after all. Finally the Bride and Groom came back, across the street, across the parking lot and into their gang of friends. "Well," the Bride said triumphantly, "I just spent an hour talking a man into marrying me so let's get this show on the road!" Wow!
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Before moving back to Seattle and becoming a Seattle Wedding Officiant, I was a California Wedding Officiant! We enjoyed the many weddings we performed (and photographed) on the beaches of San Diego County. One day we had a small group that wanted a beautiful beach wedding and so we found a secluded (as secluded as any beach in San Diego can be, that is) spot by a breakwater. Vickie sprinkled rose petals on the sand and as the bride and groom took their places on the petals and everyone gathered close to them, I began. After a moment, however, I realized that everyone was staring over my shoulder, ignoring me and the ceremony...the bride looked shocked, the groom had a broad smile on his face. I turned and saw that a photographer and his very scantily clad model with a Hula Hoop prop had begun taking cheesecake photos RIGHT NEXT TO US!! I suggested we all rotate and face the breakwater....sorry, no photos this time!
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Seattle Wedding Officiants are the luckiest in the world! We have the opportunity to marry couples under the watchful eye of the famous Fremont Troll! Here we are, A Perfect Little Wedding with Shelby and Tim yesterday afternoon performing another memorable ceremony then heading down to Gasworks Park for photos. It was a blast!!
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
I hope you're enjoying the many Wedding Stories we've accumulated over the years as Curtis Rhodes Photography, Curtis Rhodes Weddings and A Perfect Little Wedding (not to mention our time as San Diego Vows!) Here is a quick memory from a few years ago. The Bride and Groom had chosen a lovely location on the lake. It was a spot that had a rather large floating dock and their dream was to be married out there on the end of the dock. Because of the logistics of having everyone close, I went first, then the couple followed me and took their spot. The Wedding party filed in then the parents and guests. And the dock started sinking lower and lower. As water started splashing around my feet I looked at the Bride and I guess I had a look of panic in my eyes. Even though the hem of her dress was floating around her ankles, she smiled back at me...and they were married as the sun sank slowly in the west.
Well, here it is February 1st already and the place is hopping. A busy weekend meeting with couples and enjoying another Perfect Little Wedding in our perfectly lovely living room! Once again we had a fire in the fireplace and the Glassybaby candles glowing from everywhere as our happy couples tearfully exchanged their wedding vows. I should say that they weren't tearful, HE was! It was very sweet as he attempted to "repeat after me" and could barely get the words out. It was Perfect!