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A non-traditional destination wedding photographer
for Bobby and Melissa - at St. Thomas
After a few hours on the airplane
We landed on the warm island of St. Thomas, of the US Virgin Islands. Quick nap, squeeze in a little snorkel, then we're off to the open-air bar by the sea, where Melissa's brother, Jesse, is playing live music with his friends. Mel's mom, Sue, was the gregarious host of that party, making everyone feel invited as well as keeping the dance floor vibrant. With around 50 wedding guests in attendance, there was a lot of emotion to capture; especially when Jesse forced his sister to accompany them in a surprise performance. The following day we I found myself in the downward facing dog photographing the Bride's Yoga Session as they practiced to the soundtrack of the sea.
"They wanted nothing to do with a traditional wedding"
I remember when I first talked with Melissa about her wedding upon inquiring. She told me they waited so long to get married because to be honest, they wanted nothing to do with the traditional wedding. They wanted their wedding to be about their love, friends, and nothing more. The theme for the wedding was "fun" and the attire was "reflecting light." The guests had been at St. Thomas all week prepping for the headlining event, Bobby and Melissa's vow exchange at sunset on a sailboat.
Late Saturday afternoon we found ourselves depositing our shoes into a barrel and signing the manifest of a local sailboat. As everyone enjoyed themselves on the ride, our captain drove us to the calm and beautiful waters of "Christmas Bay" (where Columbus once spent Christmas) in order to conduct the actual ceremony. The wedding officiant, once again Melissa's mother, did a wonderful job in leading the two through vows and various readings one would expect and hope for at a wedding. What nobody was expecting however, was for the parents of both bride and groom to break into an original song of blessing for the couple, sung to the tune of Leonard Cohen's "Alleluia", during which Melissa dropped the most endearing "F Bomb" ever heard in a wedding ceremony.
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The reception was nothing like a traditional reception.
The party afterwards was in the trees near the coastline. Featuring some great dance music, great food and libation, and an amazing hand-made disco ball by Jesse. It was a party so festive that local islanders ventured over to join in the fun.
This wedding did take place in an incredibly unique location, we love being wedding photographers that travel to unique weddings. But what really made it a wonderful experience was the people themselves. We find that amazing people tend to congregate with other amazing people, and it truly was our pleasure to take part in this group - with all the laughter, joy, pride, and love elicited from family and friends. We'll leave it up to you to read the faces and figure out which is which. We can't thank Bobby and Melissa enough for letting us into their lives and share their friendships during such a memorable event. Being a non-traditional destination wedding photographer, you allowed us to be in complete bliss at your wedding. People like you deeply remind us of how much we love our job.