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The Lanza Wedding, New Jersey

 

The Lanza Wedding.

I just returned home to California from Joe and Erin’s wedding out in Jersey. At I have to say spending the last three weeks with these two was a blast. Yep. Three weeks.
So let elaborate a bit more on who I am for those who might just know me as “Joe’s California friend”. I’ve known Joe for 13 years. We did the Disney College Program together. Ironically, while we knew each other somewhat during that 9 months at Disney, we moved in different social circles. So we actually never hung out. It wasn’t until a few months after returning home, and re-connecting online as all us former-lifeguards did to keep in touch, that was when Joe and I realized how much we had in common.
He’s been a very dear friend of mine ever since.

And while many friendships since our days at Disney have changed, I would quickly point out that Joe and I have only become better friends over the years.
During my many trips back out to Florida I stayed with Joe over half of them. And on those trips spending most of the time sitting around talking was pretty much the norm.
Joe would joke with me that “Your room is always available” about his guest room in his apartment. And when him and Erin recently bought their house, one of the spare rooms they both refer to as “John’s room”. It’s funny, but also very sweet.

But what the most fun part of the entire Lanza wedding as a whole? In any aspect?

That’s easy. It’s having been part of Joe’s life, and now Joe-and-Erin’s-life, long enough to go from those college-years-conversations with Joe about “I don’t think I’ll get married, John” to “Things are pretty serious with Erin, man..” and eventually “I’m going to propose.”

That was very cool.

And I love Erin – she and Joe are great together. And to be part of their wedding weekend (and entire wedding month pretty much) was great. But before I get into all that, let’s have some fun and take a stroll down memory lane. Shall we?
I have the most extensive photo record of our circle of friends since ’03… so this’ll be fun to zip through real quick ;)

What do you say, you guys ready to scroll through tons of photos?
How about you, Joe?

FLA Jan 2006 191

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The Tickle-Ripp wedding in Baltimore

Angela and Kevin’s wedding, also known as “The wedding I shot because of the wedding I shot because of the wedding I shot…”

Makes perfect sense right? I just returned from the East Coast and shooting the Tickle-Ripp wedding in Baltimore. I joked with several friends about the wedding any time I was asked how I ended up shooting way out in Maryland. “Oh! Well, I met Kevin and Angela at a wedding I was shooting in Michigan. Kevin was the Best Man to Ray, who married Alison. And I met Alison two years prior when she was a bridesmaid for Jessica…. did you follow all that?”

For those of you reading, here’s a easy-to-understand graphic…

I constantly say how flattering it is that my clients bring me all over the country to shoot for them. And connections like this one (the Ripp wedding) are an incredible example of friendships made during business trips.

When I first met Kevin and Angela it was during the Johnson wedding – during the rehearsal dinner. I was among the first to arrive at the restaurant along with Kevin and Angela. We all were sitting at the bar talking about various things, including how I was there from California and they were in town from DC.
From just the first 20 minutes or so sitting with the two of them chatting about nothing important it was clear how much they cared about each other. Several of us joke about how they’re disgustingly cute together – and that’s the truth. But at the same time it’s so awesome when you see people that can be totally genuine around each other AND others at the same time.
We kept in touch through facebook and followed each others photos after returning to our home states. And after they were engaged I was thrilled when I got an email from Kevin asking about coming out to Baltimore to shoot for them!

I was excited to arrive in Baltimore and meet up with everyone when that Friday afternoon for the rehearsal finally rolled around. If the Tickle and Ripp families and friends were anything like Kevin and Angela, then it was going to be an awesome couple days!
We all met up at the hotel and then headed out to the church for practice – there was a ton of traffic. On my cab ride there I talked to the driver about how he had come to the US and built a new life for himself. As we talked about travel and travel-times he laughingly said that as much as he misses home back in Africa the long plane flight keeps him from ever visiting. LOL!

Once at the rehearsal the pastor was shocked when I hadn’t heard about “the photo”… Turns out that Angela wanted a group shot with everyone at the wedding directly after the ceremony. The pastor said in 37 years he had never done anything like that and hoped it would work out well. I smiled and said “No problem! I just did that two weeks ago out in Yosemite at a wedding”. The rehearsal dinner was out on the water at the Baltimore Inner Harbor. Lots of laughs and lots of story telling. My favorite part of the dinners are getting a chance to know everyone a little bit, and also making them more comfortable around me and a camera since I’ll be running around the next day with them non-stop.

The wedding day started as normal – hanging out with all the girls as they did all their hair and makeup prep. It’s always hilarious to sit and listen to the stories the girls laugh about throughout the morning. Poor Michelle was being picked on and teased about being “The Drunk Bridesmaid” because she finished Kevin’s drinks the night prior at the after party. Realistically though she gets bonus points for taking them for the team since she was keeping Kevin from having too many drinks before his big day. Team player all the way! Haha!

The ceremony was beautiful, and the pastor was awesome. There were several points where he needed to be directly in front of the bride and groom for ceremonial reasons. However the rest of the time he stepped off to the side. He had told me “the ceremony is NOT about me. I don’t understand the pastors who make it about them, but I try to give as much attention to the bride and groom as possible.” How great is that?

After the ceremony we went up to Federal Hill to do a few photos with the skyline in the background. I also did a dip shot (top of this blog) as I do with most of my weddings.. We had quite an audience that day, too. It was nice out and there were lots of families sitting and watching us. One lady actually came up to Angela to congratulate her, and then said that everyone looked like they were having fun and that she wished her wedding photographer took fun ones like we were doing that afternoon. I can’t even take any credit for that comment either, we were just joking around and not doing anything too specific.

The reception was back at the hotel and everyone celebrated through the evening hours. There is plenty more I could continue to write about, but I’ll save a lot more for the captions. I always feel like I have so many wonderful stories and things to say about each wedding I do. But I’m fairly sure you’re here to see photos and not just read about it. So, click past the break for 170 images from the Tickle-Ripp wedding.

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