This might be a wedding you heard about…I know I heard about this couple long before I met them. I first read about Marty and Lauren when I saw their engagement photos shot by my friend Anne Bequette of STJ Creative on their home island of St. John in the US Virgin Islands. It was shortly after the horrible aftermath of Hurricane Irma a little over a year ago (you can check out Anne’s amazing photos from this article in People magazine HERE), and seeing these photos broke my heart. St. John has a special place in our hearts. We have been there twice, and we were just there last year for one of our favorite weddings we have ever done (link for Leah and Andy’s amazing St. John Virgin Island Wedding). In fact, one of the destroyed buildings in Lauren and Marty’s photos is a building that was still standing in Lean and Andy’s photos. It had a strong impact on me.
Earlier this year, Anne was in town and over lunch, she asked me if I would be interested in shooting their wedding with her. Because of the economic devastation to the island and those who live there, she had started the process of helping plan their wedding and gathering people who would be able to work pro bono to help them out. After I heard the fully story of everything they and their families had been through, I knew I wanted to help. Fast forward a few months and I was driving across the country to Ashville, NC to do my little part to help with the day. I was the second shooter for the day, so I got to hang out with the guys in the morning before we headed to the Ridge, which was the venue for the ceremony. It certainly was an all-star crew of people who stepped up to help out (links below), but the main shout outs go to Anne for being the lead for making this happen and to LLG Events for making the day go off without a hitch. Ok, well…there was one hitch (not anyone’s fault…except for possibly being MY fault!). I was driving my rental car to the reception with Anne, Marty, and Lauren when we had a tire blowout on the interstate. Amazingly enough, the rental car did not have a spare tire. So, we had to wait for others from the wedding to show up and take us to the reception! (we had to leave the car on the side of the interstate…serves it right for not having a spare in the trunk!). We eventually made it to the reception at the Venue, and it was decorated amazingly. The floral arrangements were just incredible. The party kicked off, and everyone was free to relax, dance, sing, and let loose to celebrate such an amazing couple.
My part in everything was very small…I was probably the least important person there in a circle of family friends and wedding industry rockstars. But, still…it was such an incredible experience, and I was honored to be a part. And sure, it never hurts to see a few of your photos on the national news. 🙂 Huge congrats Lauren and Marty. I look forward to seeing you two again next time we are on the Island!