The wedding of Ryan and Monica was the grandest wedding I have been involved in photographing so far. Monica's father must really, really love her! This was also my first opportunity to not only photograph a wedding inside the spectacular Sacred Heart Church in downtown Tampa, but just to see inside of it after long admiring its large circular stained glass window on its front face.
My day started out photographing the groom getting ready in his spacious waterfront room in the Tampa Marriott Waterside. The NBA channel was on and causing a bit of distraction as one of the classic playoff series between the 90s Knicks and Pacers was being broken down game by game! Everyone in the room got a bit caught up in it.
I was next on my way to the Sacred Heart Church to photograph the bride as her assistant helped her put the last, tricky touches on getting her head to toe length veil just right. The woman helping the bride seemed like an expert, but to my ears she spoke mostly only Italian! It made me feel like I was in a movie to be inside such a architecturally rich church, seeing an enormous veil enveloping the bride, being put on by an old, petite Italian woman.
The reception was at the Palma Ceia Country Club where I photographed a wedding last October. I thought I knew what to expect but the reception this time was in a much different room and even the manager said he had never seen the room decorated like it had been. The preparations started at 5:30am that morning he told me.
One type of shot I always look for is what I refer to in my mind is the "hug & kiss" time for the bride & groom as they receive congratulations from the wedding guests. To me the intensity of this time tells me a lot about the wedding, the newlywed couple, and the types of relationships they have with everyone at the wedding. The hugging at this wedding, as you can see above, was as impressive as every other aspect of this lavish, emotional wedding.