When Babs asked me to photograph her wedding alongside the amazing Kate Gegenheimer, I was over the moon! I adore Babs and Pearce and have really enjoyed watching their lovely story unfold over the last several years. But after the original elation faded a distinct sense of panic set in. We were supposed to photograph the wedding of another New Orleans Wedding Photographer?? And not just any Wedding Photographer, but the incredible Babs Evangelista (whose level of success in the wedding world is totally my five year plan)! I was at once excited and terrified. These photos would have to be the best ever- not because we were being held to any crazy standards, but because of how much I respect Babs and her work. I wanted to be sure that she had the most fantastic wedding photos possible. Because she deserved nothing less than the best and I was determined to give that to her.
Here’s where teamwork came into play! Instead of the usual first and second shooter hierarchy, Kate and I went into this as partners. We sat down before the wedding with the list of shots that Babs wanted us to capture and went over the day step-by-step, making sure we would be able to cover everything perfectly. By the time we had figured everything out, I knew that we were going to do an incredible job and that I had no reason to worry about anything. With Kate at my side, everything would be perfect.
And while that didn’t stop me from still panicking ever so slightly the night before, it turns out that I was right.
I spent the day with Babs and her bridesmaids as they got ready. Pearce and Babs got ready in the same house but carefully avoided running into each other, a dance that was perfectly adorable. I captured so many images of Babs wearing the most fabulous smile you can imagine. Her bridesmaids took care of everything for her so she only needed to worry about packing her bags for their honeymoon and she did so in true Babs fashion- with hilarious narration. The love and excitement in the house spilled out of each room and tumbled down the steps of the house, chasing away the rain storm clouds that threatened to rain on Babs and Pearce’s ceremony.
I cannot imagine a world in which a wedding photographer’s wedding got rained out. It drizzled on and off during the day, making me and Kate pretty nervous, but the sky held off during the ceremony and lent us some lovely diffusing clouds for the perfect wedding light. I swear I didn’t stop crying from the moment Babs stepped out into Pearce’s view- this beautiful, beaming, excited bride walking with her mother to join her life to the man she loves, standing in front of a sweet arbor they made together out of driftwood. Oh goodness, I’m crying again just thinking about it! Both Bride and Groom filled the ceremony with laughter and joyful tears. Pearce was not short on his usual antics including one excellent surprise- he surprised Babs with a serenade from his Barber Shop Quartet, The Hummingbirds. It was such a sweet moment, the photos kill me every time I look at them. They wrote their own vows which had everyone in tears but the part that really got me was when Babs said vows to Pearce’s two daughters. I had never seen that happen at a wedding before and it was extremely special, something I doubt the girls will ever forget.
But then the worst fear of every Wedding Photographer became a reality. During the kiss, my camera malfunctioned. Even though the shutter was firing the images weren’t recorded! Thankfully, Kate was there at my side capturing everything! If it wasn’t for team work (and Kate’s badass self!), that pivotal moment would have been lost. An instance like this is precisely why I always shoot weddings in tandem with another great shooter (and have back-ups of back-ups of back-ups). I know I can always count on Kate to catch all of the moments that I can’t and at this wedding she really saved the day (without even knowing it!).
The reception was perfect in every way imaginable. Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns and King James and the Special Men rocked the house. The photobooth was a hit with an adorable backdrop the bride and groom made and an automated photo kiosk from Booth 504. Babs and Pearce showed off the dance moves they had been working on together for months and the speeches left not a single eye dry in the room. And as if I had not cried enough that day (I seriously cried more at this wedding than all other weddings combined), the waterworks started anew when Pearce picked up his bride to carry her through the flooded street and place her in her red Volkswagen Beetle.
Big Ups to Kelley Mitchell of Nolawe for helping bring all of Pearce and Babs’ planning together on the big day. Thank you to Patrick Quirk of Booth 504 for putting together a photo kiosk last minute. A big shout out to the couple’s incredible wedding party for taking such good care of Babs’ and Pearce. And an epic slow clap for Kate for helping create this beautiful set of images. She is responsible for the portraits of Pearce and his men and a handful of shots from the ceremony as well (including the freakin’ kiss!). It was a long, beautiful, perfect day and my pleasure to share these wedding photos with you.
Congratulations, Babs and Pearce! I love your love!