Some wedding venues seem like they were built just for taking amazing wedding photos – lush gardens, sweeping landscapes, elegant architecture, maybe even a fountain thrown in for good measure. Other venues, like churches, not so much. It’s not that they aren’t sometimes beautiful. It’s just that wedding photography probably isn’t in the forefront of anyone’s mind when they’re building and planning. So much more goes into choosing a venue than how it looks on camera though. The cost, location, and special meaning of a place are all things to consider.
Aaron and Cassidy chose a place with special meaning to them – the church where they met. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with the church, we all knew that the church campus was short on lush green spaces! So when the four of us talked in the months leading up to the wedding, we planned to go to a gorgeous tucked away spot nearby for their first look and portraits.
The best laid plans…
If there’s one thing we learned almost immediately as wedding pros, it’s that wedding day plans often don’t go as intended! When the big day arrived, so did a big dark rain cloud. Just a few minutes before first look, we heard a thunderclap, saw the sky turn dark, and knew it would be really risky to get Aaron, Cassidy, and their entire bridal party too far from the church campus.
Luckily for us, we knew this church well and had a plan B. At the time, our son was going to a Parents Day Out program at this church. Twice a week, we drove to the exact place we were now standing, watching a cloud make our lives difficult. It was fine though, because for over a year, we had our eyes on the gorgeous wrought iron gate at the next door neighbor’s house lined on both sides with Azaleas! Normally, we wouldn’t plan to shoot in someone’s driveway, but… wedding day. Storm approaching. Why not?
So, mention that we’re going to use the neighbor’s driveway for portraits and in typical groom fashion Aaron’s immediate response was “something easier? awesome!” Cassidy trusted us but we could tell she was definitely wondering how this was going to turn out.
This gate and all this greenery don’t look like a spot off a busy road in Memphis! It looks much quieter, and much further away. It was the perfect spot for Aaron and Cassidy to spend a quiet few minutes together before their wedding.
We didn’t see the owner of the house that day. He also probably has no idea that we used his gate. But I know we were super thankful for the perfect spot right next door!