Pearl Jam brings people together. I’ve never met a more friendly group of concertgoers than any contingent of Pearl Jam fans I’ve run into at numerous shows over the last 20-25 years. Laura and James are an example of this …their inquiry stated they were very eager to meet up for a pint and to talk about PJ as they were both big fans also. Unfortunately I was away in Punta Cana shooting my last wedding of 2017 when they were going to be in Kingston again (where Laura’s from) so we had to Skype and drink beer separately. It turned out they’re also huge Blue Jays fans so we made a point to incorporate Rogers Centre and a ballgame into their engagement session the following spring (it turned out that the day was miserable, the roof was closed and the stadium ushers would only allow us 60 seconds in an empty section of the park to make a couple of photographs …but we did get to see the Jays wallop KC something fierce that day in April so it wasn’t all bad! We rescheduled the engagement shoot to May and enjoyed the game, some beers and Laura got to eat her beloved Rogers Centre popcorn (it really is that good).
Fast forward to August and we reconvene in Kingston at the Delta to get ready for the big day at Fort Henry. When a bridesmaids dress didn’t quite want to get zipped up the team rallied and managed to stuff her in short of having to break a rib to make it zip up …it fit …it was just awkward zipper. Snacks, music, dancing, mimosas …the usual hair and make up accoutrements for a wedding were all in place and everyone was having a good time …which is how a wedding should be; relaxed and stress free…
From their first look on the upper grounds of the commissary and Battery Bistro to heading down into the parade square of the Fort we had free reign of the place during the Fort Henry Guard reunion weekend …we watched a bunch of different generations of FHG walk through while we scurried from room to room, hall to hall and stairwell to walkway making portraits and group shots in between groups of people walking around us congratulating the soon to be married couple.
As we were preparing to leave the grounds I noticed the current FHG standing idle along a shaded area and approached their captain to ask if they’d mind a photo with my couple who were being married on the grounds that day …dude hollered a bunch of things I didn’t understand and the Guardsmen took off their bayonets and stood at attention …I ran Laura and James into the middle and scurried down a culvert and snapped a couple quick frames before they were ordered to march into the parade square. An opportunity like that is one you can’t pass up and I’m never afraid to ask for something when I want to make a cool frame for my clients in such a unique space.
Back to the ceremony with tons of laughs and maybe a few tears from mom and dad and then to cocktail hour on the patio of the Discovery Centre the Polish contingent of the wedding guests attempted to drain the local supply of vodka with shots being passed around for the majority of the day and into the evening. Everyone had a few words to say about the character of Laura and James during the reception. Having only met them a few times and chatting a few hours at a ball game I have to agree with most of what was said… they really are friendly inviting and awesome people… again …Pearl Jam fans :)
After a lengthy first dance (both of them probably regretted the 7 minute version of harvest moon as their first dance song and laughed during the dance about how long it was taking and how awkward it felt to have the whole room staring at them) and a late night dance party they were off to celebrate their ‘minimoon’ with a trip to some ballgames (Triple A Buffalo to see Vlad Jr and New Hampshire to see Bichette) they then went to Fenway to see two Pearl Jam shows and I’ll never forgive them for taunting me via text while they were there :)
Here’s some photos of their super awesome day … It was a pleasure to meet them and hear and capture a part of their love story: