The value in a vendor who values your story: Dance inspired wedding photos for a bride & her sailor!
I'm from Cecilia, Louisiana; a super small community where everybody knows everybody and/or “their mom and them.” We had one school, two churches whose congregations still segregated themselves by habit, and two dance schools: each one with students believing they were at the superior school. Luckily, Sadi and I studied dance at the same studio so we weren’t natural rivals. Inversely, attending the same school meant you were part of a great big family. While Sadi and I weren’t in the same classes, or close in age, I was able to watch as she grew up into the beautiful dancer she is today.
A few years ago, when I was still young in photography, I got together with some other photographer friends to work on our studio photography skills. It was my first time working with studio lighting, and Sadi was wonderful enough to model for us! Photographing talented dancers was pretty surreal, merging two of my most favorite things - photography and dance! I never would have imagined just a few short years later she’d be reaching out again to have me capture her wedding!
Sadi and Caleb's ceremony was set at a historically famous wedding "venue" in South Louisiana; Oak and Pine Alley in St. Martinville. This is a public road made famous by Charles Durand who held the famous "Gold Dust Wedding" in 1870 for two of his daughters. To set the stage for the lavish occasion, the father of the brides imported large spiders from China and released them just before the wedding to spin miles of silk webs up and down the alley. The morning of the wedding, while the webs were still damp with dew, he had boxes of gold and silver dust from California scattered to illuminate the pine and oak limbs.
While the Richard wedding of 2021 lacked the gold dust, they filled that enormous 3 mile stretch of trees with an infectious love. As if mother nature was giving her blessing to the couple with a nod to history, the sun sparkled gold through the leaves giving them a natural glittering backdrop of their own, without a spider infestation. Their guest list was a few thousand short of that of the Gold Dust Wedding, but the intimacy of the ceremony couldn't have been more perfect.
Since this blog was kicked off with some rich history, it's only fitting to share the history of Sadi and Caleb's relationship as well. Sadi was a Sophomore and Caleb was a Junior who had just moved to Breaux Bridge from Lafayette, making him the new kid in class. Caleb and Sadi wound up in Spanish class together, and soon after they met Sadi was asked by a friend to get his number for her. When Sadi friended him on Facebook he ended up messaging her first!
That time was not an easy one for Sadi, who was simultaneously dealing with very traumatic events. She kept her mind positive by focusing on a vision board and the blue Mustang Convertible she posted as her dream car. Coincidentally, one day Sadi was waiting to be picked up after school when Caleb’s mom drove up in a blue Mustang Convertible! Sadi took it as the first of many signs that the universe had aligned and they were meant for one another.
The universe aligning doesn’t mean their relationship would be smooth sailing either. Over eight and a half years, working on finding themselves individually and who they were together, they realized being so different posed its share of challenges. Sadi is the organized type who sticks to a plan and is constantly shooting for the stars. Caleb, on the other hand, is spontaneous with tons of potential to do a great many “things”, but found himself grappling with that overwhelming decision of which of those things would make him most happy. Working though those differences strengthened their relationship as well as their characters. Today, Sadi has a career that is everything she dreamed and Caleb is doing one of the greatest of the “things” by serving our country in the Navy: working on the certifications that will set him up for life.
While Sadi is known for her vision board, she admits her love story with Caleb is one she never could have envisioned. They are opposites that love each other like crazy! Crazy enough for Caleb to finally take that leap and make an extreme career move; and for Sadi, it was the willingness to leave her “dream job” to follow him and his, even though when it started, Caleb was the less certain of the two about his original career path.
I was beyond honored to capture these photos for them. Knowing their story beforehand made these photos all the more meaningful. What an artistic way to demonstrate two very different individual identities interlaced into one. I recommend that all our couples share their story with us and seek out vendors that care to hear it.
Congratulations to Mr. + Mrs. Caleb Richard!