Manuel and Samirah were married at the Grand Canyon in front of a small group of family and friends. The small intimate wedding was full of beautiful ceremony and the location was as beautiful as it could be.
Here is a slideshow of images with my thoughts on the wedding, if you’re interested in what I was thinking about the wedding.
No chapel, no cathedral, no resort can match the awe inspiring combination of 17 million years of erosion and unpredictable in-climate weather. The view was breathtaking and the light was ever changing and fantastic. Of course we had to bare some cold weather. But, I’ll take the cold weather in exchange for the storm clouds and perfect light any day.
Just a note from the guests, left on a rock on Shoshone Point at the Grand Canyon. “Kiss the Bride”. And he did.
This has got to be the coolest way to make a bouquet. These are dried flowers made into a bouquet. They certainly fit in with the natural surroundings. And as a bonus, they were light and never started drooping.
Here comes the bride.
This is the longest isle. Samirah was escorted by her father in spirit by the soft beating of a drum. It was probably the most touching procession I have ever experienced.
To get a shot like this, you sometimes have to lean a little too far over the edge of a cliff. I was not completely comfortable with my proximity to the edge of the cliff, but we have to push the edge to get the perfect shot.
There were many tender moments in the wedding, but this one was difficult for me to shoot. This was a washing of the feet ceremony. This is something Christ did for his apostles before he was crucified. It was an act of complete humility. John the Baptist had told Christ that he was not worthy to lace the savior’s sandals, and yet, years the savior kneeled before his 12 apostles and tenderly washed dust and soil from their feet, to show his love and his purpose to serve them (John 13:5). It was truly the Condescension of God. So when Manuel washed his bride’s feet and she in turn washed his, I was struck by the complete sacred nature of the act. Of course, I am being paid to photograph this, but I felt like an intruder at this moment. It was truly the most religious act I have every photographed at a wedding.
Did I mention it was cold! It was May, but it was only 43 degrees out there on that pointe. And yet, Samirah bore the cold to get these great shots.
After the sun had dropped below the horizon, we went to a burned out section of the forest and got a few more portraits. The quality of light that exists after the sun sets is the best light, hands down.
Both Samirah and Manuel are pilots, so this was an appropriate setting for their wedding dinner. The entire wedding was a small group, so they all fit around this large table. The candles were a nice touch, but to avoid explosions, it was not possible to light the candles. Airplanes are full of fuel, even some of these old planes.
And finally, the rings! I wanted to use something that was unique to the wedding to photograph the rings. I think I nailed this one. It says so much about them, about how they came together (they met in a flight school situation) and I even though the dials, words and arrows made a great point. So I am very proud of this shot.