So this was a crazy awesome wedding for a number of reasons - One: it was in freakin' St. Lucia! Tropical PARADISE. Two: Jumar & Kristi are two of the coolest people I know on this planet. And Three: this was my first total espionage wedding. That's right, super cool elite spy status, except for the fact that I wasn't totally aware I was undercover until about halfway through it. Wait wait, I can explain!
So after the couple gave me all the travel arrangements, they let me know that the resort would be expecting me to be sharing a room with someone and to let them know that it was the bride's sister. In reality I would have my own room, I'd never met her sister, and she would be arriving the day after me, but I figured it was just to help save on cost and I ran with it.
So from the moment I got off the tiny plane (one aisle seating!?) to checking in at the resort and even having my first meal, every member of the resort's staff kept asking me where my wife was. I'd just smile and reply that I wasn't married, but the girl I was staying with hadn't arrived yet. They'd look at me like I was on crack, and then nervously let me go about my business. I just figured this wasn't really a destination that people went to by themselves and chalked it up to the staff having a script to follow and just being courteous.
It wasn't until after shooting their incredible wedding and sharing a meal with the newlywed couple the next day that I realized that this all-inclusive resort was restricted to married couples ONLY and usually did not permit outside photographers. They had to tell the resort I was family and married to the bride's sister in order to allow me to shoot the wedding instead of having the resort staff do it instead! In the end, it was probably better that I didn't really have a clue what was REALLY going on, because I'm pretty sure I'm a horrible liar.
Jumar & Kristi had a beautiful morning ceremony (complete with iced towels to help cool down the tropical sun) and then celebrated the rest of the day together along the beautiful grounds of the resort. It was a very intimate gathering with those closest to them there to witness it. Since I was the only unmarried man in the bunch, the garter toss had my name written all over it. They actually had me stay the weekend in the resort and convinced me to face my fears and try zip-lining for the first time. To this day, it's one of the most terrifying and awesome things I've ever done.
She couldn't get away with NOT wearing a traditional vietnamese wedding dress too! So AZN!! :)
I look back on this tropical wedding as one of my absolute favorites - with such an awesome couple in such a beautiful setting, I couldn't be happier with how the images came out - and lucky for me, neither could they!