The Visitor’s Center
I arrived at the visitor’s center at Jefferson-Patterson Park. The place was more than suitable for a wedding party to get ready in, but it wasn’t winning any beauty contests. Kelly and her party were there, wrapped in the excitement of the day. Kelly was in a billowing black and maroon cloak-style gown. No white dresses here, folks.
I grabbed some of the wedding day accruements for some detail shots. The rings were custom-made, a small detail that told a bigger story. These photos help to round out the overall narrative of the wedding day.
The First Look
We moved to the east side of the pavilion for the first look. The rustic backdrop offered some shade cover from the sun that was still pretty high in the sky. Mace was there, slightly less than enthused with the procedural nature of the thing, but excited nonetheless. Kelly walks up behind him, and boom. It was adorable.
A Tale of Two Parties
Before diving into the individual party portraits, I took some brief but meaningful shots of Kelly and Mace together. The chemistry between them is palpable, even in the short time we had. These two are made for each other. These quick shots served as a warm-up for the rest of the session, setting the tone for the reset of the process.
First up, Kelly and her party. We chose the tall grass south of the pavilion for this session. The photos were striking. Kelly’s unique dress against the natural backdrop? A photographer’s dream.
Then came Mace and his mixed-gender party. They were dressed in black and maroon tunics, wrapped in leather straps and medieval-style blades. We took them into an artifact display inside the pavilion. The thematic vibe was spot-on, and the artifacts added a layer of depth to the photos. Taking photos is a far cry from what Mace really wants to do, so we kept it brief but got some really cool results.
Before moving on to the ceremony, we gathered everyone—Kelly, Mace, and their respective parties—for one big portrait. We chose the same area south of the pavilion where we’d been taking photos with Kelly. The full party was there, wrapped in their Renaissance fair aesthetics, leather straps, and blades. It was a moment of unity before the ceremony, capturing the essence of this unique wedding.
The Pagan Ceremony
One of Mace’s groomsmen, acting as the ring-fellow, processed up the aisle with a court jester-like dance. He tossed confetti into the air. The crowd laughed, and I captured the perfect shot. It was a ceremony that broke the mold in the best way possible.
The ceremony was a pagan ritual, conducted by a close friend of Kelly and Mace. Sage was burned, and unique blessings filled the air. It was a mystery to many, including me, but it was special for Kelly and Mace. That’s what mattered.
Post-ceremony, it was family portrait time. Kelly & Mace’s families were all there. Bill, Laurie, Daniel, Megan, and the rest—they each brought their own flair to the photos.
The sun was getting lower, but a high-altitude haze made the light just right. It was a family affair, in the best sense, and the photos captured that beautifully.
The reception was raucous. The Maid of Honor delivered a feisty toast that had everyone in stitches. Mace’s Best Man followed with the kind of scathing dead-pan remarks that can only come from long-standing brotherly love. The crowd was crying with laughter.
Dinner was a whole roasted pig, brought in by Bayside Bull. It got almost completely devoured before we could even get a full shot of it.
And the cake? Crafted by Blue Crab Cupcakes, it met its end with Mace’s giant blade. Perhaps it was the unusually high concentration of bladed weaponry, but no cake smashing here. Just a straight cut through the middle, followed by Mace licking the blade clean. A laugh riot, that was.
The Party Never Ends
Hall of Fame Entertainment kept the mood just right. The dance floor was less populated, but who cares? Merriment was extensive and spread all throughout the venue. Drinks flowed, and conversations happened in every corner.
If not for the park’s 11:00 pm curfew, this party might still be going. But all good things must come to an end, and so it was for this unforgettable night.
Weddings are complex events. They require a well-oiled machine of vendors working in harmony. Today, that machine included Bayside Bull, Blue Crab Cupcakes, and Hall of Fame Entertainment. And let’s not forget the venue, Jefferson-Patterson Park. Each played their part to perfection. So it goes.