For those of you who don't already know, I got bit by the travel bug back in 2013 when I lived in Budapest, Hungary for four months and it's a pretty serious diagnosis. I crave long plane rides and being immersed in foreign languages, and I love learning about new places, cultures, and everything else that comes with traveling.
This past April I spent just over two weeks in the Caribbean and spent three days loving, exploring and taking in all that is the tiny U.S. Virgin Island of St. Thomas. When I say tiny, I mean tiny. With little traffic, you can get from one side of the 30-square-mile island to the other in 20 minutes at most. (More photos of and a blog post on my experiences on the island coming in the future!)
While lying on the beach after a quick snorkeling adventure, I couldn't help but notice that maintenance was setting up for a wedding. Now, if you know me at all, you know that it didn't take long for me to throw my sandy clothes on over my wet swimsuit and set out in search for the head honcho. After a nice conversation with a very informative man and a short walk to the resort's main office, I found myself at the front desk (mind you, at this point I was in soaking wet clothes and looked anything but professional) asking to speak with the aforementioned man's wife, Lorie Leonard, the resort's wedding planner. (What are the odds that of all the people at the resort I could have asked, I end up conversing with the right-hand-man of the lady running the show? This is too good to be true.)
I introduced myself - CEP spiel and all - hoping that that would at the very least distract from my vacation romper and sun hat. After exchanging some business cards and conversation, I walked out of the office with exactly what I wanted: permission to shoot the ceremony as a second shooter (!!!). With pretty dense cloud cover during the day, I was a little bummed that we weren't going to have that picturesque, blue-sky backdrop for the ceremony. Of course to my surprise - keeping in perfect rhythm with the happenings of the day - about 30 minutes before the wedding was scheduled to start, the clouds cleared just enough to bring in that brilliant blue that the sky knows so well.
The sun was shining bright, the waves lightly crashed on the shore, and the intimate ceremony was accompanied by the most refreshing salt-water breeze. Who I assume to be the couple's closest family and friends filled in the seats and shared in the joy and celebration of their son, friend, sister, daughter, brother, cousin, or college roommate.
I am so grateful to have had this opportunity that, once again, gave me an ever so slight glimpse of my dream job of traveling to document weddings. Shout out to Lorie and the rest of the wedding planning staff at Bolongo Bay for extending grace and having open minds. (And a big thank you to the couple and all their guests for not questioning the random girl with wet hair and a nice camera taking photos at the wedding!)