I don’t usually take a professional camera to a wedding where I am a guest, only my iPhone. And I have never shot a wedding professionally.
However, this past weekend was different. My granddaughter, Helen Claire, was the flower girl for a neighbor’s wedding in Asheville. I took a Sony A9 fitted with the Sony G Master 24-70mm zoom. That’s all.
The wedding was held at The Crest Center & Pavilion, a venue with fantastic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The couple: Stuart Cochrane, who grew up across the street here in Lincolnton, and his bride, Kelsey Morgan.
After taking photos of Helen Claire, I killed a little time before the wedding by taking a few shots of the decorated interior. It’s nice that the shutter on the Sony A9 can be silenced.
It was a great day, cool enough in the sun with the mountains as a backdrop. From inside (photo above) guests can see what’s going on outside. The view from the deck back inside is blocked by windows that are like a mirror on the outside.
Good fortune though on the mirrored windows — I didn’t have a good view of the ceremony from my seat but could see it perfectly in the reflection.
When the ceremony was complete, guests were asked to go inside to the reception. The wedding party watched from a loft above the dance floor before returning to the deck for photos. Remember, you can see out onto the deck, but all you see from the outside is a mirror.
Guests had a great view of the photos being taken outside. And more than once someone walked up to the “mirror” to comb or adjust hair, maybe straighten a tie.
A number of guests, including me, took the opportunity to take their own photos. After all, we weren’t bothering the wedding party.
I ended up with a sequence of emotional photos of the bride and her mother, Kelly.
Other than having to be careful of reflections from the inside, it was nice shooting through the glass. The sun was above and behind the wedding party, but the mirrored windows reflected light back onto them.
I got a few other nice candid moments, including one I didn’t know the story behind until later. Stuart’s maternal grandfather, William Howard Pitt of Charlotte, died last year. His bride sealed her vows during the ceremony with the wedding band that he had worn.
We left early because Helen Claire was returning to Lincolnton to spend the night with her grandmother, Diane, and me. Helen Claire had grown tired of her flower girl gown, kicked off her shoes and put on a summer dress.
But before we left, Helen Claire managed to drag Kelsey out on the dance floor. And that completed my day!
Helen Claire drags bride Kelsey onto the dance floor.
Tables inside The Crest Center.
A floral arranger gets flowers ready for the wedding on the deck.
Servers pour water into waiting glasses.
A centerpiece of flowers with the wedding cake at left.
Guests make their way onto the deck for the wedding.
A view of the reception area before the wedding
Just after flowers were added to the wedding cake.
The view inside The Crest Center.
Helen Claire runs around before the wedding.
Another view of the flowers and table settings.
Some tables included a smaller centerpiece.
A smaller centerpiece with settings.
Guests leave the reception area to attend the wedding on the deck.
Gifts and flowers……
including the flowergirl’s petals.
Guests sign the registry on the deck.
The registry was a pair of corn hole game toss boards for the bride and groom
Signing the corn hole game toss boards.
Helen Claire gets her box of petals for her big walk!
Some guests lounge in the Crest Center.
Outside, guests gather for the wedding.
Stuart’s father, Jim Cochrane, center, and his wife, Christy, second from right, wait inside before the wedding starts. Jim’s father and Stuart’s grandfather, Jerry Cochrane is second from left and at right is his wife, Evelyn.
My son, Hammett, walks out to his seat.
Early guests filling the bride’s side of the event.
Andy and Kellie Brunner, neighbors, arrive for the wedding.
I sat behind the big guy.
Program for the wedding.
The bride’s maternal grandparents.
The groom’s father, Jim Cochrane, and his wife, Christy.
Stuart Cochrane escorts his mother, Mary Lassiter.
The beginning of the ceremony.
A wider view of the crowd and the wedding party.
Kissing the bride!
Stuart and Kelsey now man and wife.
Jim Cochane escorts the bride’s sister from the wedding.
Guests move into th4e reception area.
The wedding party watchs from a loft above the reception as guests enter.
My wife Diane at right with Kelly and Andy Brunner.
Guests make their way into the reception.
My son Hammett holds Helen Claire
The groom’s stepfather, Dr. Jack Lassiter, talks to guests.
My wife Diane talks to Kelly and Andy Brunner.
Guests make a photo out on the deck with the mountaiuns in the background
Bride Kelsey and a wedding photgrapher.
A wedding photographer straightens up Kelsey, with her mother Kelly.
The bride’s sister, left.
Hammett and a tired Helen Claire wait while photos are taken
Part of the scene while photos were taken.
Stuart Cochrane talks to a guest…..
and the guest feels and looks at his ring.
Stuart and Kelsey with her maternal grandparents.
Guests enter the reception area.
Mary Lassiter, right, while photos are taken
Stuart and Kelsey with his grandfather, Jerry Cochrane and his wife, Evelyn.
Waiting for photos to be taken
The bride, her sister and a friend.
Jack Lassiter sits while wife Mary talks to Andy and Kellie Brunner.
Jack and Mary Lassiter.
Time for food at the reception.
Helen Claire and her magical time on the dance floor with bride Kelsey.