By Sarah Barrett.
“I can’t wait to blog this!!” — this is what I kept telling myself ALL DAY at the Dinarte’s wedding at an Air BnB in Tehachapi on a cold December day. People always say that something always happens at weddings, but friends, absolutely everything happened on this wedding day. It was the most intense, gorgeous, amazing, whirlwind of a day, and what an honor it was to photograph. Being from Bakersfield, CA, I’m not used to being outside on a very cold and rainy day as those don’t happen very often. I saw rain on the forecast for Tehachapi the day of the Dianarte’s wedding, but I told myself that it wouldn’t be that difficult to manage.
When Cindy and I were driving up to the venue, we battled the roads. There was already so much mud and sludge on the road up this mountain from the little bit of rain that had happened that morning–there was a point where my Kia Sorento SUV was sliding so much, I don’t even know how we didn’t just slide right off the mountain. Cindy and I were joking on our way up the mountain that there was NO WAY we were missing this wedding. Gracie and Walter, of course, were depending on us to be there. We looked at our GPS, and my car was getting stuck a couple of miles from the venue. Cindy and I were chatting as I tried to get my vehicle out of the mud, and we agreed that should I get stuck, we would walk our equipment up the rest of the way. Thankfully, my Kia managed to make its way up that mountain and to the venue.
When we arrived, we gathered details from Gracie and start photographing the getting ready time–we love this because chatting with a bride on the morning of her wedding is such a delight. In our conversations throughout the day, we learned that their reception plans had changed as their tables were soaked. Their videographer couldn’t get up the mountain. Their guests couldn’t make it up the mountain. It seemed like Cindy and I, the officiant, and the bartender, and a few family members were the only ones that were able to make the drive up. To any other bride, these last minute changes might have become overwhelming–but not to Gracie. She was so excited to be married, nothing else mattered. Cindy and I were humbled that day. This is what a wedding day should be. A groom and his bride coming together to commit their lives to each other. The other things didn’t matter because they were just excited to be married. We were absolutely thrilled to be there and to see the joy in their eyes when they saw each other for the first time. It was raining outside, the mountainous view was suddenly a misty fog, but what a spectacular backdrop for their first look. Their bridal party members were absolutely incredible and hiked up the mountain with us for the first look to hold umbrellas over our equipment. We had so much fun getting to know Gracie and Walter more and to photograph this truly amazing day for them. Gracie, in her dream, would’ve had snow at her wedding, and I love that the mist and rain has that snowy look in these photos. It is absolutely magical.
Here’s some fun photos of us battling the rain and choosing the first look spot:
But you guys…after a freezing day with all sorts of hoops to jump through to celebrate their marriage, we couldn’t believe what happened next. Cindy and I said our goodbyes to everyone and got into our car to head home, and of course, I was getting stuck in mud. Not only was I getting stuck, but I was getting lost. The GPS signal was spotty, and I was so worried we would be stuck up there. I went back to the venue to see if someone could help. The groom, IN HIS PAJAMAS, grabbed his buddy and drove my car down the mountain for me to make sure we were safe. His friend drove another vehicle to take him back up. At this point in the day, their tacos had finally arrived, and I knew helping us would probably be the last thing anyone would want to do. But no. Walter was so kind. We absolutely did NOT need roadside assistance…just a little groom-side assistance.
Gracie and Walter, you two are incredible!! Despite all odds, you both are husband and wife. You’ve begun your lives together. We had the most amazing day with you both, and these photos are absolutely stunning. We hope you love them as much as we do, and I hope it brings you back to that joy you both felt that day. You are an example of a love so rich that everything else in the world just fades away in comparison.
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February 12, 2021