Alyssa & Ryan got married at the Glasbern Inn in Fogelsville Pennsylvania on a beautiful day of May 2016. Although their wedding day was greeted by a bit of rain, their love for each other shined through the grey clouds above. As a photographer, I've seen quite a few weddings, but Alyssa & Ryan's wedding will always be one to remember. Not just because of the Pinterest perfection that was the Helwig Wedding, but for what it taught me and that is When Everything Goes Wrong, Love Goes Right.
Now before we jump to conclusions, Ryan & Alyssa's wedding day was absolutely beautiful and full of love, dancing, and amazing wonderful memories. Believe it or not, the chaotic part was on my end!
It's the start of wedding season, in fact it is my very first wedding of the 2016 season! Of course I'm feeling nervous and excited while I'm wracking my brain for those "iconic" photos I want to take. I slip easily into my "pre-wedding" routine. Now if you know me you know this consists of shutting myself in a room with all of my photo equipment as I lay it out to take inventory and test out all of my gear while watching endless episodes of Law & Order: SVU. For what reason I'm not sure it's just always been something I've always done before a "big gig". Well wouldn't you have it that on this very day, the day before the wedding, I'm testing out my flash and low and behold it doesn't fire. Immediately I start to panic and start calling all of the nearest Best Buy's and camera stores near me. Wouldn't you know they discontinued my flash?! Wouldn't you ALSO know that I had to go purchase a whole new flash that very night from a store that was two hours away?! Sure this would not have been that terrible if I wasn't also battling a horrible case of food poisoning... After many stress tears; anti-nausea tablets and one large panic attack later, my wonderful soul of a mother drove me two hours to the only Best Buy that carried a flash fit for my camera!
Since I already had two strikes against me I decided to call up a friend who lived in the area near the Glasbern Inn and ask if I could stay there for the night to avoid any other things that could possibly go wrong. Thankfully they agreed and I was off! Now it wouldn't be Ashley fashion if something else didn't go wrong and let me just tell you it did. Leaving my kind friends house in the morning I somehow managed to step on a piece of glass and completely slice my whole heel open! I didn't want to be late so I rushed to the nearest CVS and bought some bandages and did the best I could to make my heel workable for the day. As you can imagine the stress and anxiety was just continuing to pile up. I called my boyfriend in tears before I got to the venue and told him I was cursed, that I wasn't meant to be a photographer and all these strikes against me were warning signs. Being the level headed human that he his, he reassured me that 1. I was being dramatic, obviously; 2. everything was going to be just fine, the worst was over; and 3. this was my calling and what I was meant to do.
After I pulled myself together, I hobbled my way into the bridal suite and was greeted by the most welcoming and happy bride who was so excited I was there. Her smile was contagious and her energy filled the room. She said, "I can't believe you are actually here and that today is the day it's all happening." With that, everything fell right into place. I had my grove back, I was feeling confident, nauseous still, but confident. I set up my camera and began firing away.
As I drove home that night in the pouring rain, I sat back with the radio on and reflected on that whole day. How it felt like everything was going wrong, I was out of my element, I wasn't meant to do this, I was never going to be a photographer that people loved or needed to have photograph their wedding. But that bride, her reassurance on how happy she was to have me there, how perfect I knew their photos were going to be because they were so perfect. I finally felt at ease and that I was actually going to be able to do this whole photography thing.
Now with every wedding that I shoot I think about the Helwig wedding and how even though everything imaginable seemed to be going wrong, it truly turned out to be one of the best weddings I had photographed. Looking back whenever I begin to doubt myself, I just remember to think of the bride and how me being there was her choice. Out of all the photographers out here she chose me to document this special moment in their lives; me to be the one to create memories they'll show to their children some day; me to be their photographer.
Venue: The Glasbern Inn - Fogelsville PA
Bridesmaids Dresses: Donna Morgan/Elizabeth Johns
Wedding Dress:Bijou Bridal
Florist: Phoebe Floral - Allentown, PA
Bride and Groom: Alyssa & Ryan Helwig