The morning of August 17th, 2018 we met with Samantha and her beautiful brides in their Sheraton suite overlooking the city and the Gateway Clipper. In a few short hours, Samantha will be walking down the aisle to the love of her life and exchanging vows! As we’ve come to learn with weddings, expect the unexpected and roll with whatever happens! And that’s exactly what we had to do for this wedding. The AC unit in their suite broke as the girls were getting ready, but luckily the hotel was accommodating and switch the girls to a new room where they could comfortably prepare for the big day. It was raining all morning, but there was hope on the horizon as the forecast was calling for a break in rain around their ceremony time. The girls huddled together under umbrellas and made their way through the flooded streets to get to the Gateway Clipper. What an experience this was! The girls were able to relax and warm up inside the bridal suite, and kept a close eye out on the rain. All looked good and it looked like there should be no problem having the ceremony on the top deck!
Jake and I grabbed shots of the venue all set up, some candids of the family, and got our gear protected just in case! We are always prepared for whatever may be thrown our way. With the sky still gray and sprinkling, we decided it would be best to cover our gear in plastic (something we always carry with us!) so we can still shoot if it were to start raining. We also had multiple umbrellas strapped to us. We kept our fingers crossed we wouldn’t need to use any of them, however it ended up being a life saver! As we climbed the stairs to the top deck, it started to sprinkle. No big deal we thought! We had already done a ceremony in the pouring rain a couple months back, we were prepared for a sprinkle! As we got into our places for the ceremony, the sky let loose and it started POURING. We quickly got ourselves and our gear completely covered and quickly created a game plan. Jake would shoot while I held umbrellas over us and the gear. There was no way we could double shoot in these conditions and we absolutely had to have some great team work to make this work! It was pouring so loud it was pretty hard to heard anything around us, but it was so romantic. At first, Samantha appeared to be pretty bummed - wouldn’t any bride be though?! But as she got closer and closer to her soon to be husband, she started smiling and laughing. Through the chaos of the rain, we witnessed Joe calming Samantha down and improving her mood without even saying a word. It was truly beautiful to witness and it is a great testimony of their love for each other. They balance each other out so perfectly and that’s exactly how a marriage should be! They have such supportive friends and family that stuck it out in the rain to witness their love and that is truly beautiful!
Everyone was DRENCHED after this ceremony, so it was important to get everyone down inside the boat and warmed up. Another twist in the story, it was still raining by the end of the ceremony and it would be impossible for us to do the family portraits outside at the alter like we typically do. The buffet tables were already set up on the dance floors, so our hands were tied and couldn’t do them inside at that time too. So in a bind, we met up with the DJ for the night - the incredible ChaChe with First Class Entertainment (He’s seriously the best. Hire him. Right now.) - as well as the cruise director so we can work as a team and get a totally new schedule created. This is why it’s so important to hire vendors that are experiences AND adaptable! We discussed all our options and created a game plan that would work for everyone involved, and keep the wedding going as smooth as possible! We decided to let the guests dry off and relax, have dinner and then we would get into the dancing and then we would do formal pictures. Completely backwards from what we typically do but it worked out great all because of teamwork! They were introduced, went straight into cake cutting (this is seriously the best way to do it, in case you are planning a wedding!), and then sat down for speeches and dinner. After dinner, they shared their first dance as Husband and Wife together! Samantha compared herself to a slug as she moved across the dance floor with a completely soaked train, it was the funniest thing!
Now we had the rest of the night to grab the guests having a blast and enjoying themselves! We also took this time to get the formal photos inside and out with the beautiful Pittsburgh skyline!
Although the day may not have gone “as planned”, it was still incredibly beautiful and DEFINITELY unforgettable! Who else can say they got married on a boat in the pouring rain surrounded by their friends and family? There were obstacles to work around but in the end, everything turned out perfect!
We want to thank Samantha and Joe, and their friends & family for all the help, support and for welcoming us like family. We also want to thank the entire Gateway Clipper staff, as well as ChaChe with First Class Entertainment for helping us make this special couple’s day perfect! We could not have done it without all of you!
And last but not least, Jake and I wish the new Mr and Mrs Fleming a lifetime of happiness - throughout the good and bad! If you guys can laugh through a storm on your wedding day, you can get through anything!!