Although I usually like to start off by telling a little about a couple’s story, I think Clay’s description of the first time he met Mary does the job far better than I ever could:
“Mary and I first met at the romantic Shangri-La known as “Big Wangs,” a hot wings sports bar in Hollywood. Our mutual friend, Duncan Birmingham, had just come back into town and he invited a few people to meet up for drinks. At the time, I was working as the production designer on a play, and had therefore been painting and hammering nails all day. I was also wearing my “Got Tickets to the Gun Show?” t-shirt that had arrows pointing to my narrow biceps to further entice passersby. Fortunately, I had just polished off a plate of garlic wings with Duncan and a few dudes when Mary and her friend Heather arrived. I remember thinking, “well this girl is never gonna like me. I look and smell like a moron.” Little did I know this was just Mary’s type.”
After bonding over a mutual love for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and sweat pants, these two fell head over heels in love. Years (and one very adorable adopted Shar Pei-golden retriever mix named Kima) later, they stood in front of their friends and family and committed to love and support each other for the rest of their lives.
I first met Mary and Clay almost two years ago while photographing their good friends Lane and Susan’s wedding in Salt Lake City. When they contacted me about flying me to L.A. to shoot their wedding at the Smog Shoppe, I’m pretty sure I did some loud girly squealing. I’ve literally been dreaming of shooting a wedding at this venue for a long time, and I just couldn’t believe my luck. Plus, I hadn’t been to Los Angeles since middle school, and even though I was terrified at the thought of maneuvering the highways there, those sunny skies were calling my name. I keep telling people that this weekend was a quintessential California experience (at least from the perspective of a born-and-bred Southerner, which is probably just as flawed as how everyone else thinks of us, ha), from our near death experience on the interstate to celebrity sightings (my friend Carly Bish, who came along to second shoot with me, walked right past Lance Bass, and while I was getting ready for another session the following day, Ed Helms drove by) to the fact that I got to photograph the marriage of a director and a producer. Oh, and we did eat In ‘n Out for dinner our last night in town. ;)
But anyway, enough with my giddiness. Mary and Clay are such an incredible and sweet couple, and I’m honored they chose me to document their wedding day. I hope you enjoy!
Mary wore her mother’s Japanese wedding gown, which was also worn by her sister at her wedding. Incredibly, no one had to have it altered, and it was in pristine condition. I was pretty much obsessed with it. Also, the Culver Hotel, where everyone was getting ready, was just a feast of eye candy.
Mary: STOP IT WITH HOW GORGEOUS YOU ARE. Seriously.
Words cannot describe how much I love this next image.
The royal blue dress Mary changed into for the reception was another jaw-dropper.
Mary and Clay, I can’t thank you enough for trusting me to capture your love. It was an amazing experience.