Amanda and Ian’s Wedding, A Stormy Beginning

Amanda and Ian's Wedding Photograph
Amanda and Ian’s Wedding at the Blue Dress Barn



Dawn and I had the pleasure of photographing the outdoor wedding of Amanda and Ian, two wonderful young adults. In spite of the weather going from a humid 95 degrees with bright sun to thunderstorms that knocked out the power for the entire reception, the wedding carried on with all the family and friends helping to make the event a great one. We never saw so many cell phone lights in one place! Amanda and Ian, you know who loves you when your friends’ arms falls asleep from holding a cell phone light for an entire reception! 🙂 Oh, and yes the minister did actually say: “You may now kiss your smokn’ hot wife!”

The wedding was held up at the Blue Dress Barn, a quaint setting nestled in the woods of Benton, Harbor, Michigan. It is called the Blue Dress Barn, because it was an old barn, the David dairy barn. We still have not learned why it is called the “Blue Dress” but when we do we will let you know.

Dawn and I went up a few days early to meet with the owners and scout the location out as we always do, it is a good thing to know your surroundings when photographing. The owners are a husband and wife couple and we met with the wife, she showed us around and we fell in love with the historic venue. The barn had a lovely deep, brown wood interior and lovely green vegetation surrounding it. Lots of nooks and crannies to shoot in.

The day of the wedding, it was a hot, humid and sunny day with little to no clouds in the sky. We took advantage of the fact that the bride and groom wanted to do a “first look” so we took a lot of pictures before the wedding of them and the bridal party. Dawn and I were glad that we did, because the weather quickly changed. We knew something was up when I got a text from one of my friends that said: “Hold on to something!” Then I looked at the radar on the weather channel on my phone and our area was completely about to be overtaken with a storm!

We went to the bride and officiant and informed them of the inclement weather headed our way, and they agreed we should move up the wedding as well as shorten it a bit. It was a lovely ceremony and was uniquely ended when the officiant said: “You may now kiss your smokn’ hot wife!” I am still not sure if everyone stood up and applauded the statement or the actual kiss.

Dawn and I started the wedding with our cameras set to a high shutter speed because of the bright sun, but ended with them set at almost night settings due to the dark storm clouds. With the winds beginning to pick up and swirl around, we quickly took some group shots around the barn and then headed in when the rain began. We continued to take some shots inside the barn until they were ready to start the reception.

The reception started with the typical announcement of the bridal party. Dawn and I took their pictures as they walked in. Right after the best man and maid of honor walked in and we took their picture, the lights went off and they never came back on again! Yep, that’s what happens in a storm. The DJ, now without his mic, yelled out the names as the rest of the bridal party walked in. Dawn and I were already using flash, so we continued to shoot, there just wasn’t any pretty ambient light in the shots, but at least those shots were able to be taken. This is one reason why Dawn and I never solely rely on “natural light.”

When it came time for the speeches, the first one up was the best man, and he must have inspired the crowd when he used his cell phone to illuminate his speech because the entire crowd took out their cell phones and turned on their lights to light up the entire bridal table. You really know who your friends are when they hold up their arms holding their light cell phones continually until all the speeches are done.

Without power, there were no lights, and no musc and very unfortunately no plumbing, well, at least indoor plumbing. However, the food was hot! The caterers had set up all the food with fire canisters to keep them warm, and it worked well because the food was hot and delicious.

Eventually the venue attendant found extension cords, and borrowed some of ours, and strung them acrossed the yard to the next door farm house, so that we had some lights and a little music. Let the dancing begin! The young crowd did not disappoint, they turned out on the dance floor and danced their little tushy’s off.

At the end of the night, the wedding went off without a hitch, (well, OK they did get hitched) and no one got hurt by the weather and the food and dancing were great. And aren’t all weddings supposed to be “memorable?” Well, this wedding was memorable, and Amanda and Ian will never forget their wedding day, as it should be!


Photographing the inside of the wedding reception venu
The inside of the Blue Dress Barn



Photographing the wedding party
The Bridesmaids


photographing the wedding party on the stairs
The Bridal Party on the Stairs of the Blue Dress Barn


Photographing the bridal party at the venue
The bridal party at the venue


Photographing the bride to be
The bride-to-be and her first look at the groom


Photographing the wedding first look
The bride and groom’s first look at each other


photographing the wedding first kiss
You may now kiss your “Smokn’ Hot Wife!”


photographing a wedding kiss
A lovely kiss


Photographing the wedding lights going out
…And the Power Goes Off!


photographing the wedding speehes
When the lights go off, the cell phone lights come out, get raised and come on.


photographing the wedding speeches in the dark
Enjoying the speeches by cell phone light!


photographing the wedding couple
The wedding couple perfectly framed


In spite of the bad weather, and the power going out, it was a grand wedding and a memorable one as Amand and Ian deserved!






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