On May 25, 2012, Andrea and I woke to the excitement of the possibility of photographing a wedding in Napa Valley. We received an email from a couple (Robert Harrison and Kelly Fitchum) and they indicated how they had seen our work on various blogs and were in the initial stages of planning a small intimate wedding in the town of Yountville, California. The wedding would take place at the exclusive Villagio Inn and Spa.
In an amazing coincidence, their wedding day was the weekend before a wedding we had already booked in Santa Barbara. This meant we could have the whole week between the two to travel and enjoy ourselves, so of course we were excited.
We are always very hesitant when we read emails that seem to good to be true. We have had our hopes dashed by people who are simply price checking, or for various reasons we aren’t able to photograph their wedding.
After exchanging dozens of emails, and learning more about Robert and Kelly’s wedding day, family, and even seeing “family photos”, we were fairly confident that we were going to have a dream come true of not only shooting one wedding in California, but 2 in one week!
Then the contract and deposit came in the mail. It was official, they were in our books!
There was a bit of a problem. It was all completely fake.
In a nearly year long plan, I had created their names, email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses, family photos, family history, wedding date, forged a contract (and deposit) in order to fool Andrea into thinking we were traveling to Wine Country for “the perfect wedding.”
Once we arrived in the quaint town of Yountville, California this past Sunday, we checked into our luxurious room that over looked a vineyard. Andrea was over the moon for two reasons: 1) This town is a photographer’s dream come true and she was already thinking of the wedding blogs the photos would be featured on. 2) In her own words–“Thank God Robert and Kelly are paying for this! WOW” (little does she know…haha)
After we unpacked and enjoyed a couple glasses of the complimentary bottle of Chardonnay, I mentioned that we go out to the vineyard and take some photos together. (Which is completely normal for us.) Equipped with a trashcan as a tripod, we ventured down into the grapes. I snapped some shots of Andrea, as I do everywhere we go, and then placed the camera down on top of the trusty trashcan/tripod. I set the camera to release the shutter every 3 seconds, walked up to Andrea and we began to dance like we’ve done a million times. This would be last time I would do this with her simply as my “girlfriend.” —enjoy.
The town of Yountville is one of the most amazing places we have ever spent time in. The people, the food, and the scenery are all top notch.
Twice we were greeted with free glasses of wine and champagne at dinner from strangers who had heard of our engagement and happen to know where we eating dinner.
We have been asked many times over the years who would take our photos if we ever got married and we have always joked that we would take all of them ourselves.
On Monday, we walked, dined, wine tasted and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves while photographing each other and ourselves using chairs, tables, rocks, and anything we could find as tripods, with a few instances of assistance from the local wine expert of course.
Andrea and I would like to thank everyone who has played a role in our relationship over the past 5 years. We are blessed beyond measure to have such phenomenal friends and family. We love you all.