June 14, 2003
Orange Beach, Alabama
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The rehearsal supper for Jay and Lele's wedding was held at the Perdido Beach Resort. The food was excellent, foretelling another treat at the reception. The highlight of the evening, of course, was the remarkable performance of Ed Harold, toastmaster.
After drinking a bottle . . . err . . . glass or two of scotch, Ed kicked off the toasts by trying to scare a baby.
This child was not to be scared so easily, though he really didn't know what to make of Ed's yellow, polka-dot bowtie.
The first rule of being a toastmaster is to drink more than anyone else. At least I think that's the rule. I'll check with Ed and come back and update this page later. You have to get those rules straight you know.
The first rule of being a hobby photographer is to never photograph a wedding. That is, never allow someone to talk you into being the photographer for their wedding when you have never done it before. This is a good rule. The second rule, is never go to a wedding without your camera. By adhering to both these rules, you get the benefit of taking pictures but not having to deal with expectations for which you were paid but didn't live up to.
I think we all learned how hot and humid it can be between 5:00 and 7:30 p.m. on the Gulf Coast of Alabama. Forgive the shiny skin on the subjects of some of the photos.
The following panorama is one of the many things you don't have time to do when you are a professional wedding photographer.
Of course, even if you did have the time to take such silly photos, you couldn't take one of the pre-wedding photo shoot. Incidentally, the smart people in the above photo are the ones standing very near the air-conditioned house.
The other thing you don't have time to do is take silly photos of nearby scenery.
What should probably be a third rule is that you should never ask the groom to do a Heisman pose while the real photographer is taking photos.
The reason that this should be a rule is that, apparently, professional photographers in South Alabama are not football fans. Or, maybe its because the University of Alabama has never had a Heisman Trophy winner while Auburn has had two (Bo Jackson - 1986 and Pat Sullivan - 1971). Who knows. It should still be a rule. Whatever the reason, professional photographers do not take Heisman poses lightly.
Another rule should be to never wear a wool suit, tropical or otherwise, to an outdoor wedding on the Gulf Coast that doesn't occur between December 15 and February 28. But that is a completely different subject that I hope no-one photographed.
The guy who really earned his pay was the bellboy, bellman, bellhop, bell ringer or whatever you call those guys who ring bells.
By the time the wedding march was over, he must have been worn out.
Jay was stretching to see Lele's procession over the crowd.
The wedding presented some really cool scenery for photo taking, but if you don't climb on top of the fish cleaning station because you don't want to fall into the water with your new $2,500 camera set-up and then explain to your orthopedist why you need to have your ACL repair surgery much earlier than planned, you just aren't going to get the best photo.
What you end up doing is holding the camera as high as possible and guessing where to point it while hoping that it focuses on the correct object.
A benefit of bringing along your own camera is that you get to bring a zoom lens and a powerful portable flash unit.
The story that I heard about why it took so long to travel from the Long's dock to the Ruby's dock was that Captain Jim and First Mate Jeff were waiting for a phone call telling them when to come in. Apparently someone forgot to call. A likely story. You'll notice that the doors to the boudoir . . . err . . . cabin on the boat are closed in the above photo. ;)
The above shot was taken as the couple were boating up to the reception.
The above shot should be used as an example of why you should always bring your tripod with you when you are drinking and trying to take photos at the same time. Despite camera movement which smeared the decorative lights all over the place, the couple was frozen by the flash which has a maximum duration of 1/1000th of a second. In this case it was probably 1/4000th or so. Notice that Lele is barefoot. Jay, that's half the equation or so I hear . . .
Here's another silly photo that you don't take when you are a professional wedding photographer.
And another . . .
Since my other and primary hobby is fishing, I noticed a strange coincidence that the above photo brings to mind. Now, I know that Jay has caught bigger fish than that. Oh, and I don't mean that figuratively! Look at the little fish he is holding. In fact, I think it might be a mullet. For those of you who don't know, a mullet is that fish that you see stupidly jumping all over the place when you are in salt or brackish water. It is also a haircut worn by many graduates of the University of Alabama, but I will focus on the fish for the time being.
A mullet's highest and best use is as bait used to catch other fish that taste good and are worth catching. I'm told that certain Alabamans like to compete at tossing mullets for distance, but I won't comment on that custom. What is strange about this photo is that not 10 feet from it is a mounted jack crevalle.
A jack crevalle, sometimes called a crevalle jack (go figure), like a mullet, is almost never targeted by anglers who are intent upon bringing them home, much less displaying pictures of the proud angler who caught it or mounting it as a trophy. By the way, never try to eat jack crevalle. Trust me on this point.
While I will await an explanation for this practice in the Ruby family, I suspect drinking was involved . . .
If you want to see a picture of Jay catching a real fish, go here.
Yellowfin tuna, on the other hand, is the kind of fish that should be mounted. Of course it tastes too good so everybody just eats them when they are caught.
Anyway, as you know, after Lele kicked Jay's butt in a food fight . . .
And then forced Jay to participate in some strange custom . . .
. . . the party broke up and I left.
Just kidding. The photos I took at the rehearsal dinner, wedding and reception are here. Thanks to Jay and Lele for the invitation. Sherry and I had a great time.