I turned around. Behind me I saw tourists in colourful windbreakers and technical gear three rows deep, some confused, some curious with a camera at the ready and most with a gentle smile on their faces. The same smile was on my face as I turned back to look at my friends who sat at the front of the tiny chapel. Okay, that’s a lie. My smile wasn’t gentle. It was more like a giant grin.
How could I not be full of happiness at the thought of Debra and Ross getting married? After 13 years? On top of a Swiss mountain at 3089m elevation in a tiny mountain chapel next to a wonderful hotel that somehow looks like the moon lair of Dr. Evil, overlooking the most beautiful Matterhorn? Exactly.
At least the presence of a bunch of strangers masked the incredibly loud shutter noise of my Hasselblad as I tried to take pictures of the small and still very private ceremony as silently as possible. Which in a stone chapel with only 14 people in it and only one person talking at a time is not really all that quiet. Thankfully Marco was shooting digital at the same time, which meant I could concentrate fully on getting my film shots without having to worry about missing anything. Debra owns and very much loves a Hasselblad herself so photographing her wedding with my medium format camera was both an honour and a given.
Marco and I didn’t just photograph their wedding, we also doubled as Best Man and Best Woman. To say that we enjoyed the Highest Wedding Ever and the days leading up to it would be quite an understatement. Look at this landscape, how could you not be completely overwhelmed?
Debra had her dress custom-made after she spent months searching for a dress fitted the description “non-meringue-like but still wedding-y”. What she ended up with was truly unique. It flattered her figure unbelievably well and made her look like one sleek and graceful bride. Ross liked the idea of a custom wedding dress and went to Saville Road for a bespoke suit, a matching shirt (the lining of the suit is made of the same fabric as the shirt – nice!) and paired it with these great Oliver Sweeney shoes.
A few years ago my good friend Annie Suckow sent me a big pack of Polaroid Special Effects Filter. They work only on the Polaroid Spectra camera and when I had tried these filters out the first time Debra and Ross asked me (more jokingly, I suppose) if I could hold on to one pack of Spectra film to take their wedding portrait with a starburst-filtered Polaroid. I do like a good joke but I like great surprises even more. As my supply of Polaroid film was running out and buying more meant scouring the internet for forgotten and expired overpriced leftovers, I saved not one, but two packs of Spectra film and dragged them, my Polaroid camera and a pack full of 70’s filters up a mountain.
I’ll be honest with you when I say that no one, not even me could have predicted how much fun we had taking these shots. It was only trumped by the hilarity that ensued when we gathered around the developing photos to see blurred edges, cheesy poses and wacky kaleidoscopes take shape in the bright sunshine. It was definitely worth saving my last Spectra photos for you two.
An incredible six-course dinner over a stunning sunset was followed by an unforgettable night at the Kulmhotel Gornergrat. The morning after brought more tourists and proof that we were indeed incredibly lucky with the weather we enjoyed on Saturday. Low clouds and sinking temperatures on the top made it a little easier to say goodbye and take the train back down into Zermatt.
Look everyone! They are totally married. And so they should be. Thank you Deb and Ross for sharing this day with us.
WOW, dude. SO MANY fantastic shots. Very impressive. (What an amazing day they had!)
totally totally awesome
And I know this opens me up for significant metrosexual abuse but Oliver Sweeney shoes are very evidently the bomb.
Carolyn: Thank you! Yes, they really did have an amazing day. It couldn’t have been any better.
Thanks, Claire. :)
Marco: You are obviously right as usual. And nothing wrong with liking great shoes! You should wear yours more often.