Good morning and Happy Friday to all of you out there. I'm not sure if your week went as slow as mine, but it seems like it took forever for Friday to get here. I've got a beautiful wedding I'm looking forward to this weekend with an outdoor ceremony site next to a lake, but more on that later. For right now, we're diving into another installment of my [FRAMED] series. This week's shot I'm calling the "Live Long and Prosper," and if you look at the shot I think you can see why. It highlights one of my favorite things about the reception — the wedding speeches. So, lets get to it. This photo was taken last year during Mallory and Bob's Panora Wedding. This is one of my all time favorite weddings because the whole day was very chilled and flowed smooth. Actually, it felt like one big party. Nevertheless, we were having a great time moving around Panora and making some great shots. The beautiful ceremony ended and we boarded the party bus to get some quick portraits and do a little bar hopping. When our time was up, we headed over to the Panora Conference Center for the reception. The bride and groom did their grand entrance to a sea of applause and adoration. After greeting the guests and making their rounds to the various tables, the couple took their seats at the head table and we got dinner underway. Soon after dinner, we moved into the wedding speeches — which I consider the reception wild card.
The wedding speeches are the wild card because the way I figure it, they have about 4 different styles or themes they can follow. They can be the generic "best of luck to you both" speech, they can be funny, sentimental, and sometimes an embarrassing speech rears its ugly head. I always keep this in mind because when the attendant stands up with the microphone, you really never know what you're going to get. I've seen all of them from time to time, but it gets especially interesting when the speaker mixes the genres together for an unexpected little twist. Such was the case here.
The wedding speeches were moving right along and it was now time for the best man (groom's brother) to stand up and give his speech. They passed the mic over and he stood up in front of his audience. He began with a generic opening line thanking everyone and congratulating the newlyweds on a beautiful wedding. Then, suddenly, he changed gears and began sharing sentimental stories of him and his brother when they were younger. He told about little rivalries, wrestling, and some of the adventures they had gotten themselves into. As the speech continued to roll out of him, he began to say how proud he was of his brother as his eyes started filling up with tears. His voice began to crack a little and he took a moment to compose himself and wipe the tears before moving on. I moved closer and took advantage of my longer lens to go in tighter on the emotion. The audience also leaned forward in their seats, obviously drawn in by this touching speech. The stories continued to unfold and as the speech neared its end, the audience raised their champagne glasses in anticipation of the ending toast. The best man said he wanted to leave his brother with some parting remarks. I was expecting the typical, "Enjoy your marriage and have many years of happiness," but this wasn't the case. His face that was once filling with tears was now very serious. Then, without even cracking a smile, he turned to his brother and said...
"Live long and prosper."
Then he raised his hand to rock the vulcan salute made famous by Spock. The groom lost it and erupted in laughter as his brother had just quoted one of their favorite TV shows. The audience soon followed as the room lit up with energy and applause. The trick had worked and no one saw that coming. What was once a tearful, emotional speech took a sudden and hilarious twist when the best man said a single phrase from Star Trek. Priceless.
This is a textbook example of why I consider the wedding speeches to be a wild card. Without warning, they can change the mood of the entire room. And, if done right, they can lead the audience on a roller coaster of emotion...often with funny consequences. So, thanks for reading and be sure to stay tuned next week as I'll be sharing more of my recent work and of course, another [FRAME].