Serendipity is defined as discovering something favorable by complete accident. That is how I ended up photographing Sandy and Steve’s wedding 40 nautical miles outside of Seward, Alaska. My plan was to visit some friends who manage a lodge in the remote ocean coast of Aialik Bay. A week prior I was informed that Sandy, the marketing director at Alyeska Ski Resort, was going to be getting married on the same day I was to arrive. Sandy has been a big supporter of my photography and has been using my photographs on Alyeska’s website for the last year. Considering the coincidence I couldn’t think of anything I’d love more than to share my services on their special day especially in such a beautiful place.
I’m always amazed by the variety of strategies couples choose for their wedding day. Some focus on the smallest of details, invite everyone they know, and throw an extravagant party. Steve and Sandy are definitely on the other side of this spectrum. I would call them wedding minimalists with an ambition for adventure. They deemed their day “the un-ceremony,” invited only their immediate family, and found one of coolest places on earth to exchange their vows. Standing on the bow of boat with seals sleeping on ice burgs in front of a mile wide calving glacier is pretty darn cool - even in the rain.
The following day the clouds parted and we woke up to sunny clear skies. Steve, a Safari guide for Alaska Wildland Adventures, guided us on an incredible hike from the door steps of the Kenai Fjords Backcountry Lodge. We climbed a 1000 feet through moss covered spruce onto a broad ridge above Pederson Glacier on the edge of the Harding Ice Field. The view was a perfect backdrop for another photo shoot of the bride and groom in paradise.
Thanks Steve and Sandy for letting me be your wedding crasher photographer. What a unique experience!