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Heidi & Jarod in the Blizzard

We left a day early for Heidi and Jarod’s wedding, with warnings all over the radio and the television about a big blizzard bearing down. Rather than be found on Heidi’s wedding day somewhere along the side of a lonely country road, me and my anxiety decided we were going to leave early and get a hotel room an hour closer. Of course, rather than watch me pace the floor, Kari agreed we should pack up and get on the road. Another minute of me biting my nails was going to drive her bonkers, so off we went and made a mini-date night out of the trip.

The next morning in the hotel room we started out early just as the edges of the storm began to creep over the horizon. The temperature was dropping and the wind was picking up with a definite bite to the air. As the fog of the blizzard overtook us, I stopped to shoot some footage of the giant wind turbines that were dipping into view just off the highway, eerily swooping into sight from out of the clouds, then gone again, vanished into the fog with no more than a whisper.

Clear roads turned to black ice just as we rolled into town. A few moments later, there was Heidi in jeans, a flanel, furry snowboots and a veil, checking on her unity candle and gorgeous as ever. Not even in her dress and the girl takes your breath away more than even the chilly morning air.

We braved the storm at Heidi’s request and shot some beautiful outdoor scenes, with our bride snuggled up to her man as close as possible.

At the beginning of the ceremony, only a few inches had fallen, but in those moments of bliss during the wedding, none of us realized what was happening outside.

After the kiss we were out the door and right into the worst of the blizzard. Visibility dropped to zero as I shot images of the hardest working ushers I’ve ever seen, breaking out the snow shovels to clear the way for the guests.

We told the limo bus driver we’d be right behind them for the 20 mile trek to the reception hall, and we stuck by our word, right up to the point that she passed a car, going uphill, in a white-out blizzard, doing 50 on black ice. One by one we watched cars pull over as people turned around to try and make it back to the last town. Coming around a sharp corner I barely made out 2 pairs of headlights, then suddenly realized they were both coming straight at us. I pumped the brakes, turned the wheel, hit the gas, touched the brakes, and finally cranked the wheel the other direction while hitting the gas one last time. We performed a beautiful ‘S’ on the highway, as if we were in some kind of ice-skating number. The whole time I could hear Kari praying, except all that was coming out was “Lord! Lord! Lord!” I think He got the message anyway, as we missed the oncoming car by about 3 inches. All I could say for about 2 minutes was, ‘That idiot was trying to pass, in a white-out blizzard, while going around a corner!’ I think I said that about 3 times.

Believe it or not we actually caught up to our limo bus driver just as she pulled into town, and the rest of the night the couple was glowing. Guests were thrilled to be warm and eating great food, and Heidi and Jarod heated the place up with their fast-moving jitterbug on the dance floor.

Heidi also played a special slide show for her dad during their dance together and we got to snap some of our favorite father-daughter shots. It was all worth it in the end to see a father holding his little girl as the images of their history rolled by, and we were grateful to have memories with Heidi and Jarod of an extraordinary wedding day.

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