Atlanta And BeyondAmanda
Atlanta & beyondest. 2009

Seattle Halloween Wedding | Samantha and Vanessa

Today I want to tell you a story about Samantha and Vanessa. It’s a story that’s different from the others, but in all the best ways. The way I met them is a bit… strange. Two years ago, I was in Oregon for a wedding and I had a little extra time to spare and some new ideas about making photos I wanted to try out. So I posted a message in a group on social media. The message was basically, “who wants to meet a random stranger in the middle of the deserted desert at sunrise to make some weird experimental photos on the edge of a canyon? I’m probably not an axe murderer.”

Amazingly, two awesome couples were willing to meet me, and we had a blast and made some really cool photos, which you can see here. As we were all leaving, Samantha gave me a big hug and a copy of her most recent album on CD. I listened to that disk on repeat for the next several hours as I drove across Oregon. In the two years since, I have worn out the CD, purchased another copy of the album from iTunes, and made it a point to rack up as many listens on Spotify as I can. It’s literally my #1 played album on Spotify. It’s that good, and you can listen and get a copy here. (For real. It’s the holidays. Support an amazingly talented artist.)

The only person who’s a bigger fan of Sami is Vanessa. Speaking of Vanessa, there’s only a handful of people on the planet who are more sarcastic than me, and Vanessa’s deep sarcasm speaks directly to my soul in all the most beautiful snarky ways. But more than that, her passion for all the most important things is inspiring. Meeting these two amazing people was such a random thing, but also somehow inevitable. I don’t believe in many woo-woo things, but if I did, I would believe it was meant to happen.

So when they asked me to photograph their wedding, I was beside myself with happiness. When they told me it would be on Halloween with all their favorite humans in costume, with candy and kids everywhere, I did a little dance. This wedding was just the most fun. All the guests came in costume and hammed it up for the camera (except Sami’s amazing grandpa, who was unquestionably right that he was too cool for that). The cast of Grease was there. And the Rocky Horror folks showed everyone how to do the Time Warp. I even saw Wayne and Garth dancing together and sneaking a couple of kisses. Who else can say that about their wedding? No one can, that’s who.

But even more beautiful than Wayne and Garth making out is the incredible way that Vanessa and Samantha just love and support each other. The way they are when they are together is just magic. They support each other, and they torment each other, in all the most perfect ways. It’s beautiful to behold, and entertaining as hell to watch their videos on social media. (Right now, Vanessa, all everyone really wants to know is when Samantha started to cry. I hope you videoed this.)

Thank you Vanessa and Samantha for driving out to the middle of the desert one random morning. And thank you for trusting me to document this amazing day for you. It has been an honor.

Amanda Summerlin
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