This wedding, like many right now, faced a lot of obstacles to happen. Imagine planning a 250 guest sized wedding and then having to get the numbers down to 38. Covid, quarantines, and our wonderful governor will put you through the stress of having to do that. Taylor contacted me some time in June asking what it would look like to cancel her wedding altogether. Honestly, my heart was sad because this meant another beautiful bride was forfeiting her day for all the craziness in the world today. After some time, Taylor and Rudy considered just foregoing their dream wedding for a simpler, more intimate day. I think this fit Taylor’s personality so much more anyways.
As Virginia wedding photographers we get to frequent the Hilton Main in Downtown Norfolk. I know the building and lighting like the back of my hand. But even though we’ve photographed many getting ready photos and other things there, we’ve never photographed a wedding. Taylor and Rudy’s simple and intimate wedding was the first. The Hilton’s team did a fabulous job. Matthew Crowe coupled with Riley, Taylor’s same day coordinator, did such a wonderful job keeping the day running so smoothly.
Hanging out with Taylor and her six girls was so fun. We laughed, chatted and had the best day together. The whole day felt like the most perfect family wedding. It was warm, intimate and tight knit. Truly a wedding photographer’s dream. No lie! Often, when weddings are warm and intimate everyone just tends to be so relaxed, which makes our job magic in the making.
Taylor reminded me so much of me on my wedding day. She, like me, doesn’t love a whole lot of direct attention on her, so she was really calm and quiet except for the occasional nervous giggles; the absolute cutest!
My absolute favorite moment of their day was CJ’s, Rudy’s best man’s speech. Taylor’s giggles came to a close second favorite and Rudy’s dad on the dance floor followed just behind that. CJ’s speech had us all laughing and crying in the matter of minutes. Actually, CJ sent me a copy of his speech which I am going to post below for memory sake!
“Rudy and I are childhood friends. We met 20 years ago while playing on a trampoline at a neighbor’s house. At the time, I did not realize this newfound friend would become my lifelong brother. I am 3 months younger than Rudy, so it always felt as if I had a twin brother by my side. If you know anything about siblings, you’re probably aware of that sibling rivalry at times. We definitely have quite a few memories that involved us competing against each other whether it was in sports or playing a simple card game–you name it. We could play basketball and he would beat me every time, or we could play Speed and he would always finish first. However, my favorite memories do not include us competing, but instead, being on the same team. Our first year as friends, we were the Michael & Scottie for our rec basketball team. When we have music at family events, we’re the DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. In the 3rd grade, we lied to our friends at school and told them we were cousins. We were the Marcus Burnett & Mike Lowrey–the real Bad Boys. Overall, Rudy, you will always be my main man.
My favorite memory of all is the next day after we met as kids. I came to play with you and afterwards, Mom had opened a large size bag of Doritos and poured it into a big blue bowl for us to share as we sat on the front step of the house. Since we were kids, you have always shared with me and taken care of me as your little brother.
Taylor—thank you for loving my brother. Your heart is pure gold. Your ability to care and be intentional are your best qualities and it gives us comfort knowing that our brother has someone like you. I remember when Rudy first introduced us 7 years ago. You were sitting on the couch with a bag of chips and he was so happy to call you his girlfriend. I wasn’t sure if you would last as you now know the Rudolph’s are a wild bunch. However, you have overcome being the center of many jokes to simply surviving Uncle Mack’s Mojo, and the final test of learning how to make fried chicken. I guess it’s safe to say you’re all that and a bag of chips.
I am so happy you two found each other. A little over 50 years ago, interracial marriage was illegal in Virginia until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the banning of interracial marriage in the Loving vs. Virginia case–that is why “Virginia is for Lovers.” Each day make it your duty to love each other through the good and the bad times. Be willing to lay aside your ego & create opportunity for connectedness instead of separation as love cannot be created not maintained where the ego exists.
If everyone can raise their glass. I like to make this toast to Rudy and Taylor. We love you and wish you a lifetime of happiness. To the bride and groom.”
Both families were amazing. You could see the love and joy they shared for both Rudy and Taylor. You can tell these two individuals come from some wonderful upbringing and Jake and I were so glad to be able to be a part of their day.
To Rudy and Taylor, thank you so much for still moving forward with your day. Although, it probably wasn’t what you originally imagined it was so perfect and well orchestrated. The joy’s and memories of that day will forever be ingrained in our hearts and we hope these images with bring back all the joy’s this day held. We wish you both such a beautiful future together. So many congratulations!