Monthly Archives: July 2011

The Get-A-Way

The married couple can’t just drive away with cans and old shoes tied to the rear bumper.  That just doesn’t cut it in today’s world.

Now if your are married on a big ranch inSouth Texas, it is acceptable to leave on horses.  Never the bride and groom on the same horse.  If it is night time you have to make sure there is a full moon so you can see where you are going.

At the Country Club in the morning when the wind is lower, you can leave in a hot air balloon.  There was a wedding once in a hot air balloon where the bride and groom and the pilot were in the balloon.  The minister was on the ground.  The balloon started to go up and move fast.  The minister was running along the ground yelling, “Do you promise to love….etc.” and they were out of sight of each other within minutes.  I guess that counts as being married.

Sometimes, the groom is a pilot and they leave in their own private plane.  I remember a big wedding up the Texas panhandle the father of the bride was a pilot and they left in their own Lear Jet.

Lots of couples leave in a horse drawn carriage inSan Antonio.  Tourists can get rides in those carriages all the time.  It makes them feel like Cinderella…

A beautiful old convertible is always a great idea.  Of course, the couple should sit up on the back window with the top down and wave and throw kisses like royalty.

Harley riders always want to leave on their machines.  Great.  Be sure the bride doesn’t get her dress caught in the wheels.

People with lake homes up north of here can depart in their ski boat.  That’s always fun.  Very James Bondish.

Maybe the most interesting wedding I have ever done was when a couple, the minister, the best man and maid of honor all jumped out of a plane at 10,000 ft.  Having been a paratrooper myself, I can tell you that you can hear from far away at altitude.  And, there is enough time to do a normal ceremony on the way down. 

What is your dream get-a-way?

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Three fathers of the bride

This was an exciting wedding in Austin….or maybe San Marcos.  The mother of the bride (known as the MOB in our industry) was happily married for the third time.

The mother was only married for a couple of years to the first husband, and he was really the father of the bride.  The mother remarried this very nice man and it lasted about twenty years and ended in a bad divorce.  Her mom then remarried for the third time to her current husband.  This man was the husband during the daughter’s wedding.

Since the bride had actually spent more time with her mother’s second husband…. that is the father she felt closest to.  She thought he should be the one to walk her down the aisle…and give her away…..and he did.  And it was great.  Everybody did a good job.

When it came time for formal photos there is always one with the bride and groom and the parents of the groom.  Then there was the very interesting picture.  It has the bride and groom and the bride’s mother and fathers.  Next to the bride were all three fathers!  They were all very friendly.

The second father was next to the bride….then the real father….then the current father.

I wish I could show you this photo, but is long gone!  Perhaps seeing Steve Martin three times will help.

One Father, Two Father, THREE Father

You might call this a triple exposure!

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Mail Call

I don’t know what it is about older people and the mail….but they LOVE it!  Mr.P is literally obsessed.  He asks me every time he comes in the office if the mail has arrived.  I learned very quickly when I first started working for him to never get the mail.  It is very similar to a dog and playing fetch.  Every time I see the mailman I yell, “The mailman is coming!”  Sure enough, he scurries out of his office and to the tiny mailbox located outside our office with pure excitement in his eyes.

 

Better yet, our mailman is a mailwoman.  He of course has some one-line joke about it that he tells her every time he sees her.  “I’ve seen a mailman, but never a mail woman!”  She promptly gives a fake smile and rolls her eyes as she walks away as he giggles coming back inside the office with the mail clutched in his hands.   Her replacement (a real mailman) is much friendlier.  Not only does he always have a smile on his face, but he comes inside the office and hands the mail directly to me.  But maybe that’s just because we have a huge basket of chocolate in front of my desk…

One time I thought I was being responsible and opened the mail for him and placed it on his desk.  The first thing he said was, “You opened these like a gorilla!”  I didn’t know gorillas received mail….but if they did, they wouldn’t use a Swiss army knife to carefully slit the envelope in a perfect straight line and carefully take out the treasures inside.

The big question still remains, what is the big deal about the mail?!  Well, I finally figured out it’s because back in the day all of the money came in through the mail.  He would mail a bill, and customers would promptly (or not so promptly) mail back a check.  Now, I don’t even know if the majority of my friends have a checkbook in their possession…we use debit cards for everything…but, that’s not the point. 

The point is that Mr.P’s mail obsession is a daily reminder that we are a business.  Many photographers and studios get caught up in expensive equipment and the latest editing fads.  The truth is that none of it matters if you don’t have any money!  You may be an artist (which I like to say with a French accent, r-tee-st) but you have to be a business man or woman first.

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The groom wore white socks

In the early days (1965) when I first went into business I did many weddings and portraits out of town so that if I screwed up nobody local would notice.  That is, nobody with whom I really wanted to do business with would notice! 

I found that people loved to have “formal” weddings, but they had no earthly idea what “formal” meant.  One wedding that I remember distinctly the groom and all the groomsmen wore rented tuxedos and white sox!  Come on!

In many “cowboy” weddings the men loved to wear their boots to prove they were real cowboys.  Now, if the boots are $2,000 alligators that’s OK.   But, if they are $150 boots, that isn’t OK.  Especially if they are white boots and you are wearing a tux.

Boots and White Socks

 

At these tuxedo shops, you can get all sorts of wild looking outfits.  Some of them are OK, but most of them look like costumes.  They give you these rented shoes that are fake leather and don’t fit. 

I remember one time all the dresses and shoes were delivered to the church for the bride…..stores used to do that….they don’t anymore.  Anyway, the shoes for the ladies and the men were delivered about 3 pm.   The wedding was at 8 pm.  When everybody arrived to get dressed about 5 pm……all the shoes had been stolen.  Everybody had to wear the shoes they wore to the church!  That was funny!

Let that be a lesson.  Don’t come to a wedding thinking everything is going to be there!  Even the groom.

I remember that one time the groom din’t show up.  That’s another interesting story!  It wasn’t funny at the time!

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Crying won’t do you any good

 

A few years ago at Christ Episcopal Church here in San Antonio they were preparing for a very nice wedding with lots of moving parts.

The only problem was that the department store had not delivered the dresses for the bridesmaids.  There were five bridesmaids….all nice, grown ladies.  As the time got closer to the wedding there were still no dresses so the mother of the bride phoned the manager of the Frost Brothers….an old, well-known department store…..that is no longer in business!

There was a brand new priest.  He came out at the front of the church and said to the waiting guests, “Take ten.” They didn’t know what he meant.  I had to tell him to explain to the guests what was happening with the missing dresses.

The bridesmaids became hysterical.  Believe it or not, the father of the bride was a psychiatrist.  He started yelling “Crying won’t do you any good!”  That was good advice!  I suggested that they wear acolyte outfits.  That didn’t fly.

Finally, the owner of Frost Brothers arrived at church with the dresses.  They still had pins in them because the alterations had not been done.  The ladies managed to put them on carefully and make it down the aisle looking stiff as could be.

 

Another time in Del Rio, Texas, a dressmaker was making the dresses for a very prominent bride to be married at at the big Methodist Church.  For the weeks and months before the wedding, this dressmaker would not let anybody take a look at what she was doing.  She said she wanted to “surprise” the bride.

Finally, about three days before the wedding, the bride insisted on seeing the dresses.  At that point, the dressmaker broke down in tears and admitted that she had not even begun to make the dresses because she didn’t know how!

The bride’s mother phoned some big store in New York, ordered dresses, and they were delivered at a great expense just in time for the wedding to begin.  You get the point.  Check closely with people who are supposed to be “helping” with your wedding.  Sometimes they can be more hurtful than helpful.

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It’s a Grand Ole Flag

Independence Day – July 4th – 1776 – In the United States some very brave people declared their independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain some 235 years ago.  

They were the leaders of today's parade

Now, we usually spend a lot of money on fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies. 

Terrell Hills parade about 20 years ago

Fireworks have gotten so elaborate and powerful that they are illegal in a lot of places.  And sometimes everybody has had so much to drink that they fall asleep before dark! 

A good time was had by all.

In our small bedroom community of Terrell Hills, we always have a 4th of July Parade.  It goes about 7 or 8 block and ends with a gathering of neighbors, bicycles, wagons and dogs.  We always give awards for the best decorated dog or bicycle or T-Shirt or something.  Everybody gets a first place blue ribbon.  Watchers and Drivers

The parade takes about 25 minutes and 5 minutes before it starts, you would swear that there was not going to be a parade.  Then, suddenly, everyone appears.  Some people bring chairs to sit and watch. 

Dogs and Clowns

One time, about 20 years ago they asked me to lead the singing of a few well known songs….because we don’t have song sheets, etc.  Betty had given me a patriotic anniversary present of a pair of red, white and blue boxers shorts.  I thought they were regular shorts, so I wore them in the parade and to lead the singing at the end.

During the singing, I took a closer look at myself and realized that my shorts were actually underwear.  Fortunately, the crowd (mainly children) didn’t notice.  I went home quickly and changed!

The moral of the story is to be sure and check everything especially on a wedding day before you go down the aisle.  Be sure everything is zipped and buttoned!

All of the photos from this year’s parade are on my web site www.ParishPhoto.com .  If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know.  Charles Parish – 210.824.9471.   Happy 4th.

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Weddings gone to the dogs

A lot of Texas wedding parties include dogs.  Of course, they have to behave and act nice.  Usually they act nicer than the people do.  This very nice wedding was outside at the San Antonio Country Club.  The three dog friends had been members of the family for years, so why shouldn’t they be in the wedding? 

Three lucky dogs

 

When U.S. Representative Lamar Smith married Elizabeth at Camp Capers the best man was his dog.   The dog couldn’t help cut the cake because he wasn’t tall enough. 

Can I have a piece?

 

At Ashleys  wedding their dogs came early so they could take good pictures. 

Best man and maid of honor.

 

Paul Carson and Leta met when they were getting their dogs, so they included them in their wedding.  Makes sense to me.

Right at home.

 

It is not unusual for families to dress their dogs up and bring them to their events.  Rob Eversberg, King Antonio LXXXI, made his old friend feel part of the week.

  

 

Ranch weddings on a river just aren’t complete without a couple of old friends.  The wedding for Cally was up at their place near Hunt, TX on the Guadalupe River.  They even put a Texas flag across the river so everyone would KNOW where they were

Nowhere but Texas!

 
The bottom line is that it is your wedding and you can ask anyone you want to be in it….even your old friend….the puppy.
 
If you have any questions call me….Charles Parish – 210.824.9471.  Thanks

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