The word wedding has different meanings depending on who you ask. For some, it's a quiet elopement on a foggy hillside. For others, it's a family affair with decorated tents and patio lights. There are many ways to celebrate and design a wedding day. They can be as unique as the people putting them together, especially when people think outside the box.
When it's all stripped away, though, down to the bare bones, a wedding is a celebration of love. It's a promise of growth and commitment between two people. It's beautiful, no matter how fitting the venue or how perfect the dress.
This summer, I had the opportunity to photograph two unconventional weddings. They took place in Black Rock City at Burning Man. A little background for those who are unfamiliar...Burning Man is an week long experiment in community. Thousands of people come together in a desert in Nevada to participate in a society that is guided by principals of self-expression, radical inclusion and gifting. It's foundations of freedom, growth and love make it a fitting place for people to declare their love to each one another.
I was so excited when I came across both of these weddings taking place on the playa. One happened at sunset near an enormous wire statue of a woman. This couple celebrated with only three friends present, each one blowing a kazoo in celebration. The brides' white attire was made up of white materials she collected in and around their camp, and the groom wore white short-shorts and heart shaped sunglasses. They walked off into the sunset holding hands. It was truly a white wedding.
The second celebration I witnessed happened during a major dust storm on the playa. Gusts of wind blew the fine playa dust around, coating everything with a beige hue. The bride was dressed as a winter fox with a tail and ears to match, and the groom, another furry creature of sorts. This ceremony was complete with a bouquet toss and toast at the end.
Both ceremonies were short, less than 10 minutes, and both were perfect. I snapped some photos throughout and hugged the other witnesses, so thankful to be part of the experience. Here are a selection of photos from both ceremonies and a little taste of the unique venue, Burning Man.