Alfond Inn Wedding
Who? : Amanda + Ben
What? : Destination wedding in Winter Park, Florida
Where? The Alfond Inn
When? : December 2018
I don’t even know where to start with this wedding, so I’ll start back in 2007. I was living in Tallahassee, Florida, and photographed the headshots for a bunch of juniors and senior theatre majors at FSU. Years after that, I’m living in New York, and so are many of my past clients. Those clients led me to Amanda, a FSU alumni herself. I first encountered Amanda in Hello Dolly on Broadway, where she went on for a role she understudied (and she was amazing). I first encountered Ben without realizing it, seeing him in Book of Mormon before I knew he was Amanda’s Ben.
Being hired to photograph this wedding was an actual dream come true. Everything about Amanda and Ben is just…yeah, it’s all excellent. They’re crazily, insanely talented individuals. They’re hard workers, passionate about their dreams and their craft, and true triple threats. They’re adorably wonderfully gorgeous, just beautiful human beings inside and out. They’re funny, ferociously love their family and friends, and love each other with a truth and depth that is just really, really freaking gorgeous to see.
And their wedding? THEIR WEDDING. We started the day at the Alfond Inn, with Amanda in her suite. The rain was pouring down, streaking the windows and pattering on the pool outside. Amanda got ready, Ben got ready. They exchanged letters they had written each other. (We all cried). They prepared to see each other for the first time on a covered patio outside the Alfond – and the sun came out. The rain stopped, the clouds parted, they saw each other (we all cried), and we took pictures outside. The second we went back in, the clouds covered up and the rest of the day was moody and dreamy outside.
From their prep time at the Alfond before the ceremony, their sweet first look, the charm of their wedding vows, through to the gorgeous reception, the whole day was everything. Choosing a favorite part is nearly impossible. Was it Amanda and her childhood best friend tearing up when she put her mother’s necklace on as a bracelet? Was it Ben, struggling to keep a straight face when reading Amanda’s letter to him, or the way his eyes actually lit up when he saw her come down the aisle? Perhaps it was Amanda’s dad, who found a lost recording of Amanda’s late mother singing Wind Beneath My Wings (note : Amanda was in Hello Dolly with, yes, Bette Midler) and played it for the father/daughter dance?
Side note : I’ve never had to go to the bathroom and wash my face after a father/daughter dance before. WE. ALL. CRIED.
Amanda and Ben, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for being so kind and open in front of my lens. Thank you for treating me and my team like family. Thank you for sharing your day, your love, and your hearts with me. I am eternally grateful. Now go lay on a beach – you deserve it!
Here are a few of my favorite images from their wedding: