May 22, 2019

Taylor + TJ – Rusty Pelican, Tampa

Note: This blog post was written a long while ago, but was never published as I was going through a redesign of my website!

I Make Wedding Moves

Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” was a smash hit I had little knowledge of when it was blowing up (showing my age here I think). But when I heard it, you could instantly tell it had all the necessary ingredients to become widely loved song. The attitude and punch of the song was immediately infectious. What really made the song stand out for me was hearing it for the first time at a wedding. And Taylor Wharton was the perfect bride to bring it to the dance floor.

I met with Taylor & TJ at a Starbucks after a mutual friend recommended they meet with me about videography for their wedding. I always appreciate when both members of the couple attend the meeting. It kind of immediately gives you a glimpse into their chemistry – their everyday lives. I really got the impression that Taylor & TJ basically operated as a single unit. That they had a long history with one another and that they had pretty much figured things out prior to taking the dramatic step of marriage.

I learned a lot about Taylor & TJ are this meeting, but I had no idea I’d be hearing Bodak Yellow on the dance floor at their wedding!

Bride Prep & Couple’s Interview

The wedding day started off in typical wedding day fashion – make up, hair work and lots of things laying around everywhere, but there was definitely a bold energy radiating from Taylor as she was finishing up her make up  when I began filming. I got a deeper sense of what Taylor was thinking when I interviewed her.

During the Couple’s Interview, I try to ask a few heartfelt questions, I start with a softball like “what do you love about your fiance?” But I end with a bigger question, a question that warrants revisiting in the years to come. “What would you want yourself to remember about this day in 5 years?” Imagine getting the opportunity to hear a message from yourself from 5 years in the past. A lot of things can happen in 5 years – this is a nice way to remember the starting point for the journey that began when you said “I do.”

Ceremony Vows

The Rusty Pelican was the location where Taylor & TJ exchanged personal vows during their ceremony. Yes, personal vows! There aren’t many moments that I am more fond of during a wedding. It’s incredible how deeply connected you feel to people you’ve only known for a short time when they simply open up and communicate genuine feelings! TJ framed his vows based on the couple’s history, from their first MySpace message, to thanking Taylor for sticking it out with “this spoiled punk and troubled dreamer.” Bravo to TJ for knocking it out of the park!

Congratulations to Taylor + TJ Wharton!


Photography: Ashlee Hamon Photography

Venue: The Rusty Pelican

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