On my Walt Disney World college program internship, I’d heard about Casi from a friend of mine… “She likes Seinfeld and Audrey Hepburn, even more than you.” Whaaaaaaat?! I knew Casi and I were either soul mates or we were destined to be enemies! Then came our first encounter, at “Pooh Unload,” nonetheless. (No, I’m not kidding- Love those Fantasyland work positions!) Casi walked up to give me my break, and I introduced myself, looked at her name tag, “Casi,” and asked, “Is your name pronounced Kay-cee or Cass-ee?” She glared at me and snapped, “HOW MANY S’s ARE THERE IN ASS?!”
Needless to say, I was pretty sure Casi and I were not destined to have slumber parties and braid each other’s hair anytime soon, but I’m pretty sure it was a late night shift at Dumbo that finally made us friends. (Working late at night flying elephants with a person will do that to you- That’s how Nick and I became friends, after all!) Anyway, that night, Casi and I were both scheduled to be off at 1am, and I offered to give her a ride home to our apartment complex if she’d have a late dinner with me at Perkins. One dinner led to another, and another, and another… And before I knew it, we’d literally spend hours talking til’ 3am. We often consoled each other when our “Mr. Rights,” turned out to be all kinds of wrong, and she was always the best sounding board when I thought my life was over because of one little thing.
Casi is such a tell-it-like-it-is kinda friend and her guidance has literally changed my life. The one moment that I’ll remember as long as I live was the night of February 8, 2004. I’m such a wallflower, hate social events, and never went to things on my own unless I had someone to go with that I could stick to the whole night. On that February 8th, I remember sitting in my car outside of TGI Friday’s, where my friend Nick was having a birthday dinner. I showed up late and was too embarrassed to go in and join everyone, so I called Casi. “Stop being a #*@!& and get out of the car, already!” Sure enough, that was the night I met Nathanial, and my follow up call to her was something along the lines of “Ohmygoodness, I think I just met the man I want to marry!”
Casi is a dream of a best friend. There are three reasons our friendship will stand the test of time: #1- She’s as bad at the phone as I am, and even though I may take 4 months to return a check-in call, I’ve never, ever gotten a guilt trip. #2- She’s the biggest cheerleader I’ve ever had. If someone hurts me, she’s ready to give them a beat-down, and if I make a comment putting myself down, she’ll say something like, “If you call your beautiful self fat one more time, I’m gonna get on plane and kick your ass.” And somehow, it makes you feel better. :) #3- I know Casi needs me as much as I need her, and it’s a wonderful feeling to feel truly needed by a friend. :)
Quoting Oprah on her best friend Gail, “She is the friend that everybody deserves. I don’t know a better person.” And thank God she married a man that I approve of 100%! Ian is truly her perfect match. :)
I’m sure you other photographers know that photographing a best friend’s wedding is both the biggest blessing and an awful curse. You want to capture the day, but also feel like you’re a part of it. We’ve learned so much with every wedding we’ve shot for close friends, so when Casi asked us if we’d photograph her day, I had three stipulations: We get a slice of cake (and a dance or two, if we’re feelin’ jiggy), we get to make the wedding day timeline, and most importantly, she and Ian do a first look. It may sound harsh, but quite frankly, we’ve learned things the hard way when it comes to friends’ weddings, and if they’re not comfortable with a first look, that is totally fine with us- We’d love to enjoy the day as guests! ;)
I was so happy that Casi wrote back and was willing and happy to do all of the above. :)
Casi and Ian’s ceremony and reception were both at the Boettcher Mansion in Golden, Colorado. The weather was picture perfect, as was Casi’s wedding gown. :)
I love my Casi. :)
For 95% of our friendship, our relationship has been long distance. I’d only met her parents once before the wedding, so one of my favorite things about that weekend was finally meeting her other best friends who I’d heard about for years. Casi and I are soulmates for many reasons, but a big one is how parallel our lives have run. One example is that we both have gorgeous 1/2 Asian best friends. “Alternate universe Lorie,” as I call her (Brooke) is an ER doctor pretty enough to star on Grey’s Anatomy. :)
Finishing touches. :)
Their first look, and yes, I cried like a baby. ;)
The most beautiful bride in the world. :)
Ian, I’m sort of in love with you. There, I said it.
Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaavorite portrait! :)
That’s my girl!
Favorite photo of Casi girl, ever.
Part II up tomorrow. :)
Click here for part II of my Casi’s big day! <3