Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tug boats and weddings- just a crazy day!

I woke up on the tug last Saturday and I had my day all planned out. Unexpectedly, I ended up crashing a wedding. 
First we took the tug to a fueling dock, then, instead of returning to tie up to the barge, we tied up at a beautiful dock along the waterfront of Corpus Christi, Texas.
Believe me when I tell you, it's not often the words "beautiful dock" and "tied up the tug" are in the same sentence.

After we were there for awhile we noticed people setting up chairs and hanging balloons on the waterfront patio adjacent to our tug. I mean, right next to us. Obviously there was going to be a party of some sort. Hmmmm, I thought, this is interesting.

 More time went by and people started filing in slowly taking their seats. Next a violin player and two photographers start setting up. Damn!! I'm about to witness a wedding? My first thought was, we shouldn't be here. We are way too close. We are way too ugly. This big old tired rusty tug with a crew wearing old work cloths should not be anywhere near a bride in her wedding dress.
I was imagining the parents of the bride, taking one look at this tug boat that was so close we could have been in the wedding party, and saying, "Oh no, this wasn't in the plans. What's that tugboat doing at my daughters wedding??

 The guests continued to arrive. I was expecting Dad, at any moment, to come over to us to tell us we have to leave. I totally would have understood if he did. But no one did. We noticed glances our way from a guest or two, but no one seemed to be bothered. I think I was more bothered than anyone. Having been a major player in my daughters wedding a few years ago, I know how much planning goes into a wedding. I know how much raw emotion is invested in this special day. I doubt the tug boat was part of the plan.

As the seats filled up I could tell this ceremony was going to take place at any moment, with or without a tugboat. I mean we were really really close!
I quickly got over any trepidation I had and did what any camera carrying guy would do,
I ran to my room and grabbed my camera.
And then it began. Bridesmaids front and center. I watched as all 3 bridesmaids came out and walked to there assigned area. I was standing in the bridge of the tug, aiming my camera out the window, but trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. After all, no one was looking at the tug now......

 everyone was looking at her.

 I'm standing in the wheelhouse with my camera, wearing steel toe workbooks, oil stained pants and a worn out shirt, not 50 feet away from a beautiful bride on her wedding day. Life is just crazy sometimes. No cops I kept on shooting.

 I mean seriously, could I have been any closer. I was closer than some of the GUESTS in the back row!

 At this point it gets interesting. The couple is just seconds away from becoming man and wife, when I notice a woman motioning toward me, she's talking to the guy next to her, she's smiling and motioning with her arm for us to blow the tugboat horn! WHAT??
Take notice of the picture below. The woman back row center, is giving me the international signal to blow your horn, ( remember like you used to do to the truckers when you were a kid? )
 Now, I'm having a mini stroke. Who is this woman? Does she really want me to blow the tug air horn? In the middle of this wedding?  At the exact moment this couple were to be married?
After all I have done to keep a low profile, not to spoil this wedding day for the bride, and she wants me to BLOW THE HORN? Who is she?

Well, it turns out her name is Martha and she is the sister of the bride. She wanted us to blow the horn the moment they were pronounced man and wife. If only I had known.

As the ceremony was over and people went this way and that, Martha came over to the handrail, the only thing separating the wedding from our tug. I went outside to talk to her, she introduced herself, said she was the brides sister, hence the international blow your horn arm gyrations, but also asked me if I could send her copy's of the photos I had taken. I was more than pleased to do this for her, considering about mid way through the ceremony I was thinking to myself, "what am I going to do with these hundreds of photos I am taking of a bride and groom I do not know?" Martha solved that problem. I got her email address and promised I would send these photos along. After going through them I would guess I sent her close to a hundred photos.

In my first correspondence with Martha, after sending her some pics, I told her of my humble little blog here and I asked her permission to post some photos of her sisters wedding. She got back to me and said, "I checked with the bride and groom and they have no problem with it. Blog away."
You rock Martha!

Martha is pictured above behind the photographers. A big thanks to you Martha for letting me do this post. The photographers glanced my way a few times during the day, and lets just say they were not smiling and giving me the thumbs up. Maybe it was just my paranoia I don't know. If they only knew my incompetence concerning F/stops and aperture.....they didn't need to feel threatened. I hope my presence did not bother them

Let me say this. This was one of the most enjoyable afternoons I have spent on a tug boat in a long long time. They seem like a really nice family, at least as best as I could tell looking through the port side of the wheelhouse window. I watched the brides Dad playing with a little girl at various times throughout the day. All 6 in the wedding party seemed like nice people, they were all beautiful for sure.

Here's hoping the tugboat didn't make it into any of the official photos of this beautiful wedding.

Here's hoping the bride and groom are as happy in the future as they seemed this day.

My only regret? That I didn't blow that damn horn.


Jerral Miles said...

Wow! ... maybe the best BLOG post of the year. You have a way of being in the right place at the right time... with your camera ready...

beth said...

how fun and what a lucky sister that she gets YOUR photos. i guess you being a bit "hidden" didn't really work…you were seen :)

honestly, i was a bit confused by the "remember what you USED to do when you were a kid to a truck driver" since i STILL do that…LOL…but seriously i do.

like you said, it's an international signal…and can be used at any age :)

you did a great job taking and editing the photos from somehow who is only a "camera carrying" guy…and right this moment, i'm standing in front of you, making you look me in the eye while i yell at you and make you say, "I'm a photographer….and then making you repeat it again, "i'm a photographer." come on, you can say it.

so there :)

Wayne (Woody), whatever said...

You got some AWESOME shots, I suspect you have have upstaged the 'official' photographers on some of these. Nice job. It's especially cool you got to share with the family.

I doubt the photographers minded, I think people with camera phones are more of a pain to them.

Joey said...

You're about to get a ton of hits! LOL!!! Nice job!!!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Love it! Your shots came out awesome....what a beautiful couple! I think the tug horn may have given grandma a heart attack! haha!

dcpeg said...

How lucky you are! I do hope you can find out how to reach this new couple so that you can share your pics with them. I'm sure some would be lifetime keepers for them! At least let them know about your blog, OK?

Marilyn said...

Just smiling! Loved your photos and they will be thrilled with them. Oh darn, about the horn - next time!

Adrianna Moreno said...

I was one of the 3 bridesmaids and we all saw and wasn't sure if you were part of the wedding or not, but after reading you great blog about my best friends wedding you weren't apart of it lol but you did get really good pictures (:

Jacob Garcia said...

Days like this are a rare gem, even more so have such a humble gentleman present for one of the best wedding stories I've ever heard. Bravo Zulu sir, carry on.

Busy Bee Suz said...

What a beautiful wedding. I love that they wanted your photos as well…and that you were able to share them with us!!

Priscilla Vera said...

Tug boat? What Tug boat? It wasn't that noticeable lol. What an awesome story and beautiful pictures you took. Lifetime memories. Both my daughter's and I enjoyed looking at the Tug boat and talking about what it does out on the water. Thank you for sharing.

Priscilla Vera said...

Tug boat? What Tug boat? It wasn't that noticeable lol. What an awesome story and beautiful pictures you took. Lifetime memories. Both my daughter's and I enjoyed looking at the Tug boat and talking about what it does out on the water. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Makes me want to get married all over again just so I can wear another pretty dress. *to my current husband of course* LOL