Until this past year there was one weather related milestone that my community always referenced. On April 3, 1974 – 315 people lost their lives. It was a Wednesday. Just mentioning that date would spawn long, tornado related conversations. My parents’ home ( as well as my grandparents house) was one of the many casualties of that day. Here is an aerial photo of the damage from that day with my parents’ house circled.
For 37 years that outbreak was the deadliest ever….then dawn broke on April 27th 2011. The outbreak as a whole (spanning 4 days) killed a total of 346 people with 249 of those losing their lives on the 27th. It happened to be another Wednesday.
My friend and fellow photographer Gary Cosby Jr. is my second shooter at most weddings. His day job is staff photographer at The Decatur Daily. As I did many times during my time at The Daily he chased the storms and documented the damage that day. However his experience was far more significant than any tornado warning I ever chased.
There is no way I can recount his story the way he did so please take a second and go to his blog to read the story about the monster tornado pictured above.
I told you all of that to tell you this. In the midst of the most tragic week in our state’s recent history life continued to roll on. Pooja and Kiran had plans for many days of celebration leading up to their Saturday wedding. The first of which was on Thursday, April 28th. As the rest of Alabama was trying to process what had happened the previous day these two were at the airport trying to squeeze 10 months of planning into one morning of re-planning. There was no power at their wedding venues and cell phone communication was spotty at best. The only place they knew to go that had power and internet was the airport. They called and e-mailed a lot of people and managed to move everything to Nashville, TN.
Cosby jumped directly from the frying pan that is tornado/recovery coverage into the fire of covering an out of town wedding. I greatly appreciate his work and ability to function mentally after the 3 days he had just experienced. You wouldn’t have known that I was appreciative by looking at the accommodations I managed to snag for us.
Turns out that there was quite a bit going on in Nashville that weekend. There weren’t too many choices on rooms although this was a double bed room when I ordered it. Although I tried to give him the bed Mr. Cosby chose to sleep on the floor. This room seriously reminded me of a cruise ship cabin.
Normally there isn’t so much back story on a wedding but I felt that this wedding needed that explanation. If you had walked into either the ceremony or the reception and did not know the full story you would not have known that everything had been moved last minute. Everyone involved did an amazing job and Pooja and Kiran rolled with the changes. It was a truly wonderful experience that I feel fortunate to have been a part of.
Venue: Ganesh Temple, Nashville, TN
Reception: Embassy Suites, Cool Springs, TN
Wedding Planner: Calandra Terry with An Event To Remember
Catering: Sitar Restaurant
DJ: DJ Sahil
Cultural Décor: Mandap World
Videography: Mitchell Videography
Cake: Elegant wedding cakes by Dathern Moon
Second Photographer: Gary Cosby Jr.