Maggie Leahy: A Wedding in Norway
Maggie & Kelly
Storyteller: Maggie Leahy, USA
When did your love story begin?
We met on day 1 of a 3-day local music festival in Seattle, Washington. I was with a friend and noticed someone in another group craning to catch a better look. I assumed he was looking at something behind me and returned to my conversation, only to be interrupted a few moments later with a "Hey! How's it going?!" by that same indiscreet onlooker. I appreciated his refreshing assertion and we wound up spending the entire music weekend together. I guess the rest is history.
How would you describe the style of your wedding?
Intimate and adventurous. After considering a big wedding, we just didn’t feel like it was ‘us’. We ultimately decided to have a private elopement instead and make a big adventure out of it. It was always on my bucket list to see the Northern Lights, and Kelly was an easy sell because he likes astronomy. It's not a coincidence that one of my first ever gifts to him was a book on the cosmos!
We incorporated pieces that made our ceremony feel sacred and meaningful. We had a handfasting rope made with the colors of my bouquet, and Kelly’s blue and green bow tie matched the colors of the Aurora Borealis.
What was the best moment of your wedding day?
Our actual ceremony! There was a blizzard on the morning of our wedding day. Believe it or not, blizzards are not common in Alta, Norway and many roads were shut down. This turned a few of our plans upside down because the 40mph winds were really bad by the fjord - where we intended to have our ceremony.
Instead, for our ceremony, we sought shelter in a forest next to the biggest tree we could find. Though it wasn’t our original plan, we embraced the changes. Our ceremony was even more enchanting and special than what we could have planned. Later in the week, on a clear day, we took photos by our fjord where we originally planned to have the ceremony. In the end it was a no-loss!
What is your favorite image from your wedding and why?
Our photographer captured us as we were out past midnight on our wedding night chasing the Northern Lights in our 4-wheel drive! The conditions were treacherous, but we eventually got a good show of the Northern Lights by the border of Finland. I think this photo perfectly captures our love, flexibility, resilience, and openness to adventure. Surely, we will get through anything with this level of commitment!
What is your favorite story behind a single shot in your photo book?
This one’s silly, but it had to go in the book, and it needs explaining because you’d never get it otherwise. After our ceremony in the forest, we went to the city commissioner’s office to sign our official marriage documents. As we walked out with our original documents in tow, a gust of wind blew the envelope with our papers out of Kelly’s hand! It managed to fly about 50ft away before we were able to catch them. It felt like the universe was testing us again and all we could do was laugh!
What does your wedding book mean to you?
It’s so special to finally have our favorite photos from our unforgettable wedding week all in one place. Like magic, it transports us right back.
What inspired you to keep these photos in a photo book?
Choosing a Premium Photo Book felt like the ultimate keepsake that our kids and grandkids could one day cherish. We got the whole package, Presentation Box and all, and will enjoy looking at it every year on our anniversary (and probably more, if I’m being honest!).
What bit of advice would you offer to someone creating their own wedding memento?
When you have a great photographer, it’s quite difficult to narrow down photos. I would recommend working on little bits at a time over at least a week, so you can feel out what looks and feels best to you. I intentionally didn’t include my husband so I could surprise him with the finished product! It was so sweet to watch him become emotional as we looked at it together for the first time.