Last Wednesday, I received a phone call from Seohee. She and Elijah are having an October, 2019 destination wedding in South Korea and they needed some photographs for the website they are creating for their guests. She wondered if I had availability for that Friday and thank God I did because it ended up being one of the most hilariously fabulous days – Elijah coined the term “perservation” (perseverance + preservation) which I think is a genius description of the events of that day. I personally will call it A Dramatic Gaylord Engagement. Shout out to the staff of the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center for their diligent security which was On. Point.
The short version of what happened was this: after getting off the phone on Wednesday with Seohee, where we discussed possible indoor locations as the forecast was calling for frigid January temperatures, I called the Gaylord to confirm that we would be able to shoot there. One of the front desk staff members assured me that we would absolutely be welcome to shoot there in any of the public locations onsite. We arrived, tossed our coats on an out-of-the-way chair (our first of many mistakes) and went to our first location for some test shots.
We hadn’t been there for 45 seconds when security officer Wes approached and asked for my credentials. I looked at him, dumbfounded, and explained that the only credentials I had consisted of the verbal confirmation I received over the phone from an unnamed staff member two days prior. What followed was a cease and desist order and about 20 minutes of panic. How I kept my wits about me, I will never know, because all I could think about was how absolutely unprofessional this all looked (on my part) and where in the world were we going to go on this freezing cold day to get these photographs. Thankfully I was finally able to speak to the head of security and received permission to continue.
Wes became my best friend that day because he checked in on us periodically and also was the one to smile benevolently at me when we arrived back at our “out-of-the-way chair” only to find that our coats had disappeared – note to self: leaving belongings unattended at the Gaylord is on par with leaving luggage unattended at an airport…Don’t Do It. Our coats were returned to us (thank you, Wes) and hugs may have been exchanged before we ended our time together…and despite the drama – or maybe partly because of it- this will go down as one of my favorite and most memorable sessions. A dramatic Gaylord engagement indeed.
I hope there’s another opportunity to shoot at the Gaylord because it’s an absolutely stunning venue – if there is a next time, I will be sure to have not only permission but the appropriate credentials to back it up. Seohee and Elijah, I *loved* our time together and I wish you a lifetime of love and marital bliss ❤️
Liz Viernes Photography is based in Silver Spring, Maryland, and specializes in maternity, fresh 48, posed and lifestyle newborns and first year milestone portraits.