Tamara is from Chicago in the USA. Rutger is from Moordrecht in the Netherlands. Both are experienced world travelers. So, of course, their family and friends are spread all over the world.
Thus, when they decided to get married in the state of Virginia in the good old U.S. of A., Tamara and Rutger decided that they really wanted to make the long trip worth it for their loved ones. They planned several outings so that everyone could really experience the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. They drove Skyline Drive, hiked in Shenandoah National Park, and, of course, kayaked down South Fork Shenandoah River.
If one is going to travel around Virginia by car after crossing oceans to get here, it might as well be in complete style. Amiright?
Anywho, I met up with the cheerful group at Shenandoah River Outfitters just outside of Luray, Virginia. Tamara and Rutger had asked me to capture the special time they'd be spending with their wedding party before their wedding at the Yellow Barn and Shenandoah Caverns the following Saturday. I'm always game for candids and river wading, so I was happy to oblige!
As with all river trips, things started out with copious amounts of sunscreen. Dermatologists everywhere are applauding.
Then off to don life jackets and watch the ever-important safety video.
Paddles are chosen. Choose... wisely...
All geared up, the crew loaded onto "Bo Gator" and headed up river. Sidenote, all the buses had great names, but my favorite was, "Deliverance".
They put in at the Inskeep Boat Ramp just past the low water bridge on the South Fork.
They were having way too much fun jumping out of the back of that old school bus!
The lovely bride and groom, ready for a day on the river:
Along with their friends and family:
Group photos out of the way, everyone grabbed a kayak and started down to the river.
Naturally, I loved this part because I splashed into the river myself. River shoes are the best!
Those smiles! Happiness is getting into a kayak successfully.
And they were off!
At this point, I drove 2 miles down river to get ahead of the whole crew.. er.. school? pod? Do they get a new group name while on the water? Ah ha! Google says, "fleet".
Awww! Soon to be married river smooches from two separate kayaks. That's skill, guys!
They paddled on enjoying the rest of their day on the river and taking in the views of our Blue Ridge Mountains.
And were never seen again... DUN, DUN, DUN... Kidding, of course. I saw them two days later for their WEDDING!!!! But that's a blog post for another day.