After almost three years in wedding media, it’s pretty rare a photo comes across my screen, where my first reaction is, “Holy crap, tell me more, I have all the questions!” But the photo above? Well. I was deeply intrigued… because how could I not be? The couple is JUMPING IN WATER FULLY CLOTHED IN YOUR WEDDING DRESS? “Conventional” wedding wisdom be damned. And yes, while I’ve heard of #trashthedress shoots, those shoots are generally not right after exchanging vows.
So I reached out to Sloane and David, because I needed to know: Was this premeditated? Were they just overcome with “fuck it, it’s my wedding” feelings? Was it as fun as it looks? And thankfully, Sloane was game to tell us the whole story.
Was our lake jump planned? Kind of.
We had a pretty no-frills wedding planned. Just an outdoor picnic with our closest friends and family in one of our favorite California locations. Prior to the wedding, David and I had loosely discussed ending the night with a lake plunge. It was always in the back of our minds. This when we thought it be around 70 degrees out or so. Per our invite there were to be no suits, no aisles, and no chairs. Just two kooks committing to a lifetime of love (and random misadventures). Who knew that I was foreshadowing and that the first misadventure would be the wedding itself?
I woke up the morning of my wedding to clouds. Mist. Eventual downpour. Plan B was supposed to be a room overlooking lake and the lawn the picnic should have been held on, but unbeknownst to us, the hotel had rented that room. So our small outdoor picnic ended up a buffet inside of an undecorated, oversized, and windowless ballroom.
Sloan’s story sounds super frustrating (WTF Southern California weather). But if everything went wrong and it was gloomy and cold, what pushed them to solidify the jumping plans? Sloane explained:
If I’m recalling correctly, it was a high of only 57 degrees on our wedding day. When everything seemed to be going south and we were just winging it, I told David that no matter what, even if I hesitated at all, I wanted to end the night with that jump. I wanted something I had envisioned to go as planned. So, when the night appeared to be wrapping up, David and I made an announcement that we were headed down to the lake. What followed was probably our favorite moment of the night. David and I led a parade of our wedding guests through the entire hotel, past the lawn, down the stairs, and onto the dock. Had we been in our original location, that parade never would have happened.
So in a way, jumping into the water was a way of taking back the day, even if it was in the least conventional way! Sloane and David were determined to do the damn thing, and I was dying to know: How did it feel? According to Sloane:
Effing cold! The experience was amazing and completely exhilarating. Our guests were standing on the dock cheering us on as we took the (literal) plunge. My sister followed first and then a bunch (not all) of our guests joined. We stayed in the water far longer than I anticipated. I probably would have lasted a little longer had my dress not been getting wrapped tightly around my legs making it difficult to stay afloat.
I didn’t give much thought to whether I would ruin my $70 Internet-purchased wedding dress (I’ve since machine-washed it, and it’s now curled in a ball at the bottom of my closet. No frills, remember?), or the fact that it would be COMPLETELY see-through upon my exit from the lake. Thankfully a friend came armed with towels and robes. Following the lake jump, those of us that were freezing took a quick dip in the hot tub before joining everyone else for evening s’mores beside the lake.
As far as I’m concerned, carving out time to be wild and ridiculous with your favorite people should be categorized as a genius wedding idea. There are ways to do it without soaking your clothes—we’re fans of a midday swim, a wedding parade, a group ritual, or even a killer inhibition-free dance party. So, while it may be understandably stressful to think about doing it if your dress is silk, hand beaded, or a family heirloom, jumping into a body of water fully clothed is… undeniably freeing (and yes, at times freezing). And sometimes you just gotta let loose and go jump in a lake. Bonus: The photos turn out pretty magically too.
To see more photos from David and Sloane’s Socal lakeside wedding, you can check them out on the Let’s Frolic Together Blog!