Sometimes, ya just gotta shake things up a bit, even if that means getting a little wet. Stefani and Ken Husley opted to make their wedding their own last year when they put their own spin on a traditional “first look” photo shoot—with a first surf instead.
“Stefani and Ken first met through a dating app,” their wedding photographer Katie Childs tells The Knot. “They were both wake surfing in their profile photos, and their first date was wake surfing. Incorporating surfing into their wedding was important to them. I received an email from Stef where she described her idea of having a ‘first surf,’ and I was immediately on board.”
Childs, 31, is herself an adventure seeker—a rock climber, to be more specific—and so the idea of an adrenaline-filled wedding shoot sounded great by her.
“I connected with them through a previous destination wedding client,” Childs says. “I have [shot] a ton of very adventurous brides. The mutual friend connected us because she knew we would be a perfect match! Stefani was an instant friend. She’s personable, funny, the life of the party, and hurricane Ken is right there with her.”
Instead of taking the epic “first surf” photos on a separate day, as is typical of such photo shoots, the couple opted to really go all-in on the shoot, instead snapping the photos the same day as the ceremony and reception all held at the Tellico Village Yacht Club in Loudon, Tennessee.
“These were literally taken in the middle of a wedding day,” Childs says. “The couple came in from the ceremony, had dinner, then invited all the guests to come outside to watch. Afterwards, they dried off and came back inside to finish the wedding! Timing that was a little tricky, but it went super well.”
In terms of the logistics of the shoot, Childs channeled her inner adventurer and embraced the excitement. She “hung off the back of the boat and had a blast” while Ken and Stef got their surf on.
“Logistically, it was a lot easier to shoot than I expected,” she says. “Ken and Stef are so good at wake surfing that it only took a few surfs to get what we wanted. … The couple stayed true to themselves and made the day perfectly unique.”
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