Burning Man wedding ceremony and the story behind my infamous underwear picture

me as a Madison WI wedding photographer after wedding in Black Rock Dessert hugging happy bride and groom

 

 // burning man wedding ceremony :: Sandi and Andy

I was drunk, I was in my underwear wearing tank top with “FUCK YEAH” paint sprayed on it, I had my cowboy boots on, I was about couple miles away from their wedding ceremony location AND I didn’t know how bride and groom looked like!

I had 4 minutes to make it to their wedding ceremony.

Few minutes earlier before it all happened I got back to my camp, grabbed a beer and made myself comfortable in in lounging chair. It wasn’t my first drink of the day- I had few already (I’m out here to party after all, right?). Heck yeah, I was having a great Monday!

And then my camp mate showed up. She walked over to me and gave nice heartwarming greeting: “Why the hell are you here? You’re supposed to be photographing Sandi and Andy’s Burning Man wedding ceremony!”. My heart jumped. “No” I said. “No I’m not!. They’re not getting married today. It’s mañana”. “It’s today you idiot!” she responded. “They stopped like 5 hours ago and left you an updated message on chalk board!”. My friend was definitely enjoying giving me hard time.

My heart was racing by now. I ran to our camp’s improvised message board and there it was- date that before was saying “9/2/15” was changed to “9/1/15”. They moved date from Tuesday to Monday! Their Playa wedding ceremony time remained the same- 6pm. I looked at my watch.

It was 5:56pm.

Some people get married in the banquet halls, some people get married in the barns, and well, some people get married in the middle of the desert.

Planning Burning Man wedding ceremony during this week-long festival is no joke. I never realized amount of homework until I started talking to couples who get married there. In a way it’s exactly the same wedding planning as in real world: you have a date and time, you need to dress up, you need to have your marriage license, and most likely there will be wedding guests. And if you really into wedding planning, you can figure out flowers, cake, music band, party bus, wedding photographer, etc. I’ve seen it all.

It definitely won’t be easy to put it all together. But worth indeed, if you willing go extra mile in order experience magic of Burning Man!

Sandi and I exchanged some emails before leaving for Playa. I never met her and her future husband-to-be Andy. I didn’t know where they from, I didn’t know how they look. I knew the date and they knew my camp’s approximate location.

When festival started they were able to figure out where my camp is. Unfortunately, they were not so lucky tracking me down. I was never at the camp. So this improvised message board was started: Sandi and Andy would leave me a message, and I would leave a reply when i would get back from my journeys. The couple would come back to see me again and would leave another message. And I would reply. And it worked. Until that Monday afternoon, I learned the date was moved and I was given few minutes to get my ass to the wedding ceremony.

So after realizing that time’s almost up, I got on my bike and I pedaled. I pedaled that shitty bike I had like I never will pedal again! Lol!

And I made it. And they were there, all dressed up, and happy to see their wedding photographer.

Sandi and Andy’s Burning man wedding ceremony had a real taste of Playa: short, sweet, emotional and topped with a juicy kiss. No silly games, no pretending to be someone you’re not. They got married surrounded by few friends and bunch of strangers. After the wedding ceremony, couple with their wedding attendees got on their bikes and disappeared in the dust whiteout to celebrate marriage, friends and life.

Sun was out and night was quickly creeping in.

It was time for me to head back to the camp, put the pants on and get ready for the night.

_______

See full Sandi and Andy’s Burning Man wedding gallery >>HERE<<.

Thinking about getting married or renewing your vows in Black Rock City during Burning Man festival? Check out my blog post about simple, easy and effective Burning Man wedding planning tips >>HERE<<.

 

an improvised chalk messaging board in Amber Dust Camp in Black Rock desert, Nevadabride and groom biking to their wedding ceremony during Burning Man festival in Black Rock desert, Nevadacandid image of bride Sandi getting wedding paperwork out of the bike basket for her Burning Man wedding photography in Black Rock desert, Nevadawriting on musicians hand indicating time and the location of Burning Man wedding ceremonygroom taking a sip of bourbon from the flash before his wedding ceremony at the Burning Man festival in Black Rock desert, Nevada smiling groom looking at the bride during Burning Man wedding ceremony in Black Rock desert, Nevadawedding guests during Burning Man wedding ceremony in Black Rock desert, Nevadabride reading her wedding vows to the groom during Burning Man wedding ceremony in Black Rock desert, Nevadasmiling ceremony attendees during Burning Man wedding ceremony in Black Rock desert, Nevadadust whiteout during Sandi and Andy Burning Man wedding ceremony in Black Rock desert a big tear is rolling down the bride’s best friend’s cheek during Burning Man wedding ceremonyofficiant is announcing newlyweds after the Burning Man wedding ceremony in Playa bride and groom kissing after the Burning Man wedding ceremony in Black Rock desert, Nevadabride’s and groom’s dusty hands with wedding rings on them after the Burning Man wedding ceremonycandid image of bride Sandi after her Burning Man wedding ceremony in Black Rock desert, Nevadabride and groom walking away and smiling after the Burning Man wedding ceremony in Black Rock desert, Nevadabride Sandi and groom Andy are happy screaming out loud with the Burning Man statue in the background at the Black Rock desert, Nevada bride and groom portrait while posing in front of Infinity Tree art piece during Burning Man festival in Black Rock desert, Nevadabride is observing wedding document signing witness after her wedding ceremony at the Burning Man festival in Black Rock desert, Nevadawedding witness is signing wedding documents after the Burning Man wedding ceremony in Black Rock desert, Nevadacandid picture of bride and groom after their wedding ceremony during Burning Man festival in Black Rock desert, Nevadabride and groom portrait while posing in front of Infinity Tree art piece during Burning Man festival in Black Rock desert, Nevada

Thanks a bunch for stopping by, reading Sandi and Andy’s Burning Man wedding ceremony adventure! Are you a fellow burner that is planning Playa wedding out there in Black Rock desert? Or maybe it’s your friends who are getting married? Either way, shoot me a message with your thoughts how you imagine your Burning Man wedding and what you have planned so far. I might be there and you might be able help you out!
I am documentary wedding photographer based in Madison, Wisconsin that specializes in moment driven wedding photojournalism. I won’t boss you around. I won’t ask you to be an actor and pretend to be someone you are not. I will stay out of your way and I will let you be true you.
See my FAQ page for more information. Available for travel worldwide!