Sunshine, glorious sunshine. The perfect warm day for a spring wedding. We were organized, packed, tested some new flash shots for three days leading up to the wedding, snacks to fuel us for the day, extra batteries, a change of clothes for the reception and comfy clothes to wear home. We were pressed for time for the photographs due to the later ceremony so we had to have a plan, stick to it and be prepared to fire out (polite) orders to get the shots we wanted.
Michael called out to me from the living room and I knew what he was going to say. I shook my head as if to silence the inevitable. I didn't want him to even mention the date. The dreaded Friday the 13th. We knew we were going to have a good day. Luck favours the well prepared, right?
Everything was perfectly them. Her quirky bridal booties. His goofy expressions. Her camoflauge garter. His stylin' belt. The dogs. Their families. The laughter. The tears.
And then there were two.
Photographers rarely know what to expect. We take the edge off the mystery by meeting with our couples in advance. Following their winter engagement sessions, Michael and I attended the rehearsal and dinner for Lisa and Adam and got to know their families and bridal parties, and had them over for a gourmet dinner to finalize details. By the time yesterday arrived, it was as if we had always been there. They knew us. They knew what to expect. And rarely noticed the cameras documenting moment by moment of their beautifully planned day.
A great deal of thought and tact goes into approaching the wedding, especially when it comes to blended families. I was struck with emotion throughout the day. When the parents of the bride were introduced, her mom, dad and step mom all walked in together. While a slideshow played, I caught a glimpse of tears from her mom and dad and you could tell there was so much pride. While shooting her dad's speech, I wiped away tears and then continued to look through my viewfinder. He thanked her mom for the hard work she put into raising their children and then equally thanked his wife for "being a mother when necessary and also knowing when to back off." When I commented to Lisa's stepmom about the wonderful nature of all their relationships, she let me know that no matter what, it was always about the kids. How wonderful for everyone.
They danced to Dustin Kensrue's "Pistol". They dined on wonderful food and laughed a million laughs. I was so inspired by yesterday's wedding. I've grown fond of their wedding song and listened to it on repeat a thousand times today. I gained a new appreciation for love and marriage, remarriage, kids and families. I was so touched when watching their slideshow....the people in their bridal parties were either family or friends that spanned a decade long.
To Lisa and Adam and their families who were so welcoming and kind to Michael and I, thank you for inviting us to witness and document this wonderful moment in your lives....I cried a few times today out of inspiration and emotion and mostly gratitude for being able to do what I do and witness a love like yours....
May you enjoy every day together from now until forever.