Erin & Michael, it was a privilege to be there, to photograph you through the first day of your marriage.
It was an honor to be able to be with you on a day which will live on in your memory, the beginning of life as you now know it.
To be there was to watch a story unfold; just the very first chapter in a great and wonderful work. A chapter that starts with love and friends and family.
A story of preparation and waiting and praying and hoping.
Surrounded by those who love you.
By your fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers.
A story with lots of smiles and even a few emotional tears.
So many were there loving you, helping you,
…rejoicing with you.
It was a beautiful day- the sun played tag, peeking in and out of soft, billowy clouds as you waited for the service.
And you smiled. Laughed. And your friends smiled with you.
They supported you- your friends,
…and those who have loved you for many years, before you even knew.
There were sincere words, and prayers, and beautiful songs of harmony, filled with so many wishes of blessing.
There were first moments as husband and wife,
…where you stood in beautiful light and took a minute just for each other, as Mr. and Mrs. Benedict.
You looked at each other, eyes full of meaning,
with a measure of joy bubbling over to beautiful laughter.
You were cherished.
And you cared for others with delicious food, and warmth. With great attention to detail and kind intent.
You made others smile, and brought happy light to a lot of faces-
As the hours grew long and the light faded, you cared for your guests, cared about your many friends and family. It was obvious.
At the ending of day, you took a few more moments. There was soft music playing from the tent as you captured that time, -Close your eyes, give me your hand… You heard the words as you stood there, and you couldn’t help but smile and then sing a little, too. Music playing in the twilight, the soft pink and yellows seeping from the clouds as you stood together. Together. Three syllables. A rather simple word. But its meaning is great. And no matter what, through clouds or sun, struggle or ease, to know you aren’t alone will give you strength. Because together is a good place to be.
The first chapter of your story is begun, a wonderful, engaging gathering of memories and words and happy moments. It was an excellent first chapter.
May your entire story be one of happiness, service, and blessing. And may it have a heart-warming, fulfilling, star-splendored ending.
Erin and Michael, thank you for trusting me to photograph this day. Thanks for caring for your little photographer, too. You have been gracious and patient and so understanding through this recovery, and I wish there were more eloquent words. You have been so kind. Paul and I wish you both all the happiness you could ever experience.
And because it was on your wedding program, and a little Bronte is the way to finish any good chapter:
“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
*I have to say it again, have to give credit where it is fully due- Kayla, you are a tremendous assistant. Which sounds silly, saying that, because ‘assistant’ isn’t the right word. It’s more than that. I don’t think that most of my recent photographic assignments would have gone well if you weren’t there to carry and lift and help and hold and lug lenses and flashes and bags. Forget the word ‘assistant’. You are a true friend. Thank you.