Speaking the Same Language: Christine & Tony

There's an old song that claims "to know him is to love him," but when it comes to a relationship and a marriage, I think it's really the other way around: to really love someone means knowing that person, understanding her for everything she is. And so hearing how Christine's friend described the two of them during her wonderful toast, I couldn't help but smile. "Tony is the best boyfriend Christine ever had. He gets her," she said. "He really speaks her language." I can't think of anything more perfect to say about a couple than that. Having the chance to be a part of their wedding day, watch the two of them together and with their families, and hearing what people had to say about them, I feel like I got to know them a bit, too. And what I came away with was a picture of two simply wonderful people. Christine, generous of spirit, outgoing, supportive, the best friend anyone could have. And Tony, a loving father, a man of deep passion and emotion, so overcome with feeling that he couldn't speak his vows above a whisper, but also a man with a laugh as big as his heart. What a privilege for me to get to be a part of their story.

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Family Friday #21

I mentioned last week that we were recently on the East Coast for a family wedding. The bride was Juliette's niece, and I was able to help out by shooting her bridal preparations on the morning of her wedding day. I was, of course, so happy to be able to participate and help make the day a special one, and, as always, very grateful to be entrusted with the responsibility of capturing these memories. Even more than that, though, was the opportunity to spend time with family--so much of both my and Juliette's family live far enough away that we don't get nearly as much chance to see them as we'd like, but somehow when we do finally come together, we find that the miles that are normally between us are not enough to dampen the feelings of closeness and belonging. And that's what it's all about.

Congratulations, Hannah and Dan. We love you!

Like Water in the Desert: Emily & Trevor

There's a line in the movie Lawrence of Arabia that has always stuck with me.  Asked what it is that attracts him to the desert, T. E. Lawrence replies simply, "It's clean."  Having spent a fair amount of time out in California's Mojave Desert, myself, I have to agree.  There's a certain purity about the desert, a stillness, a simplicity, and an honesty.  And so although it might not be obvious to someone who's never been there, the desert is in many ways a perfect place for a wedding, for just as the desert is a place without pretense, so too is the love you see when two people come together to join their lives in marriage. Emily had been coming to the desert for years with her family.  For Trevor, on the other hand, it was a new experience.  But the desert is a magical place, a place of surprising life and beauty, and now, being the place where they began their journey into marriage, it will be a special place for them both, entwined with happy memories.  What struck me as I watched their wedding was what a perfect metaphor for love and marriage the desert is: honest, resilient, humble, and pure.  And in what was--for me, at least--the most memorable moment of the ceremony, Emily's grandfather touched on the same idea.  Love in a marriage, he reminded us, is like water in the desert--it's what makes life possible.

Rings

Shoes and Dress

Dress Detail

Surrounded by loving, supportive family and friends, who wouldn't be this happy?

Emily and Dad

Grandpa's speech:

Grandpa's Speech

There's no art form that so directly touches the emotions as music, and in a lot of ways, song is the most personal form of music.  So it's no surprise that I got a little choked up when Emily's family members got up and sang for her and Trevor during the ceremony.  (It helped, of course, that they sang beautifully.)

The Circle Game

Weddings are such a wonderful blend of new ideas and old traditions, and I always love seeing how a couple blends the two together.  Here, Trevor included a bit of his Irish heritage by giving Emily a single coin as a token of everything he possesses:

Irish Wedding Coin

Ceremony Wide

Recessional

Love is such an amazing thing, and getting to witness it so close up can't help but bring a smile to my lips.

Couple Diptych

Kiss

One thing I loved about this wedding was how much a family affair it was.  So many people pitched in and helped make the day what it was, and seeing that outpouring of love and support for the newlyweds was just wonderful.  Just one example was Emily's aunt, who did all of the centerpieces, bringing a touch of desert beauty to the reception:

Centerpiece 1

Centerpiece 2

Reception Details Diptych

Can I just say, I loved the band Emily and Trevor picked.  They had this great, rootsy, alt-country/Americana vibe that went perfectly with the desert locale:

Band Diptych

Picture Time

To me, the most important thing that sets the tone of a wedding, what separates a dull wedding from a fun one, is whether the bride and groom are having a good time.  And, as you can see, this wedding was a joy for everyone, especially the happy couple:

Having a Good Time

The Sound of Clinking Glasses

First Dance 1

First Dance 2

Congratulations, Emily and Trevor, and thanks so much for letting me be a part of your day!