I first met Meghan years before becoming a professional photographer had ever crossed my mind — the two of us met through mutual friends back in undergrad. I remember feeling as though I had a difficult time making female friends at this point in my life, which probably stemmed from equal parts feeling a little unsure of who I was + being able to chat it up more naturally with guys. But Meghan was this girl I met and felt I immediately clicked with – she was warm and fun and funny, and she had a way of making even an acquaintance feel both cared for and welcomed. So when she reached out to me years later to ask me to photograph her wedding, to say I was thrilled would be an understatement. I couldn’t wait to see her again and to meet Josh, the guy I had seen happily beside her in photos on social media.
In the months leading up to Meghan’s wedding, her father unexpectedly passed away. My heart heaved for her and her family when I first heard, and it aches for them still as I type this. But while I didn’t get a chance to meet her dad, his presence on his daughter’s wedding day still felt fully apparent, even to someone simply witnessing it as I was. I felt it in the moment when she smiled as she showed me the patch of denim from his clothes that was sewn into her dress, and when she and her mom were on the dance floor together, and when her brother squeezed her tightly and told her how proud he was of her. It was felt in the more difficult moments, too – the moments when everyone who knew and loved Byron was holding back tears, and exchanging strained, knowing looks. There’s no denying that when you lose someone you love, even the happiest of days have a twinge of sadness to them, and maybe that’s more than ok. Maybe those tears are simply further proof of the importance of the impact they made on you and your life, and a reminder of them taking up residence in this place in your heart, and an affirmation that little parts of them will live on in you and the lives of everyone they loved on all of the days. So Meghan and Josh and all of their loved ones spent the day laughing and crying, reminiscing and hugging, cheersing and dancing, and doing it all with a sincerity that I find difficult to put into words. Meghan’s younger brother toasted not only to his sister, but also to the man she had married – a man who loves and cares for her just as deeply as she does for others, and also in a way in which the other important men in her life couldn’t have asked for anything more.
This wedding was one of the most special ones I photographed this year, and not because of the venue (which was beautiful) or a pretty dress (which Meghan looked stunning in); it was special because Meghan and Josh and their loved ones meant every single thing they did that day. Each prayer, each hug, each belly laugh, and each tear – they embraced all of them, and it’s people and moments like these that remind me of how truly incredible the human spirit is.
Reception Venue: Warehouse 109
Church: St. Stephen
Florals: Flower Child
Cake + Pastries: Creative Cakes
Wedding Dress: Eva’s Bridals International
Food: Baby Back Blues BBQ
Makeup + Hair: Jonathan Kane Salon & Spa