I don’t cry during every wedding I photograph. To claim doing so would not only be inaccurate, it would also be insincerely romanticizing what I do and how weddings in general affect me emotionally, at least in the visible sense. It’s not that my lack of tearing up means that I care about any of these people or experiences any less; to be completely honest, I go into each wedding having no idea whether or not each one will bring me to tears from behind the camera. There is no definite formula that reels me in, nor is there a particular moment that will always get me, because no two wedding days are the same – these are people filled with different complexities and traits, and little bits of their personalities and relationships fill up each wedding day in an entirely unique way.
So, I didn’t see it coming when Sarah’s mom surprised her daughter with a photo slideshow from her childhood as she recounted the memories for Sarah and her bridesmaids, causing my eyes to cloud with tears. And I wasn’t prepared for the way Sarah’s sister, Brooke, and her best friend, Alyssa, would look with so much admiration at the girl they have known and loved for so long as she beamed with giddy excitement once in her dress, nor the way it brought a lump to my throat.
There were softer moments that didn’t necessarily bring tears, but quietly worked on my heart – the ones where all of the craziness and excitement and partying were occurring all around Eric and Sarah, but they looked at each other in a way that seemed to carve out their own piece of stillness together. By the end of the day, I felt emotionally spent in the best way – my heart was active, and full, and so happy for them. I hugged them both repeatedly before leaving their reception, but it felt like it made sense to do so in that moment. Despite having been strangers to me not all that long ago, I’d spent the day crying when they cried, and laughing when they laughed, and I guess in a way, the continuous hugs were my subconscious thank you for letting me be in on such goodness.
Decor: I Do Events, Nicole Borden
Wedding Coordinator: Hannah Sosa
Videography: MI Studios
Cake: Sophisticakes by Mary
Florals: HyVee, Chris Crow
Bride’s Dress: A Storybook Ending
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal