Weddings are often a demanding job. Anyone who plans a wedding will know the work that goes into making a day complete and with minimal hiccups.
As a photographer, being given the responsibility to document a day planned over a long time, crafted to perfection, the pressure is absolutely on. Not only that, but the hours are long, all spent on my feet, carrying cameras and bags full of lenses and batteries, pushing myself to get from one spot to the next, chasing beads of sun. I won’t lie, it gets heavy, hard and tiresome.
Then something happens that makes me remember why I would never do anything else.
A groom will say something to the bride, quiet enough that only she can hear it. He’ll grin at her and squeeze her hand when she laughs, and they move closer together, talking about something that nobody else is a part of. They will observe one another in their wedding-best - him touching her fingernails and twisting her around to see her dress and the flowers tucked into her braids. She will straighten his buttonhole and pin it back into place, and lick her thumb to rub a smudge of her makeup off his shirt collar.
And I look and them and think, “Oh yeah, that’s why.”
That’s why I do this weekend after weekend, and push myself to get to what is often fourteen-hour days followed by caffeine-induced midnights. Because what it comes down to is this: I’m sharing in something that puts a lump in my throat.
I don’t like weddings for the party. Not for the dress or the shoes or the family members that come to explain why weddings were different back in their day. I don’t like weddings for the food or the killer cakes or the first dance.
I like weddings because I’m in the midst of true, astounding, ridiculous love. The kind of love that can make me feel warm in my stomach and unbelievably fortunate to observe.
You might not always see how the bride and groom are with one another after they take a minute to step away from their guests and just be with one another as a brand new husband and wife, but I do.
And I’m telling you, it’s unlike anything else.