Weddings like this, which make me go home at night after a long, whirlwind work day, thinking about what I just witnessed and what my job means are never about location or decor… never how beautiful the wedding dress or how delicious the food (although, let’s face it… I LOVE the food)… Weddings that leave a lasting impression are always about the people.
It was clear to me that Kevin and Kim were very intentional as to who they invited to their wedding… based on the people that they deeply and truly love. The most important people in their lives.
Guests reveal a lot about a couple on their wedding day. They offer an amazing reflection of who the couple are. I learned a lot from Kim + Kevin’s friends and family that day. I learned that Kim + Kevin…
1.) Are wonderful, sweet, wholesome, loving people.
2.) Are absolutely meant for each other.
3.) Are loved and adored beyond imagination.
4.) And that they surround themselves by ridiculously cool people.
I mean… seriously… How often does a brother shed tears during a toast? How often does a group of friends stand up to sing a song for the couple? How many couples are honored by a clan of men wearing custom-designed t-shirts featuring cutouts of the couple’s heads? Something tells me these two are loved a whole lot…
You may think that talking about love and connection sounds a little sappy. Guilty! But let me tell you why it especially meant a lot for me to witness such a special, beautiful connection at this particular wedding, and to enjoy this wedding so incredibly much…
This was my final wedding of the season. Not only that… but it may possibly be my last wedding ever.
Weddings are hard work. They take a TON of energy and are very physically demanding. I didn’t realize when Kim and Kevin hired me back in April that, due to a recent illness, this would potentially need to be my final year as a wedding photographer.
I have photographed probably about a hundred weddings over the past five years. Shooting primarily as an independent contractor for the biggest wedding photography studio in Portland shovels out a lot of work. Photographing that many events, it’s hard not to lose a little steam. I won’t lie… they start to look the same after a while. They start to make me wonder what a wedding is all about. Is it about love and connection and celebrating the joining of two people, or is it about grandeur and decor, impressing guests with a big elaborate party, and fulfilling a big childhood fantasy? The wedding industry is all-consuming and has grown to a monstrous 40-billion dollars per year industry. I have to admit, sometimes it feels a bit elaborate and showy. It has made me question from time to time what I’m doing and what my purpose is in all this.
I needed my last wedding of the year to prove differently. I needed to witness a wedding removed from all the glitz and glam that the wedding industry entices so many couples into. I needed to be reminded that there is beauty and love seeded deeply beneath all the flowers and sequins and lace. That a wedding and a marriage isn’t about diamonds and gloriously frosted cakes… it’s about love. It’s about friendship. It’s about love. And love. And… love.
I just want to say… thank you for proving that there is still romance to be found in weddings. Thank you for showing me that a wedding doesn’t have to be all-consumed with material glitz and show. Thank you for keeping things real and honoring the root of what a marriage is based on… friendship and love. And, finally… thanks for making my final wedding an amazing one.