August 15, 2011

In the beginning.....

A wedding day is so much more than just a wedding day. It's a part of a great story, and certainly not the end of one. Of course it's the finale to one day's party planning, but it's really just the start. All the real planning is for your life together.

Like any bride, I think Angela dreamed of a big fairytale wedding, a grand entrance down a long aisle accompanied by her father and a booming church organ, a reception with loads of people and tables drenched in pink and white elements and the perfect wedding cake. But what I think she's most dreamed of is having the kind of marriage and love her parents have had. I first met her parents about a year ago when I photographed their son, Andy's wedding. I instantly fell in love with Terri and Tom. You could really see how much they loved each other and their children, who were truly an extention of their love. They truly meant and lived every word of "for better or worse, richer or poor, in sickness in health."

When I arrived at Angela's parents home the morning of her wedding to Michael, it was a bittersweet day for her parents. Their only daughter and youngest child was getting married. She was moving out of her childhood home (and very pink bedroom) and into her new home with her new husband. Angela's parents have decided to sell the home this fall and downsize now that they'll be empty-nesters. I could see all the memories flooding back for them; the yearly photos on the front steps on the first day of school, Angela's first dance (a daddy-daughter event), the fights over her messy room. We decided to honor some of those memories is photos while at the same time capturing Angela getting ready and leaving home.

When we got to the church, and Michael first saw Angela in the gardens for their "first sight photos" I saw her parents.....not there in the garden, but in the way that Michael looked at Angela....the same way her father looks at her mother, with a radiant love. I imagined what Terri and Tom must have been like at Angela and Michael's in love and ready to start a life together.

I'm so thankful for the opportunities I have to witness love. Thank you to Angela and Michael and her parents Terri and Tom, for reminding me that the wedding day is just the beginning and the best is yet to come.

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