An open love letter to my couples
I’ve been thinking about all of you as we go through this insane year. Some of you I speak to often, others we communicate via Instagram likes and comments. Some I have taught to surf. You all have something in common. I’ve had the privilege to photograph your wedding.
Thank you for blessing me with the honor of documenting your day. I love weddings and celebrations of love so much, and this year is hitting me hard. It’s not just dancing the cha-cha slide and eating cake. The little moments that go part and parcel with a wedding. The nerves slowly turning to excitement. The last minute shots taken with your closest people. Your (quite frankly adorable) children. The pure JOY of the whole day. That moment when you walk back down the aisle as a married couple. Actually that’s one of my favourite parts of the wedding day.
There are grooms that have stood stoically waiting as their beloved walks down the aisle. There are those who started crying the second you saw them and didn’t stop. There are my buzzed brides, sober brides and ice-cream loving brides. My calm brides and my brides shaking with nerves.
The groomsman who ripped his trousers right down the back, the bride I had to sew into her dress. The bridesman who loves Elton John, and his fiancé with matching sparkly shoes. The brides who would not get married without their best four-legged friends, and the groom whose beloved little dog licked his tear-stained cheeks.
The couple who moved to Europe soon after their wedding and now have a baby boy. The couple who are due baby number one as I type. He already has a great name and even greater parents. There is the bride who was channeling Kim K and her groom wearing her lipstick proudly all over his face. The couple I have photographed from proposal to engagement to wedding, maternity, newborn then family. The bride who was one of my first in this country and I’m proud to now call a best friend. The bride I photographed in Italy, who recently flew out for a long weekend to visit. I’m calling the last two out by name – Miriam and Katy, you’re the best.
How about the couple who flew in from London to elope at City Hall then we drank prosecco on the beach. You all know who you are! The bride, groom and bridal party who stayed up partying the night before and had to hide it from the family. HEROES.
The couple who held their ceremony in a vista point turnoff and went paddle boarding for the reception. The brides who danced their way back down the aisle to “Finally”. The groom who planned the whole wedding, and whose party bus I lost my second shooter to. The couple who were so happy they danced all the way down and back up the aisle. The brother and sister who married a week apart from each other at City Hall.
The couple who had to plan a backyard wedding with two days notice and did it with such style. They are the pure definition of making covid lemonade. The couple who were gifted a surprise magician. The couples who had two weddings to celebrate both cultures. Two of you were wrestlers and just so much fun. The couple who decided to just elope in a national park. My bridesmaid in a giraffe onesie, soon to be a bride next year. The incredible couple who chose to continue with their wedding a few short days after a horrific tragedy.
The sweetest bride in her mother’s wedding dress and her adorable groom. Oh, and you had pizza at the reception. WIN. The couple who not only won their engagement shoot with me, Dominos’ pizza bought their registry. The brides who had the most emotional first look on Manhattan beach. And the most emotional photographer. My parents, whose 50th wedding anniversary I was lucky to capture. I even caught my brother smiling on camera. The bride with the birth mother being comforted by the adoptive mother.
You have worn white, navy, ivory and gold. And in one memorable case, nothing at all. Some of you are not yet married, due to one of many things 2020 has thrown at us. I feel for you so much, I do. Your wedding day, when it happens, will be so much sweeter for this.
A few of you have had to part ways, and I’m hoping for so much joy in your futures. Second marriage, tenth marriage, single. Happiness is yours for the taking.
I’m going to extend this letter to your families and friends actually. You’ve had some amazing people at your weddings who I’ve been honored to meet. I’ve danced with little girls dressed as princesses and jived with great grandmas in their 90s. We have shared so much laughter, tears and joy.
You are the reason I love what I do, and I’d like to thank you again for giving me the opportunity to do this job.