I have cried at every wedding I have ever been to, even when I am there as the photographer. Can you imagine that? Looking over at your photographer and seeing her there, mascara running, blowing her nose, ugly crying? Well, I'm exaggerating a little. It's not that bad, but I do get misty eyed! (I'm a storyteller, it's an unwritten rule that I exaggerate, right?) There's something about a wedding that just gets me emotional. I think that it is because it's an event inspired purely by two people's love for one another. Something that started out as a friendship and grew to something so much more. It's what we go through life searching for...and they found each other (way back in March of 2011 in case you're wondering) And where there is life, there is a story to tell, so here's my version of theirs:
Behind their little blue house on the Elizabeth River, a celebration was being prepared. I could tell from the moment I stepped out of my car that this wedding was going to be a good one. Let's back up a bit and start from the beginning, okay? I first met Donna not too long after we moved to the area. She told me that she was engaged to Larry and that they had been envisioning a wedding that perfectly reflected their personalities and their relationship. They wanted to get married in the home that they were renovating together, in the backyard, overlooking the river that they loved so much. They wanted good food, good music, and to be surrounded by the people they love most. And friends, that's just what it was. It was the most hospitable, relaxed reception celebrating not only their love for one another, but their love for family and friends as well. The air hung heavy with the scent of a pig that had been BBQed for over 10 hours, laughter was heard over the music of a live band, and Larry made sure there was coffee made for anyone who wanted it. Truly, it was the perfect reflection of their personalities.
Her son walked her down the aisle and that's when I really choked up- he looked at her with love and admiration. You could tell this was a woman he respected and cherished. He walked her proudly down that aisle in their backyard and delivered her to the man that he trusted with his Mama's heart.
After the preacher spoke his words about life, love, marriage, and our Heavenly Father; the vows were made and rings exchanged. It was all sealed with a kiss.
The sun set, the band played, people danced, and the good food was eaten. The couple were surrounded with love, hugs, and laughter. In every image I captured that day, there were smiles all around. In a world full of uncertainty- this we can be sure of: there will always be love. And that's worth everything.
A real life fairy tale isn't about living in a castle and being secluded from the world in a bubble of bliss. It's not about this cookie-cutter perception of perfect. It's about living in the house you made a home together. It's about waking up each morning surrounded by those you love the most. Through the trials and valleys in life, it's about fighting through them and coming out stronger on the other side. And it's about soaking up every last drop of the good times. A real life fairy tale is two families joining together and vowing to love each other in sickness and in health, for better or for worse.
So my friends, I will leave you with a few of my favorite images from their day. Cheers to their happily ever after!
And yes, I had to include a picture of that glorious pig!!
Leave the couple a congratulatory comment below or tell me which image is your favorite! If you want to see more, make sure to check out my Facebook page and follow me on Instagram! @jess.nicole.photography
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Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.