This week has held a lot of sadness for many of us. These past couple days, I’ve been thinking a lot about togetherness. The people that I love, the people that I miss, the people that I feel so grateful to have had in my life.
Someone mentioned, that it can feel like it takes great sadness to make people care about each other. Tragedy can make us reflect, can lower our inhibitions, can force us, or allow us, to speak, share, and recognize connections that otherwise go unsaid or unseen. Still, I believe, that kindness exists around us every day. We often just don’t notice it.
I love that photography illuminates and memorializes the small gestures, the kind looks, and the care we have for each other. Photographs can give us something to look back on when times seem tough, and remember the mother proudly smiling at her daughter, the way a man looks adoringly at a woman newly named this wife, and a friend telling the same old story which just gets funnier with each retelling.
These images, from Dave and Mary’s wedding, make me smile. There is so much love in these rooms, from their home to Harvest. This couple met as teachers in Montessori summer training. On their wedding day, teachers, family, and friends came into their home from across the country, to celebrate their union after over 10 years together. This group felt like a family. Everyone was laughing, stories were spun from the ceremony through the speeches. Each person was so strongly linked to this couple, and thus to each other. Though you may not know Dave and Mary, I hope, these images remind us of how we are connected in big ways on big days, and in smaller ways to each other all the time.
Before the wedding, Mary told me that Dave crafts the sound track to their life. I encourage you to listen in and put on his favorite artist, Ryan Adams’ whose songs “Come Home” and “I Love You But I Don’t Know What to Say” set the tone for this beautiful day.
When I was a child, my mother always made birthdays incredibly special. Every year, my brother and I would wake up on our birthday to a crepe paper bestrewn house, decorated by the “birthday elves” after we had gone to sleep. Almost equally as fun was when we got older and got to be part of the stealthy decorating, making sure that no scissors or tape dispensers falling on the floor would ruin the magic of the surprise in the morning. When we came down the stairs we would find a small pile, of beautifully wrapped and beribboned packages would sit on the dining room table next to birthday balloons. Birthdays were never about the presents in our family, although they were lovingly and thoughtfully selected. They were always surprises and that made thinking about what could be inside almost as much fun as opening the present.
As I start a new year today, it feels like an appropriate time to unwrap this blog and to have a new beginning in a new year. It feels a little like being the “birthday elf”, hoping the images are wrapped prettily enough, partnered with the anticipation and excitement of the “birthday girl”, not quite sure what this experience has in store. I hope that you enjoy it.
Before you check out these images from my most recent wedding, I encourage you to find yourself a scoop of ice cream or a slice of pie. I would recommend the lemon meringue that is sitting in my fridge right now. Not quite Grand Traverse Pie Company, but still super tasty and in my opinion better than cake!
These images set the scene for my most recent wedding. Dave and Mary are an incredible couple. I overheard Mary talking about her wedding after Pilates class and I knew immediately that this was a wedding in which I would be so honored to be a part. They hosted the ceremony at their home, an intimate gathering of 48 of their close friends and family. Having gotten engaged after ten years together, they were taking this opportunity to celebrate their relationship and their community who have been such a special part of their journey. They welcomed everyone into their house with a glass of champagne and a hug. The laughter was infectious and the entire day was joyful. Today is the first introduction to their wedding. There is much more to come!