I’ve known Shelley most of my life, although she’s a few years younger than I am, so we were never close friends growing up in our tiny, loveable Logan Lake. What I remember most about her is that she was little and cute and giggly – she still is. This girl loves to laugh and her laughter is ridiculously contagious. My cheeks hurt after shooting her wedding because I spent so much time smiling and giggling too. Shelley was the most relaxed bride I’ve ever worked with. It didn’t matter what happened during the day, she took it all in stride and kept on laughing.
And then there was her groom, Andy. Relaxed, easy going, super helpful when anyone needed him and ridiculously in love with his bride. I met him for the first time, briefly, the night before the wedding, but it was impossible not to see his goodness shining through like a beacon. I instantly liked him and, as soon as Shelley walked into the room, I had to run out because I was smothering in all that love-clogged air! LOL.
The best part of the entire day for me wasn’t the photography (which was fairly awesometastical) or the mood (which was light and engaging) or the people (who were fun and entertaining and very welcoming). No, it was the LOVE.
I cringe to say this, but many weddings I shoot consist of a bride and a groom smiling pretty for everyone while trying to hide the stress and tension and anxiety that a wedding day entails. I’ve seen and felt it so often that I just take it in stride and roll with it. Let’s face it, most weddings are a huge production, full of all sorts of mishaps and quick rearrangments and fixing problems, etc. More often than not, the bride and the groom are the ones who have to solve problems that crop up when they should just be enjoying first day together as husband and wife.
Shelley and Andy’s wedding day was so much different. Everything that cropped up was greeted with a shoulder shrug and an, “Okay, no biggy,” kind of attitude and that paved the way for all that love to permeate everything and everyone around them. Each and every time Andy looked at Shelley, his face lit up, his smile got wider and she just melted under his approving gaze. Lisa from Aspect Arts Photography and I shot the wedding together and we both felt the love emanating from those two.
It didn’t matter if Shelley and Andy were across the room from each other, their eyes constantly found each others and their smiles were chock full of love, love, love.
It was genuine. It was uplifting. It was magical.
Thanks, you two, for reminding me what unconditional love is all about and for filling up my broken heart with real happiness for an entire day in the midst of my usual grief. You are beautiful, amazing people and I wish you 32,000 lifetimes of happiness together!