As school returns to session and the evenings start to get a little cooler, I find myself reminiscing on this very time two years ago. I was preparing my heart to be married.
While most of our loved ones were gracious and completely understanding, Jordan and I did take a little flack for choosing to have such a small wedding; 18 people in total, including us.
But the truth is, a wedding is just a day. I know it’s cynical for someone who makes a living documenting this momentous occasion to say, but it’s true. It really is just another day. The ceremony is just a few moments of words exchanged and a kiss to wrap it all in a nice bow. The ceremony in and of itself means nothing.
What breathes life into the whole shebang is the vitality you give it. You, the bride and groom. You, the witnesses. You, the supporters who aren’t even there. What makes a wedding wonderful isn’t what it is: the flowers, the music, the food. What makes a wedding spectacular is what it means.
Jordan and I may have offended a few people by slashing our guest count, but while I’m sometimes sad that everyone we love wasn’t there to witness the exchanging of words and rings, I know that we’ve gotten something much better than a few more seats in rows on a Saturday afternoon: we’ve gotten the relentless support and celebration of our loved ones for a lifetime. And that is worth much more than the price of a catered entree plate.
There are some people who innately understand this concept, and some people just don’t. And that’s okay. But Paul and Alex are two people who totally get it. I knew as soon as I met them that their day would be magical.
Paul and Alex were married under a beautiful August afternoon blue sky at the B Lazy 2 Ranch outside of Winter Park, Colorado in the company of 30 family and friends, a fraction of the people invited to the wedding weekend itself. After the ceremony we took a ski bus back to their condo and waited while dozens of additional loved ones filtered into the Ranch for the reception. They reentered the ranch to rousing applause and the soundtrack of noisemakers and party horns. They challenged each other to a beer guzzling contest. Those closest to them exchanged words of encouragement, love and support over glasses of champagne. Under the chilly Colorado moonlight, they jumped and swung and sang and spun to the beat of a bluegrass band. They celebrated.
This is what a wedding is, a celebration. A pause from the noise and the fear and the uncertainty that the world inherently brings to remind us that love exists with the power to drive out all the crushing emotions we sometimes feel. To remind us that love is a real thing, something within our grasp. To remind us that when we feel most alone, the answer is never within ourselves, and always within others. And that, is worth celebrating.
Thank you to Paul and Alex for choosing me from the many very talented and more local options for photographers for your day of celebration. I hope I did this beautiful day a small bit of its proper justice : )