“Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others.
Unfold your own myth.” ― Rumi
Most wedding are a blur. It's so many months of preparation, logistics, dreaming, planning, brainstorming for one day that is so fleeting the memories almost depend on the photos. I suppose that's why I have a job in the first place - and though I'm grateful for that opportunity I spend so many weekends trying to convince our couples to slow down and breath in the depth of what they're giving to each other on their wedding day. To marry is an awesome responsibility and the gravity of promising to spend a life sacrificially loving and caring for another person is completely unmatched. Even as a parent our kids will eventually grow up and have lives of their own but only the person we marry will see us through every struggle and every victory for the rest of our lives. It's knowing that you with either hold their hand, or they yours taking final breaths that wraps us up in the severity of being married, but the number of adventures and stories and moments of laughter together between that first kiss and the last one are one of the most magical parts of life.
I'm not just going to go on and on forever - I promise I have a reason behind all of this jabber. When we see most couples miss the moments on their wedding day because the speed of those moments is almost too fast to enjoy we do our best to pace things and slow them down. Not for the good of the photos, but for the good of the couple. It's a responsibility I feel like far too many photographers don't understand. Our jobs aren't just to see the moments, they are to help the couple remember those moments and in order for that to happen they also have to enjoy them the first time. Enter Becka + John a couple who's sole focus on the wedding day was to breath in the moments.
Don't get me wrong - I love having bridesmaids and groomsmen around to make things fun but when the entire day is about the couple and not their friends the story changes drastically. Becka is a strong person. You get the feeling from the very first handshake that though she is absolutely gorgeous she's never relied on anything short of just pure ambition to get to where she is. In fact except for her loud laugh and huge smile one of the first things I noticed about her is just how polite and kind she is in a very confident way. This is a woman who can definitely hold her own and yet as a wife and a step-mom she's instantly gentile. It's hard to quite put your finger on what happens when her and John are together. He's a big dude with a pretty reserved personality but she makes him laugh and smile in nearly every moment and for all of the confidence and smiles on Becka there's moments with John where she just relaxes into him and becomes wildly vulnerable. Throw little Caitlin (John's daughter) in the mix and these three are the perfect family from the get go.
I was almost nervous when we built the schedule for the day of that I would have enough to shoot. But all my nerves quickly left when I realized that what Becka *and Amanda (one of our very favorite wedding planners and the genius behind transforming this reception hall into an absolute fantasy) had done was given me all the time in the world to just watch the moments. So many photos happened on this day that I could have easily missed if we'd been rushed but the slightest opportunity for me to look up and observe almost always results in something neat happening on a wedding day and this whole day was full of those chances.
The reception itself was a dream. Swanky and dramatic with incredibly lighting and a great band this whole evening was a blast. I'm not sure anybody has ever seen the UarkBowl look quite this good. Hats off to Becka and Amanda and the entire BATES-REED BRIDES' staff for making this one amazing. We're always in awe of what they do and how they do it. A HUGE thank you to Becka and John for having me along for this adventure. It was truly a treat watching, waiting, and catching a whole day full of little memories.