I met Alex back in 2010 when I became an advisor for the Kappa Theta chapter of Sigma Kappa at SLU. Alex had joined the fall after I graduated, so we just missed being in the sorority at the same time. We’ve become good friends over the past four years, and I was ecstatic when she told me she was engaged and then hired me to be her wedding photographer for her September 2014 wedding.
All was well until she called me one day in early June. It was a phone call that I’ve experienced before. Steve’s mom is very ill. Alex and Steve are very much family people, and family being present for the beginning of their marriage was far more important to them then planning an extravagant wedding and inviting hundreds of people. They wanted to share this intimate wedding with their closest family members, and she wanted me to document this precious time they still have with Steve’s mom.
If you know anything about me, you know that I lost both of my parents far too soon. I lost my dad when I was only four years old in a car accident, and I lost my mom to cancer in 2009. Last year, I spent a LOT of time thinking about why I do this. Why am I a photographer? Why am I a wedding photographer? It’s because the photos are the proof that you lived and were loved. It’s because I want to surround myself with couples who care even more about their marriage and what that truly means than the details of their wedding day. It’s because I want to freeze those moments with the people that mean the absolute most to them in this world, because one day…one day they will be gone. And when they’re gone, the only thing in the world you have left of them are your memories.
So when Alex and I talked, I couldn’t hold it together. I couldn’t even hold it together when I was talking to her about the timeline and family photos. So when I walked in on Saturday morning, I knew I had already lost the battle with tears. I lost it with Kate, Alex’s mom, and Christy, Steve’s sister. When her dad saw her for the first time and I caught the tears rolling down the faces of her parents and her sister, I lost it. When Steve saw her walking down the aisle…lost it again. When both moms had a moment during the ceremony…yep. tears. lots of them. But when I heard Steve’s mom and dad’s reading and listened to those words about what marriage is all about and the small moments that make up a life together…and remembering that we’re not all so fortunate to live forever and be a part of those moments…but remembering that we DO have those moments right now…I was a mess. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
That, my friends, is why I became a wedding photographer. If I was put on this planet to just be there this past Saturday to be able to use my gift for Alex and Steve and their families…that’s enough for me. Congratulations, Alex + Steve. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your wedding day and for giving me the opportunity to spend time with your loved ones. I’m so unbelievably happy for you two, and I’m so grateful that you both are a part of our life. You’re role models for what marriage is all about, and I couldn’t be happier to call you two friends. ♥
I can’t wait to celebrate again with you two in September.