TWO PEOPLE CHOOSING TO BELONG TOGETHER

On my grandmothers bedside table is a photograph from her wedding of her and my grandfather: fresh out of the chapel where they eloped in Alaska, just the two of them. Nothing flashy or special, by any means. It is printed out on printer paper and underneath the image are the words “My one and only” written in her shaky, 80-something year old handwriting. They have grown old with this photograph. The two people in that photo couldn’t possibly know the deep love that would grow, the babies they would bring home, the fights that would ensue, new houses, new jobs, the cancer, the great-grand babies, many of lifes ups and downs, and one day still- keeping the vow “til death do us part”.

I’ve spent more hours than I can count listening to my grandparents talk about the story of them, their history, and what- after all these years is the most important thing life has taught them and each time I walk away in awe of the life they have created together. I look at the images around their home in frames, albums, and scattered around the refrigerator and I love the memories they have chosen to look at everyday where you can feel my grandfathers laugh and my grandmothers eye-roll. As time has come I’ve seen my grandparents love grow stronger as life has started to take a toll on them and the reminder that at the end of this road is one with one of them being placed in the ground. Its morbid, I know, it is also beautiful. This thought has led me to really evaluate and re-center myself and the role I play on a wedding day because what I enter into isn’t just about a wedding day; its about your marriage. A life time of choosing this person everyday, of creating a family and a home together. This day, while important and definitely a celebration, can’t possibly fit into tiny squares on Instagram or be uploaded onto a Facebook album. Your journey- the one that started with tiny butterflies in your stomach, one of you getting the courage to ask the other out on a date, the first kiss, meeting each others families, the first fight and then the make up, so many tiny holy moments in-between, a question and a YES- led you do this place. One where the people- your people- the ones who carried you here, will gather and celebrate and it will be like nothing that has or will ever happen again, deserves the truth. At the end of the day, every other thing doesn’t even have a fighting chance to compare to this. I know this because I’ve lived it. I’ve held my grandparents wedding photographs in my hands while they tell stories and laugh about the things they thought they knew then.

The importance of this work will outlive me. Future generations will hold these photographs in their hands while asking for more stories of the journey of you and your great love and my biggest hope is that they would feel what it felt like to have been there, on day one.

It seems there always is a different story that drives home some different point about the power of love, but the

What we’re doing here isn’t just about a wedding day; its about your marriage. A life time of choosing this person everyday, of creating a family and a home together. This day, while important and definitely a celebration, can’t possibly fit into tiny squares on Instagram or be uploaded onto a Facebook album. Your journey- the one that started with tiny butterflies in your stomach, one of you getting the courage to ask the other out on a date, the first kiss, meeting each others families, the first fight and then the make up, so many tiny holy moments in-between, a question and a YES- led you do this place. One where the people- your people- the ones who carried you here, will gather and celebrate and it will be like nothing that has or will ever happen again, deserves the truth. At the end of the day, every other thing doesn’t even have a fighting chance to compare to this. I know this because I’ve lived it. I’ve held my grandparents wedding photographs in my hands while they tell stories and laugh about the things they thought they knew then.

The importance of this work will outlive me. Future generations will hold these photographs in their hands and my goal is that they would feel what it felt like to have been there.

At the end of the day, all of the flowers, the dress, the cake- it doesn’t mean a thing, but the people- your people- really really do. Your images are the few tangible things left from that one day.  This is what lasts, this is what it is about.

Social media would have you assume otherwise

Every wedding my grandparents attend the bring a tiny little box with them and inside is a note. This note talks about the ups and downs of life, how you can’t possibly know what the future will hold for you and your loved one.