Let me just say that I have photographed my fair share of weddings. I consider myself a wedding photographer retiree these days but those exciting and stressful days of surmounting pressure to capture the beautiful bride's day just so are never far from my mind. Still, it's a whole new level of emotion and, well, awesomeness to be in charge of photographing the wedding of two of your best friends. Yes, two. Two of our best friends married one another this past weekend in a beautiful ceremony under cascading trees and the first beautiful Florida day in some time. It's like even Mother Nature knew that she needed to be on her best behavior or else she would have to deal with me. Josh and Ashley have been together for four years and I'll always remember that because I fixed them up. Yes, I'm bragging (because I obviously did something right!). Yes, I will celebrate being the yenta that I am and admit fully to meddling obnoxiously in the lives of two people who obviously were meant to be together. Everyone who hid their faces and told me to mind my own business when I gave Ashley the old "what if that guy over there wanted to ask you out on a date? Would you go?" in the middle of a Barnes & Noble work day as she rang up a customer? I'm sure now they're grateful that I didn't mind my own business and have pretty much no shame whatsoever. I know a good thing when I see it and these newlyweds? They're a great thing.
It was a busy week in ways that I'm not used to from the perspective of a wedding photographer. Normally I don't get to have a sleepover with the bride the night before the wedding, attend rehearsals and rehearsal luncheons, nervously do the bride's make-up and help her into her dress. The mix of friend duties and photographer duties made the day all the more magical for me because I felt the emotion in every part of the day. I loved when these two were announced into my wedding reception together, a bridesmaid and a groomsman, but it was even more special when they were announced as husband and wife.
I mean, weddings always get me emotional, but when I'm watching one of my best friends walk down the aisle as a beautiful bride while one of my other best friends is standing at the alter with his breath completely taken away? There are no words. I mean, there are tears, but no words.
Of course, Ethan also isn't used to me not spending a night with him and his confusion regarding his MIA mommy melted away once he saw me during the ceremony. He spent much of the ceremony pointing at me and yelling "HI!" with this big smile on his face while my husband frantically tried to distract him. In turn, I tried to not be distracted by how ridiculously adorable Ethan looked in his tie and Converse.
All that celebrating? It's exhausting!
After a week of driving and celebrating and seeing these the newlyweds off (to Jamaica! I'm jealous!), we've been home and hiding from the Florida heat and rain. We're all unwinding and adjusting and relaxing and trying to get back into the swing of things. Bear with me, dear readers. Our suitcase is still in the middle of our living room and I have nothing but kudos to people who have mastered the art of traveling with small children!