I struggled so hard as I sat here at my desk earlier this week wrapping up Ben & Jeff’s Lake Michigan intimate wedding from earlier this fall. The struggle was real. You see, it’s hard to see when your eyes are filled with tears. And your heart is pounding and you’re feeling once again all the emotions you felt while documenting their wedding day. Yes … the good kind of struggle.
I met Ben & Jeff a few years back at Lauren & Evan’s wedding at Weller’s Carriage House. It’s funny because they attached an image of themselves to their inquiry to see if I was available to shoot their wedding, too. Though I didn’t need that image to remember exactly who they were. Two handsome guys, laughing and clearly in love and tearing up the dance floor at the end of the night. And now I was going to get to be their wedding photographer, too. High fives all around!
Their families were traveling from all over to be there for them on their wedding day, so they chose somewhere in between tucked in the (interesting) city of Gary, Indiana and rented a house on the shore of Lake Michigan. We were there for most of the day and watched their friends and family trickle in one by one and shower them both in hugs and kisses. (I may have ended up with over 200 images of people hugging not their wedding day, oops). I felt so lucky to have been tucked away nearby to capture some of the sweetest moments between the two of them before they helped each other get dressed and walked down the aisle hand in hand. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as they read their vows and exchanged rings making them a married couple. It was a powerful moment that even left me struggling to not turn into a puddle of tears and happiness behind my camera. It went on like that all throughout the day and night, throughout our time together strolling the shores with the Chicago Skyline in view, the toasts and first dances.
Watching these two not just in love and happy, but with total acceptance and gratitude for the people in their lives who support them was incredible and tangible. There’s a part of me that fears the photos I took that day will not be enough to remind them how incredible it was. When I shoot a wedding, I want to capture more than just what the details looked like, and what the people looked like. I want my subjects to remember what it felt like. And when they look back on their wedding photos, I want them to be transported back into those moments and feel every single moment over and over again.
This is love. Love is love.