Let 2019 Bring Love: Married in Chesapeake Beach

A few days ago I got a text asking if I could take some pictures on New Years Day. “I’ll just be coming back to town,” I responded. “Why, what’s up?”

“We’re going to get married.”

So I left my plans a little early to drive home to the other side of the bay and watch as Brittany’s granddad officiated her wedding. A family already in the making came together before the people closest to them to say they do.

It was without a doubt, the most laidback wedding I have ever been witness to. Planned in a few short days, with venue and time changes happening only an hour out. But none of that ever matters anyway, right? Because the best weddings aren’t about the wedding at all; they’re about the marriage.

If these photos are giving you a little bit of deja vu, it might be because this wedding is remarkably similar to my sister’s wedding this summer. When you come up with a good formula, why mess with it?

Married on the Front Deck: My Little Sister's Chesapeake Beach Wedding

I've been rooting them for more than a dozen years.

They said they do on the edge of the bay, surrounded by parents, grandparents, siblings, spouses and a whole lot of kids.

It was so simple. 

And honest.

And I think every one of the thirty-two of us who were witnesses would agree: it was damn near perfect.

to be remembered

My 2017 wedding season just wrapped up, and I've been busy talking with bride's planning next year's events. And autumn just started, and this time of year always makes me reflective.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about the great honor of getting to capture a wedding in one of the only tangible ways we have available. To try to make and find images that will speak the truth of the day for generations to come. It's not something I take lightly.

I love memories. I love their fuzzy edges and their rock hard centers that punch you in the guts. The way they leave you teary-eyed and grateful and angry that time passes so damn quickly.

And I love that I have made a job of collecting them for other people. I love that I get to look and listen and feel, and then, I get to give them back so that in years a white-haired old woman will pull out a dusty old album to show to her great-granddaughter as that young woman plans her own future. I like to think what that woman with the trembly hands and voice might say. The bits she will recall as she looks back on pictures of that handful of hours she planned for, saved for, hoped for.

Chances are, I won't be remembered. And while my ego is no small force, that realization doesn't sting. I'm happy to think that something I have made will be cherished for so long. It makes me feel brighter, fuller, richer.

Nikki and Reid's wedding was thoughtful. They wove generations through it, getting married in the house her grandfather built, under the same trees he sought shade under. Each detail was executed by their own hands or the hands of those they love: the food, the blankets their friends lounged on, the wooden tables, their rings. And it was done with such unwavering confidence, or rather, maybe unwavering competence. A union between two people who within moments of knowing, you feel certain that they could do almost anything. And how beautiful that they have chosen to do whatever it is that they will with each other.  

That great-granddaughter who will sit by Nikki many years from now will know her grandparents loved each other well. And she will know that her grandmother was strong and smart and capable of complete independence, but that she wanted to do life with an extra handsome physicist.