First of all, I photographed Cool Aunt Becky's wedding in Baltimore. Although... back to the Bad and Sad thing for a second, one of the reasons seeing what I saw was as jarring as it was was partly because I spent time with Shannon's family.
Their daughter Gaby is one of the happiest, brightest children I've ever met. She is so loved.
The wedding was beautiful, it really was. Joel assisted as a second photographer and made some lovely photographs. This is in no way surprising, because as I said months ago, he's damn good. On the other hand, he prefers to shoot, you know, rocks and stuff. So his nicely executed photos are worth mentioning.
As the groom's father wished his son and his bride-to-be luck in a toast at the rehearsal dinner, he told us all about Becky and Geoff restoring their house and how well they worked together. He also shared that Cool Aunt Becky the Bride's mom is a minister. She does pre-marriage counselling sessions with the couples she marries, and in that context, recommends that they take on a big, important project together before they tie the knot. The father of the groom ended his toast by saying something to the effect of.. "I know my son is marrying the right woman. You should see how they scrape paint together."
Joel caught my eye across the room, and we grinned. At that point, having gotten up early (not my best thing) , gently loading the Studio Backdrop of Doom into the car, and playing two rounds of "Where the hell is my wallet?" before changing into Burger King Ketchup-free clothes for the rehearsal and dinner three states away, it was clear that this was a Big and Important Project for us as a couple.
And we did it. We even had fun. After every wedding I go to, I tend to find myself humming one of the songs from the reception that stays with me. Some of these songs are available from iTunes; some aren't. Some songs I knew of before the wedding; some are new. None of them are typically wedding-y, but they make me happy. They fill me with hope. You should listen to them, too.
In chronological order....
From Andrea and Don: Believe it or not, the "Tarantella," the Italian "yut da dut da, dut da-da" song
From H and Kevin: "Passionate Kisses" (not even played at the reception; I sang it for them at the karoake bar next door afterwards)
From Kristen and Adam: "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack
From Amanda and Tom: "Crazy Love" by Ray Charles and "Can't Stop Loving You" by Van Halen
From Nikki and Jill: "Magnolia Street" by Catie Curtis
From Shauna and Bob: "Storybook Love" (theme from the movie "The Princess Bride") and "King of Spain" by Moxy Fruvous
From Kelly and Michael: "Watercolors" by Emily Strand
From Becky and Geoff: "Feel It Turn" by Great Big Sea
As I was shooting the Happy Couple in their first dance to "Feel It Turn," I looked up to see Joel on the balcony, standing behind the tripod, cable release in one hand, flashing me the" I Love You in Sign Language" gesture in the other.
"I had a dream I was moving forward, floating gently toward the sun
I come to see my world rewarded, a new day has begun."
Feel it Turn, Great Big Sea