I've been shooting weddings on and off (between childbirth) for over 10 years now. And the reality for any photographer who has seen a veil or two it all seems to become familiar. The beautiful gowns, the stressed bridal party, the pacing pastor and all the guests who carefully picked out their attire days, weeks or even hours in advance of the special awaited occasion.
This weekend I was honored to be invited to my husbands cousins' wedding. I myself became one of those guests who searched for weeks and weeks to finally find my dress a day before the wedding at a classy consignment store in Listowel, Ontario. Here is my shameless plug for The Clothing Loft.
However, back to more photographic matters.
The venue in Brussels Ontario called Four Winds Barn is stunning. The ambience of the lighting in this rebuilt barn is beautiful! The high ceilings and antique decor added to the live edge wood tables for the kitchen made it all something to really gather in.
We were all seated in this side chapel style room just off the main hall where the reception would be held. All the guests were chattering, as is pretty typical of this family and theirs also it seemed.
I sat beside my sister-in-law who was glowing and pregnant. She decided to wear heals to this barn which was amazing for a pregnant lady let alone on the rough barn floors. She always has been brave.
It was not long before, like all familiar weddings I had attended the groom and groomsmen began to seat people and walk up the aisle, shoulder to shoulder with their maiden or matron counterparts. I myself was busy looking around. Each side with 6 people and then the groom patiently awaiting his bride.
I should note at this time that the Bride often puts way more time into picking out her dress, hair and makeup for this one moment then anybody else in the room. She has been brewing this picture for months, or maybe even years, as to what her man is going to react like to seeing her at her very best, dolled up, centre of attention, self. And unfortunately, most men have no idea how to react.
Many grooms are up at the front staring at her coming up. A smile crosses their face as they see their best friend come up. Inside they are thinking to themselves that if they can survive being in front of a crowd of all their closest friends and family and not fall on their face, they have won. But the truth is that this moment is more wooed over by the Bride then the Groom, in most cases.
I stood in my place as the Bride began her entrance up the aisle. Looking over to the Groom I saw him wipe one eye. Then the other. His face began to turn to a shade of red and he took a deep breath. Next thing I know it was like Niagra Falls was bursting out and taking over the American side. This guy was wiping tears that would make a crying toddler put to shame. He loved what he saw and you could tell. So much that the entire room saw those silent wipes of wetness rolling down his face and encored with their very own wiping and sniffling from all over the place. I could hear my pregnant sister-in-law weeping behind me and though she didn't even have a chance with the way those hormones take off.
His mom was crying, he was crying, the bridal party was wiping some away, aunt and uncles were all taking big breaths to fight off the lump in their throats as they saw this grown man cry at the joy he had to see his bride. It was beautiful. It was cute. It was not the familiar wedding moment I had come to know and I loved that.