Yesterday (Today) a lot of really unfortunate things happened. We’ve all been seeing them creep into our news feeds. It’s saddening, and I don’t have words to speak into it. So I thought that, in light of things seeming sucko, I would talk about something else. Just for a minute.
Today I got into a conversation about why I shoot weddings and favor shooting couples above all else. He said, “Seeing happy couples all the time and being single would bum me out all.the.time.”
Oh, this is the woe of the single wedding photographer (or really just any single person working in the wedding industry). You sir, nailed it on the head. Each wedding day, a little piece – the smallest sliver of us – aches for it to be our turn. But it’s not just that we’re documenting a wedding — it’s that we see these incredible husband and wife photography teams totally KILLING it in the industry. And we think, “they are literally having their cake and eating it, those jerks.”
I can’t speak for the single men in the wedding industry okay I can speak for ONE, but I think I can speak for the women. We do, we have our whole wedding planned in our head and on Pinterest. We see what our brides have done and we commend them on their incredible ideas and totally decide to steal them for our one day. We know the wedding etiquette, we’ve seen the drama, and we know how we would plan for disaster and have it diffused before the bomb was even put together. We know exactly which vendors we’ll call and when to call them. We know the types of favors we can ask and offer.
Yes. We wish it was our turn. That sliver of pain is unlike any other thing. But I have something to say to (my) past and future brides:
When I shoot your wedding, it really is the most miniscule part of me that is wishing it’s my turn. The rest of me, approximately 99.999992% of me, is filled with the most indescribable feeling of hope and joy. You are the trailblazer. You are the reminder that everything will work out exactly as it should. If that means perpetual singleness or marriage, we know things will work out the way they should. Yes, that sliver of pain feels like the weight of the world for a moment, but seeing the way he looks at you, your face when you see yourself in your dress, the way your dad holds your hand down the aisle… is everything. Knowing that you and your friends and your families believe in your vows and in your commitment is even more.
Somehow, we become part of your story, so when we deliver your engagement pictures to you we want to know how planning is going. Later on when we deliver your wedding photos, we want to know how marriage is. We want it real. I shot a couple recently, they’ve been married for not quite a year. I asked them what they thought of married life and they had the most honest and raw response I’ve ever heard: “You learn a lot.” And I was blown away, because they were one of the few couples I’ve shot that paused to look to each other before they sang the praises of marriage.
My dear friend Amaris has said good things about being single (in this industry), “For the last two years, my ovaries have only stomped upstairs and demanded to talk to management on rare occasion. I was approaching the point of being okay with single-hood for forever, actually! (And a part of me still kind of is okay with that idea, truth be told.) But, the past two weeks, there’s been a shift. Another wave is coming – of wanting so freaking terribly to be a wife. I can feel it. So, who wants a visit? Wandering is the only thing I’ve found that keeps the ovaries from revolting. Well, and tequila… My life is quite kick ass, thank you. But, the whole wanting a companion thing – it just doesn’t ever really go away. Sometimes, it just needs an airplane and a margarita to get it back on the back burner.“
We choose this because we love our people and the job more than anything in the world. We choose to be part of so many weddings in a year because we know the affect we can have on the day, and we want nothing more than to help make it completely amazing. We have amazing friends and families who remind us that we need to focus on what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, and that’s you.
We choose this job because we believe in your marriage. We believe in your vows and your commitment. We have an unconventional gift that we’ve turned into something that can sustain us. And we firmly believe that groomsmen are the best and worst thing in the entire world and love to expect challenges and tears of laughter from every single one of them.
Brides, don’t be afraid to have the single photographer shoot your wedding. We see your love at its core because it’s the love we pray for every day. Between you and me, it’s pretty incredible to document. I’m not sure that any of us would change a thing about our jobs, because above all things, your wedding gives us hope.