Carol married Virgil last Saturday in an intimate, family affair. The ceremony took place at their home church where the priest gave them big bear hugs after the ceremony and even shed a few tears. The small crowed erupted into applause when the couple was announced, not once, but twice. The flowers were bright, the gown was beautiful, the food delicious and the mood celebratory. It was all that a wedding should be and so much more.
Carol and Virgil hired me in June to photograph their much larger affair at their home at The Ford Plantation scheduled for Fall. It didn’t take but one meeting and a shoot to know they are a fun loving, light-hearted couple. In fact, I’d say they are an absolute blast! They are “salt of the earth” …you know, the kind of people that think of you first…”do you need something to eat, to drink? can we help you with your things? are you okay? too warm? too cold? how are the boys?” They always began with me and really, anyone around them. You would have thought I was their client and not the reverse. I could not help but fall in love with them.
I photographed their engagement session on a steamy July afternoon. We ran around The Ford, biked up and down their street, went to the docks and just laughed and laughed. It really could not have been a better session. I posted an image of them riding bikes, holding hands and laughing.
And then life changed.
Later than night, Carol called. Virgil hit his head in a fall and was in surgery. He suffered a brain injury…the sneaky kind where you seem fine to everyone around you, but your brain is not fine. Carol’s intuition and quick thinking got Virgil to the hospital. Her resolve and compassion guided them through setbacks, uncertainty and the long, arduous road to recovery. We talked, Carol and I, for a few minutes, sometimes an hour as the months passed…always about what happened, what could have happened and what was to happen next. Plans were put on hold, dates would be penciled in on the calendar and then pushed back.
Brain injuries take time to heal. How long? Well, wouldn’t it be nice to know?
Just when life seemed to settle down, Carol’s father became ill and passed away. Grief became the center of our conversations because I understood. I had lost my own father suddenly. So much to manage. So much grief. And it saddened me because, Lord, she needed a break…some respite from it all.
I had’t spoken with Carol in a while. Surely the plans were on an indefinite hold. The phone rang one night while I was working. It was Carol. Would I be willing to make the drive to their home in Orlando? Virgil was well and she was feeling grounded …more like herself again. There were getting married.
I was elated. I couldn’t wait to see them. So my wheels rolled down I-95 on a perfectly temperate spring day. I held back tears as Carol stepped into her gown and we laughed and joked just to keep ourselves together. She glowed. Truly. Her hair, her skin, her eyes…there was a peace about her. She and Virgil had made it…finally, to their wedding day.
This job, a wedding photographer, seems a precious gift to me on days like Saturday and well, days like today. When nonsense and sadness rule the airways. When pain and uncertainty fill up our hearts.
So while we pray for Boston. We pray for the people around us with personal battles. We pray for peace and happiness again. I offer you some joy. Some hope. And above all, love. I get to see it every time I go to work …and times like this past Saturday, it is a greater gift than I even realize.
I wish you , Carol and Virgil, love and peace. Thank you for letting me witness the goodness in life.
With love – DVB
Someone asked me the other day when I was going to quit.
Wasn’t I tired yet?
Wasn’t it physically taking it’s toll?
Wasn’t I tired of the dealing with the wedding drama?
Wedding drama? You have no idea!
I have stories that would last for a whole weekend. But you know what? Those stories are old. Perhaps I have changed, my clients have changed and the world has changed. All of my clients have a deep connection and love for one another but mostly, when it comes to the wedding, they are relaxed. They see the big picture and they have put their faith in the professionals they hire. Because of that I know myself and the wedding planners work exceptionally hard to make everything perfect. We love our clients…we talk about it all day long…”aren’t they so wonderful? Isn’t she gorgeous? Look at how they look at each other? ” We are often sad to “break up” with them. We are so intimate for such an important event…it is hard not imagine we haven’t known them forever.
So when I say, I still love it…it is because of brides like Kristin. She is an amazing person. Yes…she is obviously gorgeous — like crazy gorgeous! But she was so happy and relaxed. It rained. It poured. She let Caroline Carter make the call about where the ceremony should be…just let Kristin know which aisle to walk down to meet Bruce and Max. A year of planning and she gave it up to God as the say.
She, Bruce and their son Max came from their home in Switzerland to marry in Savannah. And their wish was granted…they married in front of the fountain at Forsyth under sunny skies!
He is a Georgia Tech alum. Her with parents at Callawassie. And the ballroom at the Mansion was bathed in love. People were just so happy to be together…friends from all over the world. It was amazing to witness…and even more amazing to see the way Bruce looked at Kristin. Their son, Max…to die for blue eyes. The perfect mix of them. I can only hope the the love pours out of my images the way it flowed last Saturday.
Nope — I am not quitting anytime soon. Not as long as my brides are like Kristin.
With love – DVB
Just when I think I have seen it all, I find myself delighted again.
Loreen Hospodar of Reenie Rose, www.reenierose.com, is an artist who paints rich, luscious bridal bouquets. She just completed my bride, Whitney’s bouquet. Some of the florals were cut from Central Park that morning. Gorgeous!