I document weddings for a living and have seen countless iterations of what love is. Regardless of what it looks like, love is most commonly presented as honest and true and impeccable and resilient. Every couple who has stood in front of my lens and shared their wedding day with me has loved differently, yet they are all so remarkably the same. My couples know that love isn’t just a fairy tale, though it will – and should – feel like that (and often!). They know that it takes effort and that it will likely resemble a fist fight at least once in their marriage, and often times, through the conversations we have together, they realize that they’ve chosen their partners for their boxing ability.
I’ve been married 11 years, and collectively it’s been wonderful. I hesitate to call it work as I haven’t ever needed a vacation day from my marriage, but there have been times when it’s been hard. When my husband and I have each had to dig deep and fight. We’ve thrown punches – not literally at each other – but figuratively at our marriage. At the world. At circumstance and hardship and heartache and sorrow. But we’ve also done laps around the ring, belt held high, sweat dripping from our brow and taken in the sweet taste of victory. Of overcoming the odds. Of rising above.
What does any of this have to do with Steve and Alicia and their wedding day? Everything. The fist fight isn’t unique to a few of us, but rather encompasses all of us and our relationships. Alicia and Steve will both tell you that they married up. That they found in the other someone who is, by their own accounts, a better person than them. For Steve, Alicia is caring and compassionate and beautiful enough to leave him breathless. Often. For Alicia Steve is dedicated and driven and loyal. Together they have a love that is honest and open. It isn’t founded upon lofty fairytale ideals or set precariously upon unrealistic expectations. They love each other wholly for who they are. Who they desire to be. And the future they have envisioned together.
They are ready for the fight and I was honored to be with them – along with my talented second shooter Kelsea – as they stepped into the ring. Here is the story of their wedding day:
Love is a fight. Sometimes it’s easy while other times it’s the opposite. But it’s is always, always, worth it.
Cheers to those brave enough to never leave the ring.