It is rare for me to struggle to articulate a wedding story in words; to sum up the day with a flurry of poignant prose. It is also rare to experience a wedding day like Andrea and Kyle’s. Not because it was on a beach in Mexico (which it was), or because the love and joy Kyle and Andrea share is breathtaking and incredible to behold (it is), but largely because it is so very rare for me to become so emotionally connected to my clients in that way I did with these two beautiful souls. I don’t know how to do their story justice in words. How to tell you what it meant that Kyle’s stepdad sang an acoustic version of the Proclaimers song as a surprise for Andrea during the reception. Or that they were surrounded by a handful of their very best friends and closest family and that each of them poured gallons of love all over Andrea and Kyle and each other (including me). That it rained for the briefest of moments during the craziest reception dance party I’ve ever been to – a Mayan blessing for the newlyweds. How these two people, who were married a country away from home and reside states away from mine, are my family now, too.
Like many of my clients, Andrea found me on the internet and – by her own admission – followed my work for years. When she first found me, she didn’t know when or to whom she’d be married, but she knew that I would tell her story. Because she wanted a story. She didn’t need or want her wedding images to be scripted or forced, but rather to encapsulate every single ounce of how she would feel, and the tiny, fleeting, almost imperceptible things that she would inevitably miss. The way Kyle would always reach for her, delicately, protectively. The way her father looked handsome and rugged, full of bittersweet joy and immense gratitude. How her mother would dance and laugh and infect the crowd with glee. The way her friends would surround her and Kyle and lift them up, celebrating alongside and because of them. The way she’d laugh and cry at the same time, and what Kyle would whisper in her ear while staring at the ocean, a warm breeze washing over them both.
This season of my life has been the most challenging for me, I think, ever. Far too often I’ve found myself flailing, feeling lost and uninspired and lacking talent and drive and all of the things that are so intrinsic to who I am. This trip – these people. this story – it resuscitated me. Breathed life back into my heart, mind, body and spirit. The joy from this day washes over me still, covers my wounds like the sea does the shore, and carries me home.
I am profoundly thankful to be able to create images for a living, and am overcome with gratitude for people – for friends – like Andrea and Kyle.
Here are some of my most favorite images from this magical Mexico wedding story: