I don’t even know where to begin with this one. After capturing as many weddings as we have, you’d think they wouldn’t affect me much any more. I thought the same thing as I prepared for our trip. At first I thought we’d just fly in to Lithuania, shoot my little sister’s wedding like any other, do the best job we can, and that would wrap up our trip. It turned out to mean much more.
For my little sister Zivile’s big day, she decided to keep everything fairly small, pretty intimate, and mostly do-it-yourself. This was the first time we saw and realized how much work you have to put in in to wedding planning, especially if you take care of most of the organization and details yourself. Even though this was a small intimate wedding with only fifty people, there was plenty of work to be done in order to pull everything together. Every DIY detail takes time, thought and effort to make and at the end everything must be coordinated in one spot on one day at just the right time. If you are thinking about planning a DIY wedding, my advice would be start early and don’t procrastinate to the last minute—take any helping hand you can and hire good professionals as needed, since one mistake can ruin all your hard work and even your entire wedding day.
Leading up to the ceremony, our mom—who is the best seamstress I know—worked hard to make Zivile’s dress by hand, even altering it just slightly at the last minute to accommodate the few pounds my sister understandably lost because of wedding jitters. But now she will have something special to hand down to her daughter and her daughter’s daughter, and that makes all the hard work worth every stitch.
While it was part of my job that day to take the photographs and I had to worry about all the usual things like lighting, the weather (which turned out great), perfect angles and looking for great moments, an even bigger job fell to me. When I was walking my little sister down the aisle holding her little hand, I swallowed some tears. I don’t think anyone saw it—I tried to keep it together as I had a job to do. When we walked I realized how she had grown from just a little girl to a beautiful woman. Our father past away from cancer and my mom raised Zivile by herself from when my sister was eight years old. I bow to single parents. We just had our little Emma, and can’t imagine raising a kid by yourself. But that is story for other time perhaps.
It was an emotional, beautiful day. We had a chance to see a wedding from another point of view: from the perspective of family and friends. We don’t get to enjoy this side very often, and it gave us even more understanding how important weddings are.
While time can seem to both pass too quickly and also stand perfectly still, weddings give families a chance to look around and enjoy the past, present, and the future together. This trip had so many firsts and some lasts. The first time I walked my sister down the isle; the first time I shot a wedding barefoot and wearing shorts half of the day anyway; the first time my grandma saw her great granddaughter. Unfortunately life goes as it goes making lines and wrinkles on our faces and hands, and at some point, the time we do some thing will end up being the last time we do it. My beloved grandma passed away just a few weeks after the wedding.
So hold your hands together as those old and young celebrate birthdays and weddings. Take the time to celebrate family and life, because you newer know when you will see each other again even if you live under the same roof.
Music : – James Vincent McMorrow – Cavalier ( iTunes )