Always a Wedding Photographer, Never a Wedding Guest

You know the saying “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride”? Well for me it’s more like “Always a wedding photographer, never a wedding guest”. I try my best to contain my dance moves during the reception and resist the urge to snag a piece of that gorgeous wedding cake but sometimes you just have to give this girl some cake and let her bust a move ya know?! Over this past weekend that is exactly what I did!

Rather than putting on one of my go-to black wedding dresses and heading out the door hours before the ceremony began I tried on more dresses than I would like to admit, spent extra time on my makeup, curled these golden locks of mine, strapped on some nude heels and most importantly left my camera behind. I’m not going to lie, it pained me a bit not to take it but I knew I didn’t want to be that guest and I wanted to really enjoy myself and be fully immersed in the celebration of the marriage of my friend and his wife!

Well before the beginning of the ceremony the search began. The search for their photographer to see what she was doing, where she was at all times, and to make sure she was getting all the shots! The music began and their family began walking down the isle along with my friend and the bridal party. From the moment of the first note that played my attention shifted from the search to the wedding party. Then, she walked in. I always see the bride before she walks down the isle for getting ready pictures and in some cases portraits before the ceremony but to experience seeing the bride for the first time as she came around the corner with her father was magical. While everyone starred at this radiating vision in white, I turned and faced my friend who was standing at the alter watching his soon to be wife make her way towards him. Watching his reaction immediately brought tears to my eyes! During this moment I had three thoughts. Number 1, I can’t believe I didn’t bring my camera to cover the tears rolling down my cheeks. number 2, what an amazing moment I am witnessing and number 3, oh no, my makeup!

The joy I have for each of my couples as they walk down the isle as husband and wife will always hold a special place in my heart but seeing one of your good friends light up, brighter than I have ever seen, as he glances at his wife moments after they said “I do” is indescribable.

While the bridal party left for photos cocktail hour began! As much as I LOVE portrait time, it was really nice to relax, chat with some friends, and have a drink or two along with some yummy food! To clap and cheer for this sweet couple as they entered the reception was a blast! They danced their first dance as husband and wife as her father sang and played the piano, cue water works! Then the parent dances… parent dances get me every single time! The moments shared throughout each dance between mother and son and father and daughter always hit me right in the heart and I couldn’t tell you a time when I didn’t tear up watching this special moment. Now, throw in the fact that the bride recorded the song her and her father danced to… talk about emotional!

The next thing that happened pretty much tops every event of this day. I have to give you a little backstory but I promise I’ll keep it short! When my friend, Brendon, (the groom) and I went to school the song Sugar by Maroon 5 was released. This song was and still is my favorite song! So much so that every time someone heard this song they would call my name and turn it up!  I mean, the music video shows Maroon 5 surprising people at weddings and they talk about sugar (one of my many loves!)! Brendon even created a video with that song with Scrabble tiles that went with the music!! So you can imagine my excitement when that was the very first song that came on to get the party started! The first notes played and I looked out to the dance floor to see Brendon in the middle of it pointing right at me!! I ran out to the dance floor but I didn’t realize, until I was on the center of the dance floor grooving to the song, that it was their money song, the song where you had to give the couple money to dance with them…. OOPS! I may have ran off the dance floor, grabbed some money and sprinted back out there. I’m pretty sure no one saw… *face meet palm*. Needless to say this girl didn’t move from the dance floor for the rest of the night until we were the last people there!

There were so many times when I wish I had my camera with me and so many moment I witnessed that I craved having a camera in my hands but at the end of the day being able to be fully present for Brendon and his wife celebrating their love is something I will forever cherish!

Pardon the cell phone photographs but like I said, I left my camera behind!

This is my sweet boyfriend, Jake. Isn’t he cute?!

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