My mom looked at me and said the 4 dreaded words that always mean trouble is coming:
"We need to talk".
A myriad of what might be coming raced through my mind...
Someone had died....
Someone was sick...
My parents were moving away...
Santa Claus didn't exist...
She continued, "I think you are too stressed out with this wedding planning."
Tears slowly started trickling down my cheeks.
First one, then the other.
Faster and faster until I was audibly crying.
Stressed out was an understatement.
As we sat in her living room talking, I shared with her how much of a toll it's been on me having Javier gone. I knew it would be hard... I knew I would miss him, but I had NO IDEA the effect it would have on my everyday life; on my emotional well being.
In addition to that, I was trying to plan a wedding... arguably one of the most stressful things to do... without the help of my fiance. And I couldn't make a decision. Not one. Every time I thought I came to a decision, I found that a few days later I would be over it. Or even hate it. I had found a dress I thought I loved, but I couldn't bring myself to buy it. I finally found a venue I thought would be perfect, but I couldn't manage to go look at it. I had settled on colors... but then I would see something else and think it was better. So after 5 months of being engaged... all I had figured out is who my groom was going to be. And while that is really the most important decision... and the reason for the wedding in the first place... It wasn't bringing me any closer to the wedding we were supposed to be having in just a year.
And that was another thing.
It seemed like so long.
It was starting to feel like planning a wedding was standing in the way of being married.
So yes, I admitted, there was a problem. But what on earth was I supposed to do about it??? And so began the brainstorming. What was most important to me about the wedding day?
1. That I marry Javier
2. That our family can be there to celebrate with us.
3. That we have beautiful pictures that we can keep forever.
After a short time, with those things in mind, we had come up with a plan. I was thrilled. I felt relaxed, and for the first time since we got engaged... really excited!
I am a wedding photographer. This is what I do.
I am surrounded by AMAZING weddings that I shoot, that my friends shoot, and that I see on the countless blogs that I read on a regular basis. But somewhere along the line, wedding planning stopped being quite so much about me and Javier and our unique relationship and started being more about planning a wedding that was blog-worthy. When I realized that's where it had gotten, I knew it was time to make some changes and simplify. I knew that the thing that mattered most was that we be married at the end of the day.
It also reminded me why I do what I do. I don't do it so that I can shoot the most amazing weddings and get featured on the most prestigious blogs. While it's a huge honor to have my work featured anywhere... the biggest honor is to have my brides and grooms walk away with memories of the day they started their lives together.
When the day is over... the "i do"s have been said... the cake is eaten... the dance floor is empty... the bridesmaids dresses are hung in the back of the closet never to be seen again... the flowers have died... the details have been thrown away... the fancy hair is taken down and the make up washed off... what is left over?
And pictures. Pictures to remind you of how beautiful you looked and the feelings you had as you looked at the person you would spend the rest of your life with. Pictures to remind you where you have been, how far you've made it, and the amazing things still ahead.
That is why I do what I do.
That is why I am a wedding photographer.
To read more about our wedding and my planning process (including a post with a little more about this) feel free to head over to my wedding blog: "Girl Plans a wedding, Boy goes to war"
Above image from our engagement session with Jordana Hazel of Hazelnut Photography.