This may have been the most special wedding I have ever documented. It was also one of the most difficult ones. Difficult emotionally - trying to capture the moments and relationships just so for these two. Difficult because life is so damn beautiful in so many ways and it's easy to forget about that beauty. To forget about how much we all have to be grateful for... until something happens that reminds you just how special it is and how important love is above anything else.
Richard had been diagnosed with cancer just over a year ago. He did all the 'right' things, did all the treatments and was declared cancer free. They went on with life and started planning their wedding, which I was to photograph in May of next year. When I had met them and they booked me last spring, I instantly knew that their wedding was going to be special. Richard & Karmen are one of the nicest, most genuine couples I've met. There was something about them - their love for each other, that Karmen had a son, Kai, and they were going to become a family, the way they were with each other. I can't explain it, other than that they just had this real and authentic kind of love for each other - and you could tell that from the first time I met them. I remember telling my own husband when I got home from meeting them, that I was so excited to photograph this one next summer - it was going to be a good one full of all the right stuff that makes relationships and togetherness so awesome and right.
Several weeks ago I had received a message from Karmen, saying that they had just found out that Richard had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. After a year of thinking he was cancer free, it was back. So much so that there was nothing the doctors could do anymore. They were going to put together a little backyard ceremony that weekend and they wanted to know if I would be available to photograph it. Life. So damn beautiful and at the same time so damn unfair.
Richard and Karmen, I can truly say, it was the most beautiful day and the most beautiful of weddings. Although it was planned in days, and not months, a beautiful wedding is not all the extras and show, heck it's not even about marriage.. it is about the two people coming together and the celebration of love and thus life. You are truly one of the most beautiful couples I've met to date. You are two very special and incredible humans and I'm so honored I got to document your love and your story on the day you were married and became a family.
In closing, Richards best friend stood up during the dinner and read a poem he had written and it was beautiful and perfect and I thought it also needed to be shared. I'll leave you with that first before their images.
Today is a day when love prevails when two hearts join as one
While many hearts are standing by to witness loves new run.
There is but a few who find the one to with stand through thick and thin
Today two people that I love rejoice in life’s greatest win.
There was a time when Rich and I contemplated life alone
Two friends in laughter figuring if we could make it on our own!
Secretly I hoped that my best friend would never find
A girl to take the time away from moments we’d confide
But a today happened, like today, I saw it in his eyes
That day I knew he found the love he wanted by his side.
Not only did he find one heart.. but she came with a two
A little dude named Kai to keep his childhood spirit true.
Through thick and thin of past today’s I’ve seen the calm within
A busy mind had found true love with a woman named Karmen.
Though I do not know them well I know this much is true
Her eyes are filled with love for you like only true love’s do.
today this room is filled with eyes that love my dearest friend
I know I speak for all when I say this love will never end.
Today.. the only thing that matters, and the only one that’s here
Though yesterdays hold memories and tomorrow’s not so clear…
Today.. a day when love prevails when two hearts are joined as one
I love you both.. but as one heart..
Now let’s have some fun!