ROSEMARIE + JOHN - A Fall Wedding at Williams on the Lake in Medina. Ohio

There’s something about watching a couple walk down the isle the second time around that I find incredibly hopeful. It’s two people who have loved in the past, experienced pain and loss, but didn’t give up on love. It’s two people who truly understand the commitment they are making to the other person because they’ve experienced it before. Not in the exact same way because they are marrying completely different people…but they know that a marriage is going to have hard days…a marriage is always evolving…and a marriage needs both people to show up for the other today, tomorrow, and every day thereafter to keep it strong.

I also find it deeply powerful when they exchange their vows. There’s an extra layer to their words…knowledge. They truly understand the gravity behind what they’re saying. I’m in no way implying that couples marrying for the first time don’t understand their vows to their partner, not at all! It’s really about that additional layer of experience that I’m talking about here, and oftentimes the vows are different because of it. You can probably think about experiences from your own life and how beforehand you had thoughts and feelings about what that experience would be like. You were probably right about a lot of things, wrong about a few, and discover some things you didn’t expect. The best non-marriage example I can think of from my own life is becoming a parent. Bret and I became parents later in life than a lot of people do, so we’ve had friends and family members have children before us, and I thought I had a pretty good sense of what it would be like. I was right about some things, completely wrong about others, and there have been A LOT of things I didn’t expect…and I know there’s much more to come! But my point is that now that I am a parent, I know and feel things in a profound way I couldn’t have before…I carry that title because it’s a part of who I am now (and I’m thankful every day). And I think the experience of getting married having been a married person in the past means they have a profound understanding too. So when they say their vows, they are saying them through the lens of experience. Powerful.

I share this as an observation about how I see weddings like Rosemarie’s and John a bit differently throughout the day, but honestly that’s such a small part overall! It doesn’t matter if a couple is getting married for the first time or the fifth, I love it! At every wedding we’re all gathered to witness and celebrate the couples’ commitment to each other, and THAT is what leaves a lasting impression on me.

Romemarie & her daughter Katelyn

But there were other little moments & observations that stuck with me from our day with Rosemarie & John. The first was the relationship between Rosemarie and her daughter. While they were getting ready, sweet Rosemarie was experiencing a bit of anxious anticipation before the ceremony which is very common among brides. But instead of what we usually see at weddings which is the mother comforting the bride, this time it was the daughter, Katelyn, comforting her mother. And Katelyn was so sweet about it...being funny and saying such loving words of encouragement. The role reversal was so endearing! And this continued into portrait time. Both Rosemarie's son and daughter hung around our first location for portraits after family formals, just lovingly watching their mother shine. Katelyn would occasionally shout something that would make Rosemarie laugh or boost her confidence in front of the camera...I mean, the girl was making our job so easy…and I don’t believe there’s a more genuine smile from a mother than one put there by her child! Normally we prefer having the bride and groom all to ourselves for portrait time, but we didn’t mind because 1) it was just so cute to witness, and 2) because she was an expert at getting her Mom to!

Another moment that stood out was just after the ceremony while I was spending some time with John in the courtyard before we began their portraits. At one point John stopped me and said, “You have to get a picture of this” and proceeded hold up his cocktail in one hand and an unlit cigarette he borrowed from a friend in the other. Then he took a particular posture, pretended to smoke the cigarette, and spoke some words in a voice that wasn't his own. I made sure to capture the moment, and after he said to me “That's a perfect impression of my mother”, then turned to his friend and said “Isn't that just like her?”, to which the friend agreed. John was being funny and charming like he genuinely is, and I was watching him and thinking that it doesn't matter your age or whether you've been married before, on a wedding day the groom (or bride) is going to be thinking about a parent that's no longer with them here on earth. I got a little choked up along with my laughter while watching him do an impression of his mother. Heck, I'm getting a little choked up now as I write about it!

John’s impression of his mother…love it!

The last moment that stood out to me that I'll mention here (because I've been going on for a bit, and if you're still reading, I sure love ya for it! I'm kind of long-winded...have you noticed? Haha!) is when pizza and sliders were brought out for guests near the end of the reception. It was evident the entire day that Rosemarie and John wanted their loved ones to have a great time at their wedding. They provided a full dinner, cake, a cookie table (with macarons which are one of my favorites! Yum!!), and encouraged everyone to keep a cocktail in hand. But then they went a step further and included the pizza and sliders! I just thought that was a really nice touch that maybe didn't stand out to many people, but it did to me. I come from a family with Southern roots, and my Grandma has always loved us with food. Not the best for my waistline, but I know it comes from a place of deep love for her family and it's part of who she is. The pizza and sliders reminded me of the same thing...loving with food.

All of this added up to a very fun, enjoyable, emotionally uplifting day for us with Rosemarie and John. I often feel like what we do through our business is a gift to us. We get to do what we do among joy and love, and that makes it feel nothing like work and continually fuels our passion.

Wishing you passion in your life,

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