Electric pink bougainvilleas in absolute bloom, crawling towards the front door, like a banner of beauty extending to the day, like springtime came just for them. Light-splitting crystals like heavenly rain from the chandelier overhead, she sat under the sky of refracting diamonds, but none as precious as the one on her hand, the hand that rested on those dainty legs crossed. She tried her best to keep her lips from quivering, while the makeup artist painted them a shade of rose. My G0d– she looked breathtaking, a muse for any artist, a sight that made you want to shake a stranger while shouting LOVE IS ALIVE!!!!! And Loooord, how my heart ran hard for her mama, who sat a few feet away getting her own hair primped, her baby just a quick tear inducing glance away. I wondered what it’s like to see the one you’ve poured your life into, so unmistakably loved and in love. It just has to be the best feeling under the stars, better than a million summer vacations, more fulfilling than your own love story even… knowing your baby girl found joy like this.
My camera trailed every flickering memory unfolding.
Amber’s blonde curls fell onto her bare back as she stepped into a wedding gown. With the help of a little window light, her maid of honor fixed a bow out of her sash, and when all was secured– Amber enthusiastically clapped and then both arms shot straight in the air– she gave us the kind of silent tah-dahhhhh that’d make any stranger clasp their hands, bend at the knees, and belly laugh. It was just that quintessential of a moment. She spun a few times round, smile uncontainable, and it made me so damn excited for Mark– to have found a woman who this radiantly, joyfully, desires to be all his. He just must feel like THE MAN.
And then it made me wonder how to preserve this… this, whatever it is that makes you swear your whole life to another. Because that’s what this was all about– right? All the flowers, songs chosen, the vows, all the guests and feasting and drinking, all of it was just a metaphorical raised glass to, HELL YEAH I WANT THIS FOREVER. But how, how to hold onto this feeling, the feeling that assures you that you lack nothing?
I mean obbbviousssly it has to do with the disciple of commitment, THAT’S BASIC, but I think commitment can be re-inspired by memory and memory can re-inspire feeling. Because I swear if they could only remember how alive they felt as they kissed and danced on the streets of Laguna Beach, if they could forever remember how sure they were that there is truly not another they’d rather wake up next to– their days would only grow with desire for each other. They would continually grow in radical desire to prefer one another over themselves. They would save their best not for strangers, not for co-workers, not for even friends– but for each other. Because they would remember that the pay off of any sacrifice made for each other is stupid-good. They’d remember what it feels like to see in each other’s eyes how awesome it is to show someone they are worth it, whatever it is.
Whether it be by reading old love notes from each other, whether it’s by reminiscing over the first picture ever taken together, whether it’s by the retelling of stories by your best friends about that night you first met, whether it’s by a wedding video, the revisiting of vows– whether it’s by praying for God to help you remember the butterflies you felt before falling to your knee asking her to marry you, whether its by listening to YOUR SONG over and over with the windows down on 405, 0r by the both of you laughing on the kitchen floor remembering your first inside jokes, I hope you take the time to remember. Because although you are young, you are wise. And to me, young love isn’t dumb. I’d argue it’s the smartest kind. Young love is pure, not jaded or cracked or compromised, it’s brilliant and passionate and comes from a place deep within that is still connected to childlike dreams.
So I guess what I’m charging your love to is simple…. To not forget. To not let the world diminish the awesomeness of your story. To not let a tired mind remember it as less than it is. To not let people or lust or greed or distraction allow you to question the genuineness of what you once found, to not second guess the maddening affection that made you utterly addicted to each other in the beginning.
Because what I saw in you, what we all see in you, is love that’ll take you all away. Love that’ll be its best in twenty, thirty, fifty years. Love that breathes life into your bones, will make you stop mid sentence for a kiss, love that reminds you how perfect God has been to you, a love that on May 31 was celebrated really well-
a love, that honestly, lacks nothing.
RAVES & THANKS:
Photography: Whitney Darling Photography
Cinematography: Central Studios
Ceremony: San Francisco Solano Catholic Church
Reception: Surf & Sand, Laguna Beach
Florals: The Bloomin’ Gypsy
Second Shooter: Cory Kendra Photography