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February 22, 2017
Over the past year or so I’ve read some interesting commentary regarding what soon-to-be married couples should prioritize within their wedding budget. These articles gave some interesting statistics on the cost of weddings, and interesting thoughts on what services are worth their money to spend on their wedding days (Yes, I am using the word “interesting” intentionally. Let’s call that being “diplomatic.”). There was one article in particular that I really took to heart, not only as a wedding planner, but as a past bride. This article told a wide audience of blushing brides that professional wedding photography was expendable, and that having friends share pictures on social media and laying disposable cameras on the guest tables would be good enough coverage for their wedding days. I don’t ever want to knock down the power of social media. I LOVE sharing photos there with my family and friends. And disposable cameras, although most don’t use them anymore, used to be my favorite way to take pictures of all the passing moments in life as a kid (now we have fancy phones for that). But let me set the record straight–wedding photography is different. It’s not just a fleeting, passing moment that these professionals are taking pictures of. They’re capturing a lifetime of joy, beautiful memories, generations of love stories, and real and raw emotions all within the course of 8 to 10 hours. With every shutter of the lense, they tell a unique love story. From the stunning and well thought out details, to the heirloom lace passed on from generation to generation, to the look on your father’s face knowing that this sweet little girl he once held in his arms is being passed on to the arms of the love of her life, and then the nervousness, excitement, and tears on the couple’s faces knowing how big a commitment they are about to make to each other. These photographers have the ability to see so much more than the average human eye can see. These people capture our lives, our hearts, our hurts, our joys, our sorrows in a way we never thought anyone could. These professional photographers are able to see us in a way that we would never be able to see ourselves, otherwise.
As a professional wedding planner, I’ll never tell you not to be smart about your budget. Definitely find a photographer that fits not only your wedding budget, but your style, and clicks with both of your personalities. But hire a professional wedding photographer, please! Before I was a wedding planner, I was a clueless bride. I had no idea what I was looking for, where to start, who to hire, how much to spend. I just knew I loved the color pink, and Josh loved the colors black and grey. But soon we knew we needed to make other arrangements and hire other wedding professionals. We found the perfect venue, I found the perfect wedding dress, I got all my bridesmaids on board, hired amazing musicians, made the perfect menu, and so on and so forth. But we waited to find a photographer because we weren’t exactly sure what we were looking for. Without going into much detail, we ended up having quite a few bumps and bruises on the road to finding the right professional photographer for us, but a few months before the wedding, we found Lindsay of Lindsay Fauver Photography. We instantly clicked. She understood our vision, our love story, invested time in getting to know us and our sweet puppy (Nina was about 4 months old at the time), and captured it all so beautifully. From the sweet moments I spent with my bridesmaids getting dressed, to the moment my mother-in-law told her only child how much she loved him and how proud she was of him, to the moment my dad walked me down the aisle, and I pledged my life to the one person who matters most to me in this entire world, and all the joy that lasted thereafter that day. But there was one picture Lindsay took that threw me for a loop and made me burst out in tears when we received our wedding gallery. This one.
That beautiful woman smiling so brightly and holding a cane while walking to her seat at the start of our wedding ceremony is my beautiful mother, Carla Jones. And what’s so significant about this image is that it captures a major victory in the life of our family. You see, in 2010, my mother was diagnosed with Brain Cancer, and 6 months before our wedding day, we received some news that because of the way the tumor was growing, she may never be able to walk again. But my mother said, “No. I will walk into my daughter’s wedding.” And so she went through six months of grueling physical therapy several days a week, did her exercises at home, and by the grace of God, she walked proudly down the aisle into the sanctuary where my soon-to-be husband greeted her and told her how much he loved her. I remember telling Lindsay that background story once, but didn’t think she would remember. But obviously she did, and she captured this moment of so much pride for my mom, for our family, and for everyone in attendance. And a few years later, when mom passed away, and my family sat on that very pew at her funeral where she once stood on my wedding day, I remembered this photo and found so much comfort in knowing how beautiful a life she lived, and how beautiful a woman she was. Lindsay made this moment happen with the shutter of a lense. I hadn’t known Lindsay all that long, but she captured our life so beautifully that day, and made a lasting imprint that has allowed Josh and I to remember, each day, why we fell in love in the first place. And as we progressed in our marriage and had our baby boy, James, these photos have made an imprint in his life, too. Each morning I carry this sweet boy through the halls of our home, and he stops at each of our wedding day canvases that Lindsay gave us and says, “Mama! Dada!” And for us this is a major reminder of how much our love has grown over the years–the joys and sorrows we’ve shared, how much Josh has lifted me up and been my anchor through thick and thin, and how our love created not one, but two sweet little lives. Years from now we’ll look back at those pictures and reflect on our lives together, and remember how joyful every moment of that day was. You see, wedding photography is not just a beautiful reminder of what things once were, but it’s an eye opening light into all the joy that is to come in your lives together.
So I ask you, no…I’m begging you, sweet brides and grooms, please don’t let those moments pass you by. Hiring the right professional photographer will be one of the greatest investments, not only for your wedding day, but for your entire lives. Moments are fleeting, but joy is priceless, and your photographer will make sure each and every precious second on your day is captured so that your joy is carried on and felt for generations to come.
All images in this post were taken by our amazing wedding photographer, Lindsay Fauver.
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