Nobody sees a wedding in quite the same way as the photographer does.
We spend literally the entire wedding day being the eager observer, combing the entire wedding, moment by moment as if holding a metal detector to time itself to find the gems–those emotionally significant fleeting moments. Then, frame by frame, we go home and relive the wedding at an excruciatingly slow pace, from the first morning coffee to the drunken send off. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent “studying” weddings.
And, to be perfectly frank, I’m not even sure exactly what weddings are. In many cases, the couple already lives together, sometimes with children. Legally they’re often already married (by common-law), and they argue like a well-seasoned spouse. If you ask them a month after their wedding what has changed, they’ll often shrug. Why the big wedding then? Why pay thousands of dollars for this event that puts their nerves on end? What does this wedding do? It’s not totally clear what this wedding thing is. It’s some sort of elaborate ritual, obviously..
I think it’s hard for us ‘modern’ people to understand or even clearly imagine all the religious or spiritual rituals our ancestors did, thousands of years ago.There were rites of all the seasons, of special occasions, of adulthood, there were gods and rituals for marriage, for dying, for fertility, to call the rain, to beg forgiveness, to ask a blessing, to curse a neighbour, to protect a child, a nation, or a crop. In a sense, these are all attempts at a magical ritual: gods are invoked, special words are said by people playing a particular role, there are symbolic gestures, symbolic clothes and foods, and magical tokens such as wands, cups, rings, dolls, statues, books, knives, or bells. I find it interesting that all of these magical rituals seem to have largely disappeared from our culture with the exception of marriage. Something about that ritual is still relevant. I find that really hopeful, given that marriages are (we hope) rituals of love and commitment. So whatever it is, it’s important.
Obviously, the prehistory marriage is different from the medieval marriage, which is different from today’s. One of the freedoms of a 2017 wedding is that you don’t have to do what your ancestors did. Don’t have to invoke the Old Testament sort of stuff, especially if that’s not your narrative–if it’s not your magic.
C & M’s wedding is a real example of doing your own magic, and for this, I admire C & M. I think it not only takes imagination and personality to infuse a wedding with the pieces of your life that provide meaning, but it also takes bravery. The wedding is, in a sense, a declaration: This is who we are.
We hope you enjoy some of our favourite moments from this incredible wedding, that seems to burst with meaning. Deep thanks to C & M.
Venue: Halifax Public Library
Catering: Kitchen Door – http://www.kitchendoor.ca/
Cupcakes: Susie’s Shortbreads – http://www.susiesshortbreads.
Flowers: Paper & Lace Designs – https://www.facebook.com/