I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it is that you’re actually buying when you book a wedding photographer. It’s a big question but an important one. And one that I’ll be exploring in my ‘monthly muse’ next week.
It got me wondering how my clients feel about their wedding photographs. Not in a typical testimonial or review kind of way. Not just whether they like them or whether they enjoyed having them taken. But rather how the pictures actually make them feel. The thoughts they bring to mind. And the memories that they bring back. Not right away, or even in the first few months, but long after the dust has settled from the wedding. Because that’s what you’re ultimately buying when you pick your wedding photographer.
So here starts ‘One Year On’, a new series of blog features, written by my Brides ♥
This first post is by one of last year’s brides, Sarah.
Sarah, who writes a blog called ‘The Making of a Mrs’ for US magazine Carolina Bride, and her husband Robert travelled to England last March to share a marriage blessing with their UK family and friends.
Robert and Sarah have just celebrated their first wedding anniversary so I invited Sarah to share what her wedding photography means to her one year on.
“Planning an English wedding from America wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done. I knew I wanted a traditional English wedding and I put a lot of planning into making sure those British touches were there. I also placed a lot of emphasis on family and friends, because this event wasn’t only a blessing, it was an opportunity to see people that I hadn’t seen in over seven years. Although our American wedding went by quickly, I knew the rarity of this experience would make this one go by even faster. I was right. The night was over too quickly and now it’s been a full year since our blessing. However, whenever those memories start to feel as though they are slipping from me, I can look at our pictures and see every special moment as clearly as if it just happened.
“There was so much love between Robert and I and the ceremony pictures really show that. In one of my favourite pictures, Sarah caught Robert and I holding hands under the hymn book. Since my husband doesn’t enjoy public displays of affection, that little moment was such an important part of our day. When I saw Sarah had captured that memory, I was ecstatic. Since then, I’ve used that picture in every photo book and photo gallery I’ve made. It was such a small detail, but to me that picture captured how much love we felt. We were so happy that he held my hand all day, despite his dislike of public displays of affection. I’m so thrilled to have that picture and relive the feeling of love and togetherness it brings.
“Alongside the love we felt for each other, our pictures remind me of all the joy we felt at seeing family and friends. The candid shots capture how excited we all were to be face to face again. You can see my mum and her best friend chatting as if they were back in their school days. There are so many pictures of me and my friends that show the same enthusiasm. I particularly love the picture that captured Robert and I meeting my friend’s child. I had never met little Hannah before, but now I have a picture of her giving us a lucky horseshoe for our wedding. It’s such an adorable picture and easily another one of my favourites.
I also value the pictures of me, my mum, and my grandmother as I was getting ready. Having that time with my mum and my grandmother before the ceremony was so special to me. It’s rare that our three generations are all in one room and I’m grateful for the shots of us laughing and chatting away.
“If the memories of family and friends weren’t enough, the pictures of the village and the church take my breath away! While this may make me sound like a tourist rather than a true Brit, I always feel homesick for the English landmarks. Plus, if you’re having a destination blessing, you want reminders of the place the event was held. When I look at the pictures of the stone church, the red phone booths, and the shots of Holdenby House, there is no mistaking where the pictures were taken. They have such a feeling of home for me and I treasure these detailed shots as much as I do the ones of family and friends.
“It may be years before I’m able to go home again and I miss England every day. Yet, looking through our pictures brings back every emotion that our special day inspired. Not only am I left with a feeling of home, but also, a feeling that friends and family are always close by.”
Sarah, thank you so very much for sharing this! I never could have imagined how meaningful your photographs would become. Now that you say it, it’s almost obvious that they should bring back such wonderful memories and feelings, but it’s good to stop and think about the effect photographs can have. Thank you xx
I’d love to know what you think. What do your wedding photos mean to you? Has that changed over time?
And if you fancy writing a guest post for me then I’d love to hear from you!