Friday, June 27, 2014

Sophie and Ben in Italy: The Ceremony

Sophie called me months back to ask if I would photograph her wedding. As previously mentioned, she is my cousin.  My throat developed an immediate knot in it. Many emotions all at once. It was very flattering to be asked but I stalled with hesitation for some reason... it made me more nervous than usual.  She hung up and called my other cousin Hannah in panic - "everyone has such high expectations of this wedding! Sarah was actually scared to accept the job!". We were all soon to find out that there was no need for concern that anyone's hopes would be dashed. Sophie and Ben kept their venue a secret. It was somewhere near Florence... that's all we knew. Show up for the bus on the right day, and you would be granted passage to some undisclosed location where none of us were quite sure what to expect. The day before the wedding a lucky few were allowed to see "the spot" and the minute the giant front gate swung open, I knew my own ideas would be exceeded. Surreal was a good way to describe it. The wedding turned out to be at Castello di Vincigliata - (see, a castle atop a Tuscan hillside, surrounded by vineyards with a magnificent view of Florence. The ceremony was in the gardens. I found the sermon to be somber and serious, yet uplifting and heartfelt... the poetry and scriptures read were reflective of the real challenges that a marriage and a life faces and the sometimes hard reality of God's expectations of our relationship... and I felt nearer to the creator when it was finished. That part I wasn't expecting... it was the real surprise of the day for me. And after my initial hesitation it turned out that the wedding was so photogenic that it would have been hard to mess up. God gave us perfect weather and lots of raw emotion. What more could a photographer ask for? I just hope for those that weren't there (my immediate family unfortunately among others missed it) that I was able to capture the essence of what this day was for you to see!

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