just before …

Some of favorite parts of the wedding day are the moments just before the ceremony.

The bride gets into her long, white dress. She catches a glance in the mirror and realizes, almost for the first time, that this is real. She is getting married. Today. The bridesmaids ooh and ahh while they fluff her veil and fasten her shoes. They each declare that she has never looked more beautiful. Because it’s true.

The rings go to the ring bearer, with one final reminder not to lose them. The flowers are put into place as the church wedding coordinator smiles on. She’s witnessed this scene countless times, but it never fails to make her reminiscence about her own wedding day.

The bride’s mother, who has spent the morning finishing all the details to make this day perfect, finally has a moment to catch her breath. As she does, she looks at her daughter, almost for the first time. She can’t believe her little girl is getting married. Wasn’t it just yesterday she was playing dress up in her closet? Mom starts to cry, but they are happy tears.

The bride’s father arrives. He’s been running here and there, fetching this and that … maybe to avoid having to face this moment. He catches a glimpse of her and she takes his breath away. There is a lump in his throat, and he tries to push it away. He’s thrilled for his daughter, but he knows this is the start of a brand new life for her. Someone else will take care of her now. Someone else will wipe her tears and hold her hand. He tries desperately to savor these precious minutes, thinking that if he tries hard enough, he can stop this moment and live in it for just a little while longer.

The groom waits anxiously behind closed doors. A million thoughts are running through his head and they are all the same. Her. Behind him, the groomsmen are laughing about something, but he doesn’t even hear. He is completely and totally fixated on the moment ahead. The doors will open and she will appear, looking even more beautiful than he can imagine. She’ll walk down the aisle and into his arms. Forever.

I’m lucky enough to spend my Saturdays capturing these moments. And every time it’s different. And every time it’s the same.

atlanta wedding photographer

(photo of some just before wedding details from a recent wedding, still waiting to be blogged …)