I was up until 4 am Wednesday night finishing editing, uploading, and sharing these images. I have to say, I am honestly nervous about posting them publicly.. Something about it seems so unsafe, and makes me feel so vulnerable. Like you put your heart and soul into something, to then put it in the hands of people who may not have the kindest response to it is kind of intimidating, especially considering this is the very first wedding I have ever photographed. I have done hair and makeup for countless brides and bridal parties over the years, and I have worked beside the photographer many many times, but this was the first time I actually did both! (Yes, I did her hair and makeup too...) So yes, I am slightly nervous about putting it all out there. I did put so much into this entire process. Time, elbow grease, heart, and soul. From the actual day of the wedding, to the editing process, I had my work cut out for me. Not to mention that combined between my wonderful friend, Jason Langevin (who came to second shoot for me), and myself, I had over 2500 images to sort through, choose, and edit. I never realized how much work goes into photographing a wedding, and I have to say, I learned sooooo much from this experience. Yes, I learned how difficult certain lighting situations can be during an outdoor wedding on a bright sunny day in late June, and how quickly the moments fly by that you barely have time to think about the settings on your camera(which is why it is so important to know your shit!). I also learned some new little techniques and work flow tips in the editing process which I know will prove beneficial to me in the future. But I also learned some things that go beyond the craft of photography.
I was reminded of how true love, and solid relationships(family or otherwise) are irreplaceable and should never be taken for granted. I was reminded that distance can never hurt a true friendship. True love and friendship goes beyond miles, beyond oceans. I was shown what we, as human beings, can accomplish when we come together and work TOGETHER. Watching Dayna and Scott and their two families and all of their friends come together on this incredible family compound in Wardsboro, Vermont to build, cook, create, and put into fruition a day that Dayna and Scott had dreamed of was so inspiring.
We arrived around 9:30 that morning and the house was already in full swing. We watched, with a lens covering one eye of course, everyone playing their parts. Dayna's brother making the music playlists, grandmas, moms, aunts, and uncles bustling away cooking EVERYTHING for the party of 120+, the bridesmaids wrapping silverware, and the dads and groomsmen moving logs and setting tables and chairs. The cake arrived from Montpelier in a friends car just an hour before the ceremony and still had to be iced! So my amazing friend Patrick Langevin, (who was also the wedding coordinator), took up the task without hesitation, even though he had NEVER frosted a cake before in his life. My dear dear friend from childhood, who also happens to be Patrick's sister and Jason's wife, volunteered to 'man' the DJ station. And everything unraveled beautifully. I mean, it was seriously perfect.
And then of course, there were Dayna and Scott. Just to be able to see the joy on their faces as people rolled up the driveway from all over the world was a privilege. They had friends from Ireland, Costa Rica, California, and elsewhere all came in for the big day. And the love that they continued to gently exude for one another throughout the day.. without direction. Words could not describe it. Just honest, beautiful, magical love. It was magical. And I'm not just saying that. It was. A wedding is a magical, beautiful, special time and the images that a couple gets after that day shouldn't just consist of perfectly lit, posed family photos(although those are important too). They should tell the story. They should capture the truth. They should bring tears to our eyes as we flip through them because they transport us right back to that very place over and over again. This is what I was aiming for. This is what we set out to achieve that hot Vermont morning in June.
I received this in an email back from Dayna yesterday morning after I sent her the gallery, and my heart almost burst. I think this is why people love doing this. It's all right here;
"...So I am half way through the set up and I am crying. Just wanted you to know that I can't even describe the personal touch that you have. The shots capture everyone's heart and you didn't even know them. They are so special...."
My heart was so full of joy that day. And again as I have relived the moments through the editing process, I am reminded of all of that love. I am reminded of its beauty, its magic, and its power.. which is why I know I HAVE to share these images, regardless of how vulnerable it makes me feel.
Thank you, Dayna and Scott for inviting me to be a part of telling this story. Thank you for believing in me and my vision. I wish you both not just the best in life, but the strength to stick through the crappy parts too, to come out on the other end better and stronger and happier. This is love. xo
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photography: Jennifer Marcuson and Jason Langevin
image editing: Jennifer Marcuson
all images copyright of Jennifer Marcuson: the artist