23. That's the number of couples in my world who's wedding plans were drastically altered by the 2020 pandemic. Many rescheduled until next year. Some cancelled the big wedding and held an intimate family celebration instead. Several split the difference, having a tiny wedding this year with a big affair planned for later. All the others, like my wonderful Mariam and Daniel, stayed on course (albeit with a lot fewer guests) and had the loveliest little wedding in the world!
The very best thing about this wedding was the ever-present elation! The day was beautiful, and beginning to end the mood was light and happy! And rightly so. Let's just say that a medical-student-bride planning a wedding with a medical-resident-groom after a four-year engagement during an international pandemic can be, hmmm, what's the word? Oh yeah, stressful. Yet when all was said and done, their wedding day was anything but!
After being pampered and made wedding-day beautiful by stylist Mimi Kuang, and armed with gorgeous florals by Stylish Stems, Mariam donned her princess-perfect wedding gown and hopped on a golf cart for some pre-ceremony photography on the lush grounds surrounding Country Club of the South, where the wedding would later take place.
With an early start to the day plus an onsite villa for getting ready, there was plenty of time to have fun.... And wow, did they ever! Yo Christian is an insanely talented wedding photographer who isn't afraid to step outside the box and direct shots that will live on not only as super fun memories of the day, but also as works of art that will likely hang on the walls in her couples' homes.
One of the reasons I love Yo so much is that in her mind there is no such thing as status quo. She puts everything she shoots in an unexpected radiance that bursts with light and joy, while capturing the in-between moments of tensity and emotion with equal panache.
After the picture-perfect ceremony where Perfect on cello during the processional made me cry, the reception for fifty was just right. Seated and served is par for the course in 2020, and the cuisine was spectacular! Then the dancing kicked off and Mike Wells had a dance floor (semi) full of (nicely spaced) guests throwing it down all night long! SO much fun!
But then they really got me. The tears, that is. After the bouquet toss, we were winding down toward the last dance, and on came the sumptuous duet version of Perfect... the end tying right back to the beginning in such a luscious and meaningful way. I glanced over and saw the bride and groom swaying in each other's arms, face to face, gazing at one another and just so happy! It wasn't their First Dance. It was just their own private moment. I wiped my tears and with a nod I realized just how perfect this wedding really was. After so long, after so much uncertainty and no small amount of anxiety, this moment for them was so richly deserved. It's one I'll not soon forget.
I'll never hear the song Perfect again without being filled with gratitude for what we all experienced that day. For my couple, the deeply rooted connection to each other, and to family and friends. And for myself and my colleagues, a day full of what we all love so passionately - working together in harmony to bring about and celebrate happiness for a bride and her groom.
All images by Grapefruit Photo
Wedding film coming soon. Scott Belanger Films