11/11 - It was meant to be...

From the moment I arrived at the venue, I could sense the palpable excitement in the air. The venue itself was nostalgic and electrifying — my own wedding reception was still echoing amongst the industrial brick walls and exposed ceilings from three years prior. And in the vein of nostalgia, 11/11 was a personal heartstring. My mother always had a thing with 11/11 (especially 11:11 on the clock). And to this day, 11:11 habitually presents itself to me, giving me the poise and confidence that I'm being watched over in everything I do.

Without further digression, I couldn't help but admire the meticulous attention to detail that had gone into every aspect of the décor as I set up my equipment. From the delicate floral arrangements adorning the tables to the twinkling fairy lighted "LOVE" sign that illuminated the entrance, every element spoke of Dana and Paul's impeccable taste and style.

For you, it was two...

(For me, it was three... but maybe not how you think)

As a wedding photographer, I have the privilege of capturing epic moments of love and joy, but some weddings leave an indelible mark on my heart, and my 2023 wedding finale was one such an event. It wasn't just a celebration of two individuals coming together; it was a testament to the power of love, second chances, and the beauty of blended families.

This particular wedding marked a significant milestone for me — it was my third wedding shoot ever, and, more momentously, it was my first non-friend gig. That, alone, raised the bar of excitement, worry, drive, and fear... all playing equal parts with every click of the shutter and breath I took. Little did I know that it would turn out to be an unforgettable experience that would affirm my love for capturing love stories through my lens.

But what truly made this wedding stand out was the love that permeated every corner of the venue. It wasn't just the love between Dana and Paul — although that was undeniably riveting — it was the love shared between their families, their children, and their closest friends.

Dana, radiant in her stunning drop-shoulder gown, and Paul, beaming in his perfectly pressed suit (I believe I heard a Gen Z-er mention "He's got rizz," but I failed to comprehend...), each getting married for the second time. Three children, apiece, from previous lives, and their journey to this moment had been filled with its fair share of challenges and triumphs. But as I watched them exchange vows amidst tear-filled eyes and heartfelt promises, it was clear that they were meant to be together — a perfect fusion of souls, bound by love and a shared commitment to building a future together.

Throughout the day,

I had the privilege of witnessing countless moments of joy, laughter, and tender affection. From the emotional first look between Dana and Paul to the exuberant cheers that greeted them as they walked down the aisle as husband and wife, every moment was infused with an overwhelming sense of love and happiness.

One of the highlights of the day was the blending of their families—a beautiful symbol of the new chapter they were embarking on together. Dana's and Paul's children, who were similarly aged, embraced each other as siblings from the moment they met. It was heartwarming to see them come together as one big, happy family, united by their love for Dana and Paul.

As the day unfolded, I found myself immersed in the festivities, constantly swiveling in attempts to capture every fleeting moment with my camera. From the emotional speeches that brought tears to many eyes, including mine, to the infectious energy of the dance floor as guests let loose and celebrated late into the night, it was a wedding that overflowed with love, laughter, and joy.

But amidst all the excitement and revelry, there were moments of quiet intimacy that spoke volumes about the depth of Dana and Paul's love and inclusion for their entire family. Whether it was stealing a private moment together during the reception or sharing a tender embrace as they took a breather from the party, their love shone brightly, illuminating the hearts of everyone around them.

And in the end, as I packed up my equipment and bid farewell to the newlyweds and their guests, I couldn't shake the feeling that I had just witnessed something truly special. A real, tangible, familial fusion. It was more than just a wedding — it was a celebration of love in its purest, most powerful form. And I felt incredibly blessed to have been a part of it. Gratitude for being able to witness and capture such a beautiful love story. Gratitude for the opportunity to play a small part in immortalizing the memories of a day that would be cherished for years to come. And above all, gratitude for the reminder that love knows no bounds — that it can transcend age, circumstance, and even distance, to bring two souls together in a bond that is as enduring as it is beautiful.

Dana and Paul —

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for including me in this profound exultation and demonstration of what love truly is. You two are forever my friends, and I cannot be more appreciative to have been a part of your momentous day!

All my best,