On June 7th I (Kara) was able to travel to Alberta and shoot my friend Colleen’s wedding with our friend Amanda. We all met in photography school and it was a complete honor to be there with them. I’m so happy to have kept in touch with them both over the years, and was so excited to be able to be a part of Colleen’s wedding and to have an awesome shooting partner like Amanda.
Oh where oh where do I begin?
Some girls dream of their wedding day their whole life. Some dream of the details, like the cake, the colour of the frosting, the centrepieces and the types of flowers in their bouquet. Some dream of what song they will walk down the aisle to, what their dress will look like, which friends will stand beside them. Most dream of who will be waiting at the end of that aisle, ready to begin this journey through life with them. No girl dreams of beginning her day quite how Colleen did the day she married Matthew.
I’ve photographed many weddings over the last 10 years, and not one has begun quite like this. Amanda and I awoke early on Saturday, June 7th, excited to start our day. We were excited to work together, and even more excited to work with Colleen on her wedding day. As I arrived at the house early to take my place in the line up for the shower, I was greeted with not so happy news. Colleen was sick, and not the wedding jitters kind of sick, but the kind of sick that was going to throw this day for a loop. A big one.
Colleen managed to make her way to town with her bridesmaids, and managed to sit in the salon chair long enough to get her hair done. From there, we visited a place no bride wants to be on her wedding day; the emergency room. Colleen was so lucky to have a nurse as a bridesmaid who knew just what she needed, but after trying relentlessly to find it for her without going to the hospital, we were forced to reluctantly enter those waiting room doors. I’m not sure the doctor expected what he got that morning, and many on staff remarked that this was their first time seeing a bride get her make up done in the E.R. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and Colleen was determined to get married that day. After an hour of fluids and some other treats to get Colleen feeling well enough to walk down the aisle, we were off.
From there the day went on, but not without it’s ups and downs. The sun did shine, and the girl did marry her prince, the i do’s were spoken, the scripture was read, the hymns were sung, and the man kissed his bride. There were moments of complete happiness as Matthew’s grandfather pronounced them man and wife, and moments of sadness as Colleen shivered in the wind trying to muster up enough energy to stand for family photos. There were tears of joy as they hugged family and friends in the receiving line, and tears of sorrow as Colleen’s dad gave his speech, stating that he’d do anything to be sick that day rather than Colleen. It was an emotionally filled day, as every wedding day is, and then some.
And now, four weeks later, the couple has had some time to digest the day that they were wed. They will know now, even more than they did then, that it’s not about the day. It’s about the days, weeks, months and years that will follow. Their wedding day may not have been everything they’d ever dreamed of, but it set the tone of their marriage, and it’s a good one. That day they promised to love each other for better, for worse, in sickness and in health, and that test began then and there. Matthew stood by Colleen, waiting patiently, attentive and caring, and willing to do anything to help. Colleen was loving even in her misery, determined and full of strength, not willing to give up despite feeling so unwell. These characteristics are what will not only get them through their marriage but will carry them on to a life of happiness and true joy with each other, and that is something to be cherished.
Colleen and Matthew, it was an honour to spend this day with you. It was so great to be able to document this day for such a great friend, and WITH another great friend shooting beside me! Amanda and I are lucky to have had a part in your history. I look forward to coming to visit you in Duck Lake, and Matthew I’m thankful that you’ve brought Colleen many miles closer to us in Manitoba!