An Intimate, Emotional Family Wedding | Southern Maryland Wedding Photographer
I didn’t wake up on April 23rd thinking I was going to photograph my first wedding the following day. Sure, I’d been studying for months in preparation for my first solo wedding season to kick off in June, but there was still so much gear to purchase and lighting scenarios to test.
I wasn’t ready. But today, I had to be.
My grandmother’s health had in decline for awhile, and she made the heartbreaking decision to end treatment and come home under hospice care. With family gathered here in Maryland to help out and say goodbyes, my sister, Taylor, and her fiancé, David, put a wonderful plan in motion.
“What are you doing tomorrow at 2:30?”, she texted me, “David and I are getting married!”
And just like that, a beautiful wedding was planned in less than 18 hours’ notice, all so that our sweet Momo could be there to witness it.
The ceremony took place right in Momo and Pawpaw’s living room, with the guest of honor front and center. Family friends moved mountains to bake cakes, arrange flowers, decorate the room, and arrange for a judge to come and perform the ceremony. And there I was, trying my best to photograph it while wiping tears out of my viewfinder.
I arrived just as Taylor was getting into the dress she’d purchased at Ross the night before. She looked beautiful – if anyone could pull off looking wedding-ready in 18 hours, it’d be my sister.
Her jewelry was borrowed from Momo, and Taylor and David exchanged my grandparents’ rings during the ceremony. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house as they promised forever in front of a handful of witnesses.
It rained for much of the day, but the skies let up a bit just as the ceremony ended. We sneaked away for a few bridal portraits beside a beautiful tree in my grandparents’ development.
I couldn’t imagine a better person for Taylor than David. He is endlessly kind and supportive, and completely adores Taylor. Amidst all the sadness of the past several weeks, creating these images with my sister and brother-in-law (!!!) was truly a moment of brightness.
We laughed and played in the rain, and they were so smitten with each other that I think they almost forgot I was there.
When we went back inside, Pawpaw toasted the couple with a simple yet powerful wish: that they would be as happy as he had been. We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying each other’s company and visiting with our sweet Momo. She passed away a few days later, and is so very missed.
Taylor and David will still have their wedding as scheduled later this year, so that David’s family and other guests may celebrate with them as well. I have a feeling we’ll never forget how incredibly special this day was, though. Thank you both for including me, and congratulations!