My right hand was hurting. I could feel the uncomfortable pull of muscle in the meat of the palm along its outer edge.
I started to worry a little. I am a worrier. That’s what I do; I worry.
“What is this?” I ask myself, wondering what injury could have happened as my attentions were focused elsewhere. “Why does my hand hurt?”
Then I notice the readout of my camera’s data card: “1,300.”
“Thirteen hundred photographs!” I blurted as my husband stealthily slipped a third piece of cake from the serving table. “Holy crow, that’s the most I’ve ever shot at one event in my entire life!”
He was a little startled by the outburst but managed to save the creamy slice of Persian Love Cake — garnished with sugared rose petals — from toppling over and falling to the ground.
“Don’t do that,” he chided drolly. “You could have made me drop the cake, and that would have been a REAL tragedy.”
We were at the wedding of a friend. It was the first time we’d been alone together – without children – for an entire day in years. But we were still kind of separate. I was “working” as the official photographer and he was “working” to ensure as many morsels of food were tested for possible contamination as courteously possible.
“I want to make sure there’s enough for everyone,” he joked as he sampled the rich dessert from my plate. “Mmmmmmm, cake.”
I laughed and plucked a petal from his plate with my good hand.
I’ve been photographing weddings semi-professionally for years, but I never really thought about how different each one is from another, especially since most of the circumstances that bring two people together seem identical. Even the progression of events from first blush to old hat seems utterly predictable:
Boy meets girl; boy loses girl; boy gets girl back; boy proposes; girl rejects him; boy ignores girl, proposes again; she accepts; they set the date … and then all hell breaks loose.
Because in between the moment that true love is understood and the moment in which an officiate declares them to be husband and wife there are so many tiny details an otherwise happy couple can trip over. The whos, wheres, how muchs not withstanding, there’s also the whos will sit wheres; and the what colors will we use for the thing-a-ma-jigies on the tables; and the where should we registers, and how do we tell people where we registered once we have; not to mention the who’s going to catch the llamas if the flower girl drops the lead line as she pilots the wooly beast down the aisle?
Ok. Most folks don’t have to worry about that last one, but it was a logistical concern this couple had to figure out.
Months of stress over one day can rock any relationship. And, put in those terms, perhaps one might understand, if not applaud, the desire of some couples say their wedding vows in Vegas.
I’d always thought that’s what I’d do if the lie I always told myself — that I’d NEVER get married; that I’d NEVER have kids — didn’t pan out; I’d elope.
But I didn’t elope and I’m glad my friend didn’t either.
It just seems weddings, for all their headaches and expense, are the surest sign of hope we can share with hundreds of our closest friends and family.
Of course now with 1,300 captured moments to whittle down to a manageable number, I have to spend the next year processing my gift to the happy couple. Ah well, at least the llamas will keep it interesting and I’ll always remember that cake.