Fall 2017 wedding season is officially in the books! And I’m officially a married lady! This season of my life has come with some of my highest highs to some of my lowest lows and it was a reminder of what being human really feels like. I started out the season unexpectedly having to come home to Niceville for my beloved grandpa’s funeral. That week was a blur of tissues, family gatherings, white flowers, black dresses, heels that pinched, pouring over hundreds of pictures to find a good one of him, and final goodbyes. It’s different when you go to a funeral and you aren’t close with the person who passed away. But my grandpa and I were very close.
And as I turned the page on that chapter of my life, William and I began a new chapter as husband and wife. We were married in a private ceremony in Oregon on October 17th in a place that looks like a painting, Smith Rock State Park. I’ll be doing a whole series on our wedding and showcasing our incredible wedding vendors’ work. But suffice to say, our wedding day was a dream come true.
This season of my life taught me several lessons that I want to share with you:
Lesson One: Family First.
In the wedding industry, it’s very easy to get caught up in the prettiness of it all. The flowers, the dress, the sweet words. But I don’t just show up on a wedding day and hope everything will run smoothly. My clients and I work together on timelines, family formal shot lists, color palettes, and so much more. My weekly schedule usually includes at least 3 client meetings with current clients to help them with the logistics of their wedding, and I ADORE this part of my job. But when my grandpa passed away I realized that my family time is precious and not something I’m willing to give away. This is something I think all of us can get caught up in with how busy the world is. So I challenge you to go spend some quality time with your family. Bring out the old photo albums and look through pictures. Cook a family recipe together. Play a board game. Talk without any screens.
Lesson Two: Preparation is the Key to Elegance.
I read that somewhere recently and it really stuck with me. If you are prepared, you can handle anything with grace and elegance. Before my busy season started, I spent the month of September prepping blog posts, personal wedding websites, and galleries. It took me several weeks but because I had all of these workflow items done ahead of wedding season, I have been able to stay ahead of my editing and delivery schedule the entire season. This applies to other areas of our lives too. If you know that your holiday season is going to be busy, are there things you can do ahead of time to make things easier on your future self?
Lesson Three: There is Only One You.
In the wedding industry there are millions of wedding photographers. Of those millions, there are probably 500,000 who love coffee and shoot light and airy images. Of those light and airy photographers there are probably 100,000 who have held a camera since they were a baby and “they just love love!”. There’s a few thousand of those who have a cute dog(with an instagram of course). But there is no one else in the world just like you. I fall into a few of those categories, but those are not the things that make me who I am. This lesson hit me because I occasionally get inquiries who are just looking for any old wedding photographer. They don’t care about that I will know their grandparent’s name, or their favorite date night movie, or how he proposed in Italy at your patron saint’s church. They just want a photographer. In a world filled with comparing ourselves to everyone else, remember that there will never be another individual exactly like you with your experiences and your potential.
I hope you can take something away from this post. There are busy seasons of our life and there are slower seasons. Both have their purposes and both have their lessons.
If you haven’t recently checked out my blog, there are a TON of new weddings posted!