June is wild.
Wedding season has arrived with every ounce of energy it it can muster, and it has a cuss ton of it. Last week alone I attended three weddings, beginning on Sunday the 8th at Gun Lake and finishing it off in Chicago on Saturday, with one in between here in Grand Rapids on Friday.
They were all as different and as lovely as the couples. The wedding on Sunday I spent photographing for a friend from work, which is actually a touch humorous, considering I am in no way a professional photographer. It was also terrifying. I crapped my pants shortly after agreeing to do my friend this favor of capturing lifelong memories of the most important day of her life. Then I wanted to do so again when I woke up the morning of her wedding to see dark clouds and deep puddles everywhere. Thankfully when I arrived to the lake/wedding site at 10 am that morning the clouds had already dispersed and the day turned out to be absolutely perfect. Except for when I broke a lens, but thankfully it was not the one Ryan bought me for Christmas nor was it either of the two lenses I had rented for the weekend. One is forced to find blessings in tragedies as expensive as broken camera lenses. Dan picked Karly up after they were pronounced husband and wife and he carried her down the aisle. Pure magic.
Friday’s wedding was for an old friend who has been in my life since elementary school. There is a group of 20-30 (seriously, I’m not even going to count) who has kept quite close even after our high school days were over. Many are married to each other – high school sweethearts whose relationships survived the odds, and others who we’ve since added to the group. They’re my people. We can move away, make mistakes, be absent from the group activities, forget birthdays, not speak in months, and then when we do all get together, everything is forgotten except that we have been through it all and that is enough to carry our friendships through. It’s a beautiful crew.
and these are just some of the females…
Both the bride and groom that day had wide smiles they couldn’t quit. They would try to give their cheeks a break and couldn’t. It was happiness in its brightest, best fashion. The reception was in an old brick building with antique chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, the tables covered with white linens and decorated with bouquets of baby’s breath and white hydrangeas. Romantic, man. It was freaking romantic.
and seriously…photo booths? Awesome.
The morning after I rode with my parents and two of my sisters down to the Chicago suburbs for my cousin’s wedding. She and I are the same age, but dramatically different. She’s petite, sweet, teaches elementary, and has a heart of solid gold, whereas I’m brash, loud and unorganized. And definitely not petite. Despite our differences, she is my blood to the very heart of the meaning. She is part of me and I of her. She inspires me, and her now husband, Dave, clenched his jaw as she walked down the aisle to hold back his tears and then threw his fist in the air after their “I do’s.”
Hannah and her sisters (that should totally be a movie, right? 😉 )
We stopped in Saugatuck on our way home to soak in the smell of the lake and to eat pizza and ice cream in a waffle cone, and from there I sped north to Ryan’s family cottage where we took a late evening pontoon ride around the lake with a glass of wine.
And now it’s Monday. My schedule is nearly packed with work every night, and part of me wants to quit my job just so I can keep going with this season…but I’m also exhausted. Happily exhausted. My body needs a break from mounds of endless food and bottomless glasses of wine. However, finding that balance of crazy fun and endless work is not my strength, and there’s this idea brewing, wondering, imagining if it didn’t have to be a balance and could, instead, be all wrapped up into crazy fun. Wouldn’t that be what we all hope for?
June is wild. In the best way.
To Dan and Karly, Amber and Jon, and Christine and Dave,
Rachelle Rae was the photographer for Amber and Jon’s wedding, and clearly, she is awesome. Visit her page here