While Brooke, my hairstylist extraordinaire, was doing Chelsea’s hair before her recent engagement session, I asked her about her availability for an upcoming date for another engaged couple, Victoria & David (pictured above). “They are planning from out of town,” I told her, “so I’m not exactly sure what time yet.” I heard Chelsea chuckle—“You always get the complicated ones, don’t you?” (Chelsea herself is planning a wedding with a fiancé traveling extensively out of town, with post-wedding job situations and even where they will live up in the air.)
I’ve been thinking about that for the last couple of weeks—“the complicated ones.” It does seem that wedding planning is a very demanding time, and a transition that rarely comes alone. Many of the couples I work with are planning a wedding in Dayton from out of town, or applying for jobs all over the country and world, or not sure where they will be after they wed—some are focusing on planning the details of a wedding day and preparing to move to an entirely new place in the days or weeks after.
Sometimes life’s complications are more acute. This year I’ve photographed engaged couples happily welcoming babies—much sooner than expected, and beautiful, and loving families who never got to hold the sweet babes they were expecting. A bride who lost her father just a few short months before the wedding, and a groom who lost his own father just a few short weeks after his own.
In our own little family, we’ve had our share of complications this year, including my car accident. But this year has also been wonderful. I’ve been so incredibly grateful to the friends and family who surrounded us and took care of so many details when I wasn’t able. I’ve witnessed firsthand how all complications, losses, frustrations and tears bring into focus life’s joys, the beauty. And, really, that makes me so much more grateful to do what I do. Life is full of difficult, frustrating, beautiful complications, and I couldn’t be more humbled to capture those moments for other people, exactly as they are.
So yes, I love the “complicated ones.” I’m grateful everyday that people trust me to photograph their messy, complicated, beautiful lives. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
More from Victoria & David’s engagement session at the Museum of the United States Air Force coming soon.