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Personal Post: What is a "Wedding Hangover?"

fine art photography in Durango, CO

We just finished our only double header of 2016 and I feel all kinds of things right now. We fondly named today on our calendar “do not talk do not move day” It’s funny how two days of running around creating photos makes things hurt that you didn’t realize could hurt. We call it a "wedding hangover" and here's why:

My fingers are numb and sore from holding my camera. My body feels weak and depleted from the intense heat of this past weekend. I have shooting pains in my feet no matter what I do. My head aches and my shoulders feel like throbbing rocks. My eyes are bleary and thinking is really tough right now. Even typing these words is complicated-I’m switching the letters in just about every word.

I’m also emotionally tired. I forewarned Stephen that “Do-not-talk-do-not-move-day” may also involve crying for ridiculous reasons. And he chuckled, hugged me and said “it’s okay, babes. Cry when you need to cry.” And so as we watched a couple toured dream homes in Italy on HGTV, I cried. Seriously. And it’s probably going to happen again today!

Yes, my body, mind, and heart feel worn to the bone. But more than that, I feel a sense of pride. I worked my butt off for couples I truly care about. I worked hard to thoughtfully create images that represented both the actual events and also the feel of their day. I observed joy, family bonds, and unspeakable love, and I worked with my beloved husband to help them remember that in coming years.

It was in the 90’s with high humidity this past weekend. There were times I was very concerned about heat exhaustion and watched to make sure Stephen was sweating (there was a point he stopped sweating and I got worried). But as I watched families sitting together, sweating together, and laughing at how they were working to keep cool, I photographed them. I photographed the man using his girlfriend’s clutch as a fan, the woman sharing her handheld fan with her table, and the sweet group who kept insisting that I get water before the heat got the better of me. 

In times like this, I saw that the people celebrating with each sweet couple were truly good people. They didn't know me from the next person, yet they cared for me. I photographed the Mother of the bride who chased me down during cocktail hour with water and said “I found the coldest water bottles I could. Please make sure you drink these!” and I photographed the sweet bridal parties who bore the heat out of their deep love for the couple they were there to support.

As I watched tearful toasts and family embraces, I remembered that these stories and these memories are why I do this. I don’t photograph weddings for a shot list (noooooo, thank you!!) or for my portfolio. I’ll do that stuff on my own time. I do this because I care about these stories.

As I watch how people love each other, I’m constantly humbled by their love and find myself learning about sacrifice, care, and passion from these couples who choose us. Please keep choosing us. You bring so much light to our lives.