I had the wonderful honor of photographing the wedding of one of my oldest and dearest friends yesterday.
Sara and Brad were married in Sundance, Wyoming, where the couple met. She was a beautiful bride. He was an adorable groom. They were surrounded by their family and several close friends. The whole affair was simple, understated and tasteful.
I loved photographing the details of the details of the day, from Sara’s vintage inspired lace dress and gold-toned hair comb to the bouquet of spring blooms and yellow roses put together by Serendipity Floral and Gifts in Sundance.
But my favorite part of the day was seeing how Sara’s children were involved, not just the during ceremony, but in the entire event. Her 9-year old daughter made the wedding cake and the cupcakes. Her son gave her away. And Brad’s vows talked about how he wanted to be a role model and positive influence in their lives. I know the smile he wore wasn’t just for his bride, but for the entire family he was gaining in the process.
Sara and I have been friends since college. As such, I’ve known her as many things…a cohort in crime, a gambling partner and a best friend. I watched her become a wife and a new mom. Life threw a few curves at her, but Sara tackled them with her usual tenacity and steadfast commitment to her values and ideals. She created a new normal and a new life for her children as a single mom. It was a full life, filled with love and laughter.
And now Brad joins that life, making it richer and perhaps even a little bit stronger. I don’t know him well, but I can see how that he softens Sara. Where she is structured, he is smooth. Where she is by-the-book, Brad is more spontaneous. They are not opposites so much as complements, rounding each other out and setting off the other’s personality in wonderful ways.
Life is beautiful. It is also messy and hard. That duality can leave some of us beaten and bitter. It takes courage to rise up from the mess, to dare to imagine yourself as something different.
I’m so proud of my friend for believing in herself, for rising up and finding happiness again. I am excited to see where this new partnership leads, and what new roles Sara will take on as she, Brad, Madeline and Jameson begin their new journey together as a family.
Take care of her, Brad. She is a treasure, now and for always.