Tindered.. as in Tinder. The dating app. Yes, that one, that's the one that began this amazing cross-continental romance. Brian said the ultimate-- he was in love with this woman in a tinder photo, her head tossed back with a broad laugh written all over her. We should all want to be loved so purely from one unposed moment of us being ourselves. I was smitten with Ana as soon as I met her, too. Maybe it was the dress. I see so many beautiful white gowns.. and usually they are brides who are hot as Hades. But Ana was hot and she was wearing a two piece vintage creation in lace and coral, cream and tan sort of thing. I teased I was in love, to which she said, oh well, I'm not married yet.
Which is super cute, but the truth was she was already married. When Ana and Brian began chatting, she lived in Brazil, while Brian was somewhere around here in the good ol' USA. I forget what Brian does, but Ana was working for an airline, and as such they were both really, really busy. Too busy for a typical first meeting. A case like that means you sometimes are forced to do the unthinkable-- meet between connecting flights in the same airport!
It was kismet. Somehow they found time for one another after that and a couple years later, a first wedding in Brazil, followed by a civil ceremony in the states and then-- lucky me!-- a gorgeous wedding on the Wrightsville beach!
I loved a lot about this wedding, not the least was when Brian said, during his thank you speech, that they planned the beach wedding much like he has lived his life, evaluating what he stood to lose by not taking a chance more than the loss if played safe. Might it rain? Oh, but, they said to each other, might the sun shine down on us as we giggle close, the ocean whispering back our vows to us-- gulls, shells, the heat of sand-- all mirroring and echoing at amazing chances in this world.
Like the chance that love exists.
After the beach wedding, we did beach family portraits. The breeze was sweet and the sun was fierce, and me.. well, maybe I am a bit devious but I was happy when the waves crashed into the sibling picture, and all laughed and fought to stay dry. There's nothing sweeter than shaking up the posing people do-- how rare it is in wedding photography to see true character emerge, and often it takes something like the ocean to free us from ourselves.
Now.. the reception was just a dancing frenzy all night. From choreographed to tango to tossing people in the air to MJ, etc.. The groom threw a fancy whisky over his shoulder to the gents and the bride did a ring pull for all the singles, and I have to tell you all that these things were WAY more crowd pleasing then tossing flowers and garters. Turns out, lots of people don't even want to get married these days (I don't believe it but that's how they act, not even trying to catch!) but you offer whiskey and real jewelry, suddenly everyone's an athlete.
There was another interesting moment... when someone encouraged two children to have their faces smashed into the cake. I was about to die inside, because cake is My Thing, you know.. eating it. When it was decided they WOULD smash their faces in the cake (our darling bride was on a table demanding it at that point) I had the wherewithal to tell the coordinator to move the décor off it's top. Thank goodness! No one lost an eyeball, so... after a few other people decided to nibble on the part that wasn't smushed to hades, I did too. It was a damn fine cake.
My existential moments aside, I had a long drive home to ponder this wonderful, rich wedding. I regret never knowing the rest of the story, and as this couple doesn't live near me, I guess I won't have the luxury of knowing how many gorgeous children they have, or where their travels take them, or what happens in lives with love like that. And maybe that's ok, because I can still dream.
Congratulations Ana and Brian, and please keep in touch!