When I had my “month-out” call with Ashley and Sean for their Assembly Room, Baltimore Maryland Wedding, I asked them how they were feeling. September 12, 2021 was their third wedding date. Technically forth if you count the fact that they were legally married before a judge in the winter. “It doesn’t feel real yet” Ashley said as she looked down at the wedding band on her finger. Sean gave her a bewildered look “What do you mean!? Feels real to me already.” They both laughed, the conversation moved on, but I kept thinking about why they had different reactions to their courthouse wedding.
For most couples, we experience the legal marriage and the religious or ceremonial wedding more or less at the same moment. Close enough that we don’t always have time to note the difference. Ashely and Sean did, and I suspect that is why they had slightly different views.
Sean seemed to be reacting to the structure, formality of the vows. The binding promise he made. To be clear- I know Ashley also felt that too but what she was articulating was the power of saying those vows in front of others. In fact, not just any “other” but in front of the people that mean the most to them. Their closest friends and family.
There is a reason we say our vows in front of people in an elaborate ceremony. It adds extra power to declare things out loud- a public statement; “I love this person, I will spend the rest of my life, no matter how life twists and turns, with this person, loving the forever. Even when its hard- forever.” In a lot of weddings, there is often a line indirectly or directly telling those present, “Will you present support this couple on their marriage journey?”
As a photographer, I also really loved their clarity of vision for their images and I will now forever use them as a case example. Ashley and Sean modeled for me at a styled shoot that had a very different vibe than their wedding. The styled shoot was bright, airy and outdoors. Their wedding is industrial, moody, and full of shadows and dark corners. All their inspiration was from “dark and moody” photographers. We talked to be 100% they understood how my style is different (remember we can’t change our style). And Ashley said something that every photographer longs to hear “We love your style. We also like the dramatic and intimate posing you do. We want YOUR version of dark and moody.” Woah. Talk about feeling seen. What is my version of dark and moody? An intentional play with the shadows. Embracing the darker backgrounds. Romantic, bold posing. Accurate skin tone editing (not overly orange). Is this my normal style? No but oh my gosh did I have so much fun getting a chance to shoot a little differently and bring their vision to life.
Photography | Silver Orchard Creative
Venue | The Assembly Room
Wedding Planner | Everything But The Vows
Hair Artist | Lucja Bridal Hairstylist
Make-Up | AMG Experience
Florist | Willow Oak Flower & Herb Farm
Officiant | Rev. Sarah Hamilton
DJ | Disc Jockeys Now
Caterer | Eleven Courses Catering
Stationary | Donatello Design (The Bride’s Own Creation)
Rentals | Select Event Group
Harpist | Erin Baker Harpist
Photobooth | Instant Photo Box
Indian Dance Company | Umiverse Dance Company