Dear Lauren + Sky,

I couldn’t sleep after your wedding. I’m pretty sure it’s your fault.

•••

“There’s no gold at the end of the rainbow,” a stranger hollers after me, her voice trailed by laughter. Albeit, I AM running in high heels down an empty street straight towards a rainbow. But, I’m running to get my camera.

It is Lauren and Sky’s rehearsal dinner. Tomorrow they are getting married. All evening the clouds have been building. The sun nonexistent.

Until now.

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•••

Today started like most Saturdays of my summer do. With quiet, nerves and anticipation. Anticipation of the hours ahead spent with two people who are crazy about each other. A boy and a girl with big infectious laughs. And all the smiles of the loved ones surrounding them, celebrating their crazy love.

Lauren is getting ready in a little cabin that looks like it is sitting on the edge of the world. Through the window, I spy her smile and the pretty amazing leopard PJs she’s getting ready in. She has a vice grip on her phone, and her brow furrows ever so slightly as she checks the weather again. The forecast is grim. Mountain weddings guarantee one thing: unpredictable weather. I’m pretty sure there is bit of a metaphor for marriage there.

There is a feeling of tremendous joy in the room. Lauren’s sister keeps looking over at her, with a calm and expectant face.

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As we walk toward Sky for his first glimpse at her, Lauren’s nervous energy is palpable.

Howie, her pup (who wears a permanent fur suit) sees her and makes a joyous sprint toward her. Lauren’s smile fills her face.

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Big-Sky-Resort-Wedding-Photographer_0014.jpgBig drops of rain plop on the windshield as we drive from Lauren’s cabin to the ceremony. Lauren’s worries are about to be realized.

But that’s it. Just a few hefty drops. And then the sun starts to crawl out of her cloud cave, just minutes before the ceremony starts.

The wedding guests erupt in cheers. I see Sky and the officiant making their way toward the aisle. They’re cheering for the officiant? Sky? And then I see Howie prancing down the aisle. No offense Sky, but Howie’s stealing the show. Just a little.

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I love coaxing Moms and Dads into a little love of their own. Married and together through thick and thin. Look at them all these years later.

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The weather was ominous all day. Then the sun came out just for the ceremony. Back behind the clouds again. And then out again for the most perfect end to the first day of summer. All day Lauren looked to the sky with furrowed brow, concern etched in her eyes. Sky was cool as a cucumber. Now, they’re nothing but smiles.

I guarantee even if it had rained it would have been their perfect day all the same.

They got married.

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•••

Almost 12 hours later, I’m driving the winding, empty roads down the mountain. I’m wide awake with the high that so often comes with being around all these happy people, hearing and sharing their stories. I’ve got achy feet and limbs. I ran up hills, crawled on the ground, even got a little dance in. But, what hurts most is my face. I smiled too much today. (Is that even possible?)

A long time ago, when I was starting out in this crazy “job” I came across some thoughts another photographer shared about what we do. People are always thanking him for what he does. He didn’t get it. It’s the other way around.

Thank you Lauren and Sky.

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