Othel and I agree. Wedding photography is near the top of our list in work that brings us satisfaction and enjoyment. The occasion is almost always festive, the participants jovial, and the ceremonies and receptions well-planned and well-orchestrated.
Over the years we've had the privilege of locking those special memories on paper. I realize now that I should have been keeping a journal just on weddings because we haven't kept count or remembered all the moments that have slipped past memory.
I do recall ring bearers practicing rope tricks with their ring pillows, brides tripping over their trains, dads tripping over the brides' trains, wedding rings rolling around the feet of the wedding party, lock-kneed groomsmen falling headlong into the choir section, accompaniment tapes breaking during a solo, floral arrangements catching on fire, a punch bowl packed with red punch breaking apart, and flower girls making U-turns in church aisles.
From observing files of weddings, we also feel qualified to pass on some advice: never trust groomsmen, avoid toddlers in tuxedos and taffeta (always cute but always unpredictable), count on at least one attendant to arrive late, keep candles away from floral arrangements and low ceilings, give up on comfortable patent shoes for groomsmen, provide a nursery, expect makeup and hair styling to last longer than anticipated, and keep vows in short phrases.
We've heard nervous brides and grooms struggle through vows, get tongue-tied and make all manner of unintelligible promises. It wasn't a bride or groom that gave us the most memorable response to the minister but a very nervous father of the bride. When asked, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” he blurted loudly, “MY mother and I.”
Weddings would be even more enjoyable if we knew the “til death do you part” promise was kept by all the wedding couples. It seems that the “for better or worse” can mean a lot more than some couples realize when making those vows.
I've heard Othel give photography instructions to the couple as he positioned them on the church altar area: “You need to stay centered under the cross.” It's also a spiritual position that makes vow-taking and vow-keeping attainable.