Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hannah and Brady aren’t the marrying kind.  Well, they weren’t supposed to be.  Brady’s been married once before, which, in the end made him even less the marrying kind, and Hannah, she’s a free spirit, a girl-about-town, as independent and headstrong as they come.  To see their relationship flourish over the past few years has been especially special.  Perfectly becoming of one another, so well-suited, it turns out that marriage looks very good on them. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about it, and I know I’m the marrying kind. I come from a long line of married people, for better or worse. My grandparents and my grandparents’ parents, 50 or 60 years of ‘til death do they part. My own parents have been together since my Mom was 14 years old, in good times and in those decidedly less-so.  You could say I have marriage in my bones.

I respect the institution, the legality and formality of it. But mostly it's the creation of one’s own family, the choice, that really gets me weepy.  Deciding to bond yourself to someone is about as serious a choice as we can make as human beings. And not by way of a shared bank account or a mortgage payment, but by declaring love and togetherness, choosing to share a name, perhaps, or raise children, to build a life in such a distinctly purposeful way.  

But I’m of a generation of non-traditionalists. We make our own way, forge new paths, forgo history and romanticism for independence and pragmatism. We don’t need the paperwork, or to be recognized by our lawmakers or accepted by pesky American Republicans.  But we do.  I do.  If only because a wedding photo of my grandma makes my eyes water, a guttural response over which I have no control.  And in 2005 when my government told me I could, I knew that someday I certainly would.  

I've felt my pendulum swinging back towards the sweet traditions of my ancestors for the past while.  There's something about raising chickens and loving newel posts and devoting yourself to someone forever.  Simple things.  Quiet things.  A return to the bits that really matter.

We're a generation who can have both parts: the fiery independence and the beautiful obligation. 

And so it was, at the swanky Thompson Hotel, that a group of sassy bitches got made-up and done-up and boozed-up on morning mimosas.  Where we danced and laughed and took pretty photos.  Where the imminent ceremony of love and contract wouldn't define a girl, but rather fill her up.  With a weave on her head and a kick in her step she'd walk three city blocks on her father's arm to stand before her man, a woman fully-realized, not sectioned in half, but rather doubled or tripled, expanded in every way.  This is Hannah getting married.

(Comment on this entry, but see the extended story here.)


  1. These photos are stunning! Amazing job, Jason.

    Everyone looks so happy!!

  2. omg omg omg...seriously i'm speechless.

    but apparently not so much so that i can't say SOMETHING.

    blown away.

    the only thing more perfect than the pictures are the words you wrote. dare i say i got a little bit choked up.

  3. gorgeous shots.
    gorgeous bride.
    gorgeous WORDS.
    gorgeous life.

  4. wow Jay!! you have out done yourself with those eloquent words and the incredible photos! I agree with Kay got a little teary eye'd with the wording and was blown away by your pics. You are simply amazing!

    So when's the wedding :)


  5. You certainly have a way with words.

  6. I can't wait for all of us to sit and have cheese and wine while watching a slide show of all these amazing photos.
    I totally got choked up. You really are amazing at capturing every fantastic moment.

  7. Everything and everyone are so beautiful to begin with, but your photographic talents make them that much better. Excellent job.

  8. "We're a generation who can have both parts: the fiery independence and the beautiful obligation." - This is my favourite line from what has been one of my favourite posts.

    Your eloquence in describing the institution of marriage is further proof that you are perfectly suited to it.

  9. soooo great Jason! captured every moment beautifully.

  10. You made me feel weepy dammit. That's how I felt when I got married last year- like I had expanded as a person. I love it. You're a wise man and you'll have a lucky husband one day.
    Great photos too.

  11. Thank you for such an eloquent meditation on marriage (hah! I am not so original in my use of eloquent - which means you were pretty darn eloquent). Beautiful photos too!

  12. beautifully written, beautifully photographed!
    thanks so much for sharing.

  13. Amazing photos! She looks so chic and happy - beautiful job.

  14. I am a long time reader first time poster..

    Jason you have not only captured a part of me that is aesthetically beautiful but you have captured the true essence of how I feel and what this entire adventure has meant to Brady and I.

    I am so humbled and touched by your ability to see me and my day in such a beautiful light. As I wipe the tears away all I can think about is "do it, and do it, and do it, do it do it."

    I will never forget this.. I know you will be a great husband and I cant wait to shed a few tears at your celebration.

    Love you dearly.

  15. Wow those photos are stunning. What a classy fun and edgy wedding. Love the bridal attire (especially the fun dresses on the bridesmaids). But most importantly I love your description of the bride and groom and what their marriage means. If I ever get married I would hope for the same. You are a great writer and photog!

  16. Everyone has said exactly what I was thinking! Nothing short of AMAZING - you're a FANTASTIC story teller, through your photography and writing alike.

  17. Your photography and prose always make me swoon, but this post was even more glorious and beautiful than usual. Lovely work, Jason.

  18. Can I come for wine and cheese and a slide show?? Maybe a video too?

  19. Wow, this post is exceptional. I am not surprised to click through and find other comments expressing the same sentiments. You have beautifully captured the idea of marriage and the images of their day. Stunning

  20. Jason -- Poignant writing on the institution of marriage. Makes me all the more appreciative of the fact that I love in Western Europe, where civil partnerships are legal (even if Germany's gay marriage situation isn't quite at the level of exact parity as it is in Scandinavia or Spain).
    And were you the sole photographer here? Brilliant stuff; I hope you do this as a profession.

  21. Hi Jason - I hope this doesn't come off as too stalkery/insane cat lady or anything (I don't even have cats, just for the record) but I'm spending a good portion of my lazy Sunday reading through your older posts because they are so very enjoyable. Your writing and photographs are endearing, witty, soulful...true. So thank you so very much for sharing pieces of you and your life here. Happy Sunday!

  22. I totally forgot to tell you how great I think these are. I wonder how many jobs you will get from people who find these... Because they are beautiful, and classy, and special. That couple must love these. They must.

  23. Sincerely, all, thank you for your lovely comments.
    It should be said: I normally hate shooting weddings. This one was perfectly unique and was really just a party. The only kind I ever want to photograph!

  24. Such great photos, and it looks like a truly enjoyable time for all (as weddings should be!). Can't wait for Boyfriend to play me a song at ours! Cheers. Best wishes to the bride and groom.

  25. Jason, so lovely to see you at JK's party last night...and to finaly meet Jeff!

    On this post:
    THE sassiest wedding dress.
    THE hottest shoes.
    THE loveliest photos of the most beautiful people I've ever seen!! So crisp. And what a handsome groom. God, I wish you would follow me around and catch me flinging paint at a wall and miraculously make me look sparkling a fabulous!!

  26. You capturer of words and memories.
    Everything that marriage should be beautifully put.
    I cannot wait to see your wedding pictures one day

  27. Killer pictures and a beautiful sentiment.

    "But mostly it's the creation of one’s own family, the choice, that really gets me weepy"--there's something about this statement that gets me weepy.

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