…Anniversary. We don’t do (attend) too many weddings. Too old or too young… it would be grandchildren next. Friends?… done. Kids of friends? … ditto. My cousin Amy got a late start and we found ourselves at her excellent wedding. Little did I know, I’d be doing it (marrying) again. Happy? Yes! …as in, ever after! It’s not often life comes around with a second chance. Impolitic? Yes, one can see the pros and cons by looking from different directions. Me? I got one direction. Grab on for the ride of my life. It’s been “no contest” this past year. Sorry, if anyone feels otherwise. I’m not having regrets.
Every day it rains – in Scotland. Maybe once in a while… it doesn’t. But, mostly it’s safe to expect rain. We were at Brig o doon. A quaint church was there. it was still functional. The retired ruin of the previous church was across the street. And, we chanced upon a wedding with bag pipe and full kilt regalia. The groom wore a traditional suit and the bride was in white. Umbrellas. Sun. Rain. Kilts. Something for everyone. Yes, all on the same day!
We reserved a dinner table overlooking the greenery and garden. It was touristy. We snagged a table about an hour before the restaurant opened. Yup, they let us reserve that late in the afternoon. By the time we showed for dinner there was a line waiting out the door and around… we waltzed in. Great! And there in the garden they were set for a wedding. Oh boy! A floor show! Colleen watched the latest styles. I watched guys show up in blue suits and brown shoes… and the kiss!! We got ringside seats to the kiss!! Dinner was superb. We lingered for dessert. By the time we were gone, so was the bridal party and so were the flowers. All in all it was an unexpected dinner and a show.
Here’s a technical concern. The wedding photographer had evening blue light. She shot digital and video. It does not appear she color corrected as she went. So, there would be a lot of post processing? The light’s not bad. But, it is blue. You may not have noticed. It’s why you pay big bucks to an expert.
Look online and it’s easy to find a ring guard. Of course, if you are a surgeon you adapt. In the garage if you don’t have a hammer, a screw driver will do. Don’t laugh – too hard. You know you’ve done it too. Our wedding rings were too large – about ½ size each. Imagine that? It’s just how it is. I lost mine within 24 hours after putting it on. Oh my!! Colleen found it. Lucky!! And so as not to repeat the mistake, I set out to find a low-tech solution. A rubber 0 ring. Works! Not stylish – at all. And for Colleen? No! No “O” ring. Tacky! Ok, one trip to the antique store, (oh no! $$$), but one ring, one try, fit, done. Yes, there was only one ring in that case… and for under $10. Everyone went away happy. Sometimes there is a bit of luck involved. Both rings are in place and safe.
I think the “WHAT” is what counts. This was Colleen’s idea of announcement and I executed the concept. We are not finger models. But you may surmise correctly. Done! It’s relatively painless to accomplish in Delaware. The party is later. I did manage to photograph the event with a bit of help. It was a quiet. We eloped. We did not hurry although in concept we did? Fait accompli.
“More colloquially, elopement is often used to refer to a marriage conducted in sudden and secretive fashion, usually involving a hurried flight away from one’s place of residence together with one’s beloved with the intention of getting married.”
The minister and witnesses had prior commitments. So they left after the champagne toast and cake. Not my idea (the ETOH and cake). Six days and counting now… The family has been congratulatory. I don’t want to drag out the announcement further. As I said, “It’s been a heck of a month!”
Signature shot. I shoot weddings. No, not really. I’ve just been there when weddings occurred. Yes. I’ve shot a few. Not as the paid prime photographer. That would be too stressful. After all, wasn’t brain surgery nerve wracking enough? However, I always wanted to do wedding photography. The stress would never equal an aneurysm rupturing right at a critical moment during surgery. You’d never know if it never happened to you. I had some spectacular saves. No, it was not salvage due to incompetence. It was just a few miracle saves. No one ever died on my OR table. For that I thank whatever spirit guided my hand.
I digress. An example? My first is a vivid memory. I was just getting the temporal lobe exposed when the posterior communicating artery aneurysm let loose and ruptured. Blood filled the operating field in an instant. Muscle memory!? I just stuck a clip into the blood and released the clip. The bleeding stopped. Just like that! You have to understand that the bleed is coming up the carotid artery straight from the heart and you die from uncontrolled bleeding pretty fast. Like a bullet in a tire you are flat (dead) pretty fast. I looked around, (changed my underwear), and proceeded to look into the operating field. The clip had been applied perfectly. I mean, as in, we didn’t move that clip again. It was perfectly placed. A third year med student who had been observing me that day, years later at a national meeting: the student, now a fellow neurosurgeon, took me aside. He told me that that operation was the first aneurysm he’d seen and his impression at the time was that operation was how all aneurysm surgery was done. Silly me. I was trying to impress him?
…Friends. They don’t mind that I tote a camera to their weddings. And I shoot without pressure. And afterward, I donate my efforts to the cause. It’s a nice complement to be told that an image I took was treasured as much as any other taken that special day. It’s happened more than once. I’m glad my skill is sometimes appreciated. Oh?! This couple is still married. Happily?
I must have been traumatized. There is a bit of OCD in me. Years ago when we were in Chicago for my FACS (Fellow American College of Surgeons) ceremony, we stayed in the Hilton. It was about the fanciest hotel we’d been in till that time. The kids and grandparents came to see me in a graduation style ceremony. Then, Jules left behind her “wedding bears” in the hotel. They were behind the curtain. I know where she left them. No dice. They were never returned. We bought them in a store in Chicago. I called. No dice. No bears to be had. Years later I got her a replacement, of sorts. It wasn’t the same. And once again, this past year I found what appeared to be the same set. Anyway, Jules thanked me. But, it doesn’t seem to have left the same mark in her psyche. I guess I am careful to never leave things behind. Well, I have – like the time I left my iTouch on an airplane at La Guardia. So, the loss and the disappointment for Jules has never seemed to leave me. Oh, well, I don’t see a psychiatrist. And I’m not gonna.
Well, what’s a Lebanese wedding? Christian. And a lot of fun. Traditional. Wedding gown, formal wear. Small church – chapel, really – and so it was crowded. A lot of the folks just stood outside. Video and cameras, and lots of very very bright video lights – in your face and all of that. That was jarring. If you notice they turned off all the lights for the post ceremony pics. Nope! The power consumption was so high that the power went out and could not be restored. I was truly impressed by the media array. Talk about in your face… the priest did not seem to care. So the images were terrible? They only needed to turn 180 degrees and have the backdrop of a beautiful Mediterranean sunset. But I guess if you have a gorgeous sunset every day, it’s not so special. I was gonna say something, honest I was, but then there were so many professional photographers pretending to be amateurs…..
There’s always a signature shot. I got mine. We were late to the ceremony. I was with Farid and on his calculated schedule. He wanted to be late. So we were in the back and I was with my trusty point and shoot. I wasn’t there to upstage the real photographers. Off to the side of the stage under the speaker system over by the muscians – two kids – just passing the time….bored, dutiful – priceless.
Another year older. Last I checked Jules had a goal to visit 30 countries by 30 years old. And for a number of years we were in the Tyler Place on her birthday. She made out like a bandit. She had a party before school ended, another with the family, and the third in Vermont. Now, married. It still seems odd to me. She and Dave have had ups and downs. But they get better with time. I know that when I am with them it’s a lot of fun. But then, that is less and less. It’s nice to have some pics of them together. Funny. In all pics everyone is happy and it’s never raining. It makes you think that life is about sunny days. Well, if you recall, the wedding day it rains sideways. There was a drought in California. Sunny the day before and the day after the wedding, I don’t think anyone cared that it rained. But a lot of very nice shoes got all muddy.
Got your attention , huh? As a photographer, I’m usually not in my own pictures from my camera. Dave and I did a selfie. And then I shot Jules and Dave. I’m glad they grew up and are healthy and have jobs and … Yes, wedding for a day, a return to the event and a look back. I should retire. But then again I like what I’m doing. I still have skill. I was fortunate enough to have found a job in which I actually enjoyed the work. I don’t like the side stuff.
No, indeed! But on the whole I never dreaded going to work. So as long as my skill is good and my judgment is sound… There are those who might protest, but I have pulled off some spectacular saves. There are still a few left for me to do. I’m hanging in. Besides, who else is issuing checks to pay the bills. Yin and yang. There is a balance to life. Good and bad, happy and aggravated. Oh! Never let’em see you happy; someone will want to mess with your serenity. Grrrr….