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Tue. Mar 26, 2013 by Mary    The Latest

Speaking: WV Weddings Extravaganza

We sat across the table from my dad in a restaurant over dinner, and I heard him say, "You know, I think you're a lot like me."

He said, this thing that you's gotten into your blood. Just like logging did for me. I'm willing to bet that you'd show up hurt, sick, get up early, stay out late....whatever needs to be done. That's what happens when you really love something.

I nodded and thought this over for a second. Then I asked him if I could get him to give me a serious answer to a serious question. He agreed, so I asked him what his "Why" was. Right there over the hot rolls and cinnamon butter in the Texas Roadhouse, we talked about why we do what we do. He thought about it for a long time. Started and stopped again. And then finally settled on, You know, I think I was just born to do this. It's who I am.

He talked about having a respect for the trees. About the years that it took to get to that point, and how it's his job to take down these giants without ruining what they were meant for. So they can still fulfill a purpose. How a 40ft tree can hit the ground and splinter into about a million toothpicks in a split second if you're not careful. So he said one of the first things he always tells new loggers is, "It took 100 years for this tree to get here. The least you can do is take five minutes extra to do the job right."

The next day I stepped up to the podium at the WV Weddings Extravaganza and had the absolute honor of delivering their keynote address. I spoke to a room full of wedding creatives and upcoming brides. And I talked about "Why." About why we have weddings in the first place. And the years that it took to get to that point. I talked about what really matters, and who really matters, and how that has nothing to do with how fancy the linens were or how expensive the centerpieces added up to be. That, sure, all of those things are nice and- don't get me wrong- I love details in weddings. But how none of it matters if the heart isn't in it in the first place.

I talked about how a wedding is really just Day 1 in what will hopefully be a sixty two and a half year adventure. Together. And a reminder that come what may, through the hard times and the struggles and the laughter and the tears, a wedding is about marking that first day and saying, "You know what, at least we know it always started with love." That 100 years from now, it may very well be one of our pictures that someone's grandchild holds on to as proof that this life and this love were always worth the risk. So the least we can do is to take five minutes extra to make sure we're doing the job right.

Yea, maybe I am a lot like my dad after all. I can only hope for as much.

Me with the absolutely inspiring, talented & tenacious Nikki Bowman, editor of WV Weddings, WV Living & 4 other magazines. Nikki, I am SO grateful for your friendship and how you're blazing the trail for all of us!

So tell me, when was the moment you knew photography had gotten into your blood? Or if you're a bride, what is the WHY behind your wedding?


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