Saturday, February 12, 2011

Wedding Pictures

This was an essay I wrote for an assignment in Comp 1. One of the suggestions of something to write about about was a memorable event, another was to find a picture and tell about it, what was happening in it, how it came to be etc. My first choice was to write about a picture that my sister-in-law Eva recently gave me, but I decided it was too generic. It was taken at her wedding to Jared and it was of all my brothers with her. Then I thought I should do the essay on a picture that my cousin Mandi staged at the same time of all of us trying to hold Jared back from marrying Eva. So I started writing about it and realized that I was not going to get anywhere near the 800 words I needed for the essay. Then I got the idea to just expand on that, incorporating the memorable event suggestion into the essay and write about the wedding, but I did it mainly through Mandi’s camera’s point of view.


My brother was getting married that evening. As is customary, they hired a photographer. In this case it was our cousin. Throughout the afternoon we’d gone around town looking for good places to take pictures for their future wedding album. After a short drive they decided to go down to the river where there were some huge rocks at the water’s edge, with a large bridge in the distance serving as a backdrop.

The weather was perfect for photography. The sky was just overcast enough that the light was perfectly diffused. No harsh sunlight to complicate the shots. At the bank of the river, the wedding party and my cousin descended a small flight of stairs to the water’s edge. After surveying the area around the shore, my cousin had my brother’s soon-to-be-wife climb up onto a massive boulder. She sat down, posing in ways reminiscent of the Little Mermaid statue in Denmark. Fortunately, the outcome of her story is much better than the mermaid of the classic fairytale. After a few poses alone she was joined by my brother for some more shots. They sat on the rock and he kissed her cheek. They gazed into each other’s eyes and kissed some more, all the while my cousin looked down at them through her camera from atop another rock, snapping pictures like a paparazza. The only difference was, this paparazza was actually wanted.

After my cousin was satisfied that she had taken enough shots of the happy couple on the boulder, they climbed down and posed for some pictures with the Best Man and Maid of Honor. They took a few group shots, then some of just the men, and some of just the women. My cousin had them all climb up onto another rock then, this time being a bit more candid. My cousin poised herself below the group, her camera pointed up as they goofed around. After she had gotten enough pictures, my brother climbed off the rock and his wife jumped into his arms. He swung her around while my cousin quickly snapped some more pictures.

As they had now probably exhausted all photographic opportunities at the river, they climbed up the stairs at the bank and crossed the lawn to the sidewalk. They strolled through town, posing romantically on park benches, and cheekily kissing behind a large red umbrella.

As the time for the ceremony drew nearer, we went back to the church. Before we lost the good light of the afternoon, we had to take the family pictures. My cousin took pictures of the bride’s family and pictures of the groom’s family. Pictures with both sets of parents and pictures with every extended family member present for the occasion. Then she decided to get creative. She had my brother pose with me, our three younger brothers and his Best Man. We were to hold onto him, as his wife took him by the hand pulling him away from us, straining against the combined forces of the five of us trying to keep him back. The picture turned out well, and the result was rather comical.

As the light began to dim, it was time for the wedding. My cousin stealthily moved around the auditorium as the party descended the aisle. She strolled along the benches, sitting down every once in a while, taking pictures from all angles, as my dad read from the bible, and my brother’s soon-to-be father-in-law sang. She snapped pictures from the front row, and from the middle of the isle; the whole ceremony captured through the lens of her camera.

After the wedding had come to a close she went around the church, photographing everything that might be of importance, the rings, the presents, the cake; nothing escaped the eye of her camera. She took photographs during the reception as everyone ate, and as the bride and groom cut the cake. Most photographers would probably be done after the cake cutting ceremony, but unbeknownst to the bride and groom, there was still one more opportunity for my cousin to take some more pictures.

The Best Man and my brothers had planned to vandalize my brother’s car. It wasn’t a particularly destructive vandalism, just some plastic wrap, balloons, streamers, and washable markers. They filled the car with balloons, some of them helium, and wrapped the entire car thickly with plastic wrap, decorated it with streamers and more balloons, and then wrote all over it with markers. It was a mess, and my cousin got it all on film. When it came time for my brother and his wife to leave, he took out a big knife and began stabbing all of the balloons, just so they could enter the vehicle. It was such a mess that my now sister-in-law told me that to this day she is still picking bits out of the car.

As the day drew to a close, we all raised our cameras for some parting shots as they drove off together into the darkness, to begin their new life together.

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