I frist met Stephanie (co-founder of the exciting new site/service Traveling Spoon- shameless [and totally unsolicited] plug) via telephone as she and I discussed the details of her sister Alexis’ Annisquam, MA wedding. Steph and I were fast friends (same with Alexis), but I could never have anticipated just how intertwined our lives would eventually become. I have since shot Kellin’s wedding on Oahu, Mei’s wedding in Cape Cod, and I’ll be shooting Annie’s wedding in Ojai this coming weekend (all bridesmaids/sister-friends of Alexis and Steph). Each of these girls has become such a beautiful and treasured part of my life. They aren’t clients, they’re family, and working with them over the years continually reminds me of why I started shooting weddings in the first place. The passion and joy these girls continue to ignite in me surrounding all things love and marriage (and friendship, and family, and LIFE) have blessed my life in countless ways.
The night before Stephanie and Craig’s big day, Steph’s brother-in-law, JP (Alexis’ husband—because I know you’re trying desperately to keep track of all of this), asked me if I felt pressure to perform (I’m paraphrasing) seeing as Stephanie was the one who had initially reached out to me and thus initiated this wonderful string of weddings and life-long friendship. I thought honestly before answering, and I share my response here simply because I can’t think of a more concise or genuine way to illustrate my love for Stephanie (and Craig). ”No. I don’t feel pressure at all,” I said. “But I do feel such deep sense of love, respect and gratitude as a result of simply having Stephanie and Craig in my life, that I am absolutely devoted to showing up tomorrow and giving them nothing less than my whole soul.” (Again, paraphrasing.) So there you have it. . . Stephanie, Craig, I love you. Thank you for your cherished friendship, your remarkable example and your unfailing love.
The first two images were shot on my drive from Oakland to Guerneville (Dawn Ranch). Talk about setting the stage for something magical. Wow.
THIS DRESS. I gasped when I saw it on the hanger, gasped when she put it on, and it still takes my breath away every time I look at it. Absolutely timeless. Sigh. Perfection. (Because it’s hard to tell, L-Front and R-Back.)
This peek-a-boo shot of the shoes makes my entire heart smile. I adore it.
Something you need to understand about Stephanie: she is a self proclaimed, “serial creator.” (She also has better style than Jackie O and more creativity than Martha Stewart.) Basically EVERY detail you will see here, she created herself—right down to taking a letter press course, making the mold and hand pressing her own invitations. . .
Steph nannied for this darling little flower girl. . . the ring bearer too.
Below: favorite shot of the day? Darn close.
A zillion forevers ago (which basically means it could have been last month or 3 years ago, I don’t know), Stephanie’s Hasselblad was stolen while she was visiting China. As a surprise, Craig emailed me a few months before the wedding to discuss purchasing her a new one to gift her on their wedding day. The night before, he dropped it off to me (MINT CONDITION, friends, I was drooling), I loaded the film and wrapped it up to give to her before their “first look” the next day. (He really did think of every perfect detail, right down to the bicycle card. . . which I’ll explain shortly.)
A little more about Craig. Someone as exceptional as Stephanie is bound to find someone with equal proportions of exceptionality, yes? This is certainly the story of Stephanie and Craig. The attention to detail and commitment to meaning Craig exhibited through his groomsmen gifts. . . was . . . well, pretty exceptional.
He even gave them some fancy James Bond pen that I SERIOUSLY thought one (or all) of the groomsmen’s heads was (were) going to explode over. . . and more, more, more. The gifts were never ending and ever amazing.
Albus got fancy, too.
First look. . . I LOVE Craig’s expression—absolute love!!!
I promise to explain the “bicycle thing” soon.
Below. . . (included in the ceremony even) are the mysterious bicycles, and here is the story of the magic behind them.
You’ve never been loved until you’ve been loved by a Lawrence. Anyone who knows this beautiful family would agree.
Confession, I got misty while shooting the dyad above. Don’t know that I’ve seen a brother love his sisters this much. . . not since I watched the way my Gavin loved me. . .
Below, right. Favorite.
Now keep in mind. . . Stephanie did allllll of this herselllllllf. . .
I think the people we choose to surround ourselves with say a lot about the kind of people we are. . . Judging by the quality of the toasts as well as the sincerity of the people delivering them, I’d wager (again, as if I needed further convincing) that Stephanie and Craig are pretty darn special.
“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” Marcus Aurelius
I love you Stephanie and Craig, and I just know you’ll be running together through the stars . . . forever. xx, N