This morning I went through the wedding photographer’s pictures saved on our computer hard drive: 3 disks full, over 1200 color and black and white pictures Josh Behan snapped during the day. From the pre-wedding preparations to the seaside ceremony and throughout the evening reception, one visual touchstone after another is woven together with texture, grace and an uncanny rhythm. I don’t know how still photos can do this; I don’t know if he captures emotion on film, or I can feel the images he has captured. I just know it is picture perfect as I feel each one today. My heart and my mind float effortlessly back to the special day so artistically documented, tapping into a deep soulfulness and subtle richness within each of the so many candid, intimate moments.
It’s two years later and I am as emotionally charged as I was on that day.
I can feel the crisp late summer Rhode Island air, and the sound of Caity and her bride’s maids bustling about the Morin’s home as they “get ready”.
I can feel the easy ocean breeze on my face as we stand in the entrance tunnel at Seaside Beach Club, awaiting our cue, listening as Brian welcomes arriving guests with the gentle strumming of his ukulele.
I can feel the sand between my toes as I work my way to my seat next to Leigh, having just kissed Caity as my single daughter for the last time. I’m short of breath.
I can hear the clinking of glasses as I toast the newlyweds, and feel my heart pounding as I sing the “night-night lullaby” I sang to Caity as a child.
My heart swells and eyes well up looking at mom’s Hawaiian bracelet. Tied to Caity’s bouquet, I know how proud she would have been had she been alive to see her granddaughter’s wedding day joy. And I smile at dad’s shoes at the edge of the walkway to the beach. He adores his granddaughter.
I giggle at the thought of our father-daughter cigar in the cooling evening air; and the way Caity smears wedding cake – she gets that honestly from Leigh.
I do not have the words to aptly describe the father-daughter dance and the walk down the aisle.
And so it goes: on and on, picture after picture, memory after memory, smile after smile, tear after tear. Breathless moment after breathless moment, two years later and I treasure beyond any description the flood of precious memories with which these pictures envelop me.
Along the way I have received a lot of advice and suggestions on all stages of raising a daughter. The most memorable tip on becoming the father of the bride was this; “For you – this is the day you are going to write a big check; for Caity, this is the day she’s been dreaming about since she was 9 years old.“
With all the fanfare and hoopla surrounding wedding gowns, maid of honor dresses, center pieces and seating charts in the rear view mirror and long forgotten, it is only this collection of photos that can transport me back to the magic of “Daddy’s Princess’s special day”.
Not every dad and every daughter get to stand side-by-side on the day when her dreams come true. If you are lucky enough to be one of those, you’ll appreciate having a picture or two. In fact, the only way I would alter the advice given me would be to add, “On the photographer, get a good one.”
Trust me – the photos aren’t for her – they are for you!