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What I Learned From Spying On A Wedding

October 12th, 2011

Wedding Photo

I recently witnessed the *very* end of a wedding. I was just another Park Slope passerby until I unwittingly sauntered by this open church door. To my surprise, a newly minted bride and groom walked straight down the aisle towards me as if I had just called them over after they had finished their ceremony. The crowd was cheering, the music was playing and their bridal party would soon follow in the traditional procession as a flury of hugs, handshakes, highfives, and fistbumps celebrating the recent newly weds would ensue right before me.

Too cute.

Parris Whittingham wrote this lovely quick read over at a little while back entitled “I believe that remarkable love stories change the world.” Parris, a phenomenal photographer, touches on what he’s learned from photographing and meeting countless inspiring couples. It really must be something to capture that many quintessential special moments.


I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for weddings. I think weddings are awesome because they’re often so celebratory and optimistic. It’s like a birthday party is somewhat of a routine while a wedding–yes, even amidst all of those heavy divorce stats–is an honest occasion with a reason that people come together for. Not to mention the dancing…

When on a periodic self-improvement binge, I often look for lessons in books, talks, and articles. Especially in a creative bubble it sometimes feels like the internet must hold the answer to all, and it’s seemingly easy to ignore the lessons that witnessing a human relationship can afford.

About a month ago, I had the lovely honor of “best-manning” the wedding of a dear highschool friend. The mental snapshot of my buddy on edge before starting the ceremony combined with sitting at the same table as a beloved crew of friends (usually spread across the U.S.) was warming. Luke’s wedding was a grand reminder for me about the magic of having passionate people in the same room. Nothing really seems to compare. Nothing.

Especially as a twenty-something who grew up with a mouse in hand and a screen name at the age of 9, it may sound silly, but I think it’s easy to forget the energy and raw soulful “umph” that comes from both connecting with people face to face and learning about the links between others.

This all reminds me of a talk I used to give in high school speech and debate. I was a scrawny, shy freshman, and I had this heavily rehearsed ten minute speech about how relationships (of all types) “need to be nurtured.” I really can’t believe how I performed that sappy talk literally over a hundred times, but I’d touch on everything from health benefits of a companion to the concept of humans as social beings.

Maybe I was wise for my age or maybe I was desperate for a girlfriend, but in all it seems like 2011 Kevin could maybe learn a thing or two from high school hormone Kevin. If you peer through the world’s open church door, there are seven continents full of people out there and an exponential amount more connections that spark between them every day. Based on my extensive wedding spying experience, I’d say it’s worthwhile not to let ’em pass you by.

Photos by Jamie Marie