To be perfectly honest with you, I’m not entirely sure where to begin with this wedding and don’t want to use too many of my own words. I have a lot of emotion and meaning wrapped up in this wedding and these photos. When Melodie first contact me this past June, I cried when I got to the end of her message. It’s transcendent the connections that are formed from a single email and how words have the power to set you on fire. At the time, my October was pretty well booked up, but I told her I would do whatever I could to make it work, if she was OK with that… which resulted in my catching the first flight back to Colorado the morning of their wedding after shooting the previous day outside of Dallas.)At 8:13A on Sunday, October 30th, I texted Melodie: “Boots on the Ground.” And that’s where this day began for me. Fresh off the plane. Elated. Rejuvenated. And so incredibly excited to see the day unfurl.
Melodie graciously allowed me to share her initial e-mail to me here. I hope these words give you the tiniest glimpse into what you’re about to see and the story that’s going to take place.
“Ian and I have had mutual friends for years, but didn’t meet each other until we started working together at the same Starbucks store. We started talking, sending each other an incredible amount of snapchats, and eventually hung out together. I knew immediately that he had a depth to him that not many people had. He was kind, and caring. But not afraid to be courageous and rebellious. I was smitten. I am a control freak- I love making spreadsheets, organizing, and planning. But something about Ian was wild, playful, and filled with so much joy. He’s a musician, I’m a photographer. He loves to hike, and I love to sit on the couch. (hah!) We are so different from each other, but go so well together.
I was recently out of a relationship, when he brought over beers. We sat on my tiny porch for hours, drinking beer and talking. Telling stories of life, and friendship, and family, and really anything that came to mind! We went inside (me a little tipsy), and sat on the couch. He looks at me and says, “Melodie. I think you know this already, but I like you a lot. I have a lot of feelings for you. But you are recently out of a 4 year relationship, and I want to be respectful of your space, and healing, and any time you need. So I’m going to be the one who draws that boundary and says that we need to keep things as friends right now.” I leaned over, and kissed him. We spent a good chunk of our evening making out on the couch. It was practically history from there.
We’ve been dating for 2 and a half years now. We’ve been through a lot together- family hurts and healing, a few different jobs, heartache, a few 14ers, and so much more. At the beginning of 2016, I moved from Colorado to California to continue working at VSCO. We’ve been doing the long distance thing for awhile now, and it’s hard, but we’ve learned a lot. (I’m also, honestly, so ready to be home…) May 14th, I was in Colorado for a visit. We slept in, ate a giant breakfast, and went for a hike. He took me to a beautiful spot, where we sat and drank beers- the same beer we drank together that night he told me we should take things slow. After casually chatting, finishing our beers, we both stood to leave. He says, “Today is our date day of your trip, so I got you a date day present!” I smiled and said a lot of “thanks” and “you didn’t have to do that!” and “I didn’t get you anything!”. hah. He pulls out an old cigar box.
Now, in order to move on with the story, I need to go back a bit. The first Christmas that we shared together, I had just had all of my photography equipment stolen – camera, lenses, bag, computer, everything. I was struggling to find inspiration, and felt like I couldn’t create the art that I wanted to, with the crappy Canon Rebel I had left. For Christmas that year, Ian gifted me a disposable camera, with a note that said, “It’s just a camera in a box without you.” This is the most special gift I’ve received- and to this day, I have the note framed to remind me that I am good enough, my art is good enough, I just have to do it, no matter what.
Fas-forward to the present time, May 14, we’re on our hike, and he hands me the old, beautiful cigar box. I open it up, and it has a disposable camera in it. Out of joy, I pull out the camera with so much excitement!… to see a note written on the bottom of the box.
“It’s just a ring in a box without you.”
And at that moment, he gets on one knee, and asks me to spend forever with him. It was beautiful. I ugly cried, jumped around, screamed a lot, and definitely said yes.”
Melodie and Ian: you two are amazingly beautiful people. I’m honored to know you and I’m so grateful you included me in being a part of your story. Much love to you both, amigos. It’s stories like yours that make me so profoundly honored to be a wedding photographer.
Music: “Warm Foothills” by Alt-J