One quotation from Antoine de Saint-Exupery's "The Little Prince" has stuck with me since childhood:
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;
what is essential is invisible to the eye."
(hmm...an unusual quotation for a photographer to love...perhaps much of photography is a Quixote-like quest to make the essential visible...)
At any rate, David and I asked two graduate school friends to read this passage at our own wedding 11 years ago, and I remembered these words during Niki & J.P.'s wedding in San Diego (yeah...looks a bit like the Lake of the Ozarks doesn't it? But really, it's the PACIFIC OCEAN!). In lieu of flowers, wedding cake and various other seemingly essential wedding day trappings, Niki & J.P. focused on the true essentials: a location that inspired them, a meaningful ceremony led by J.P.'s father, an intimate experience for themselves and loved ones.
There were so MANY times in working with Niki & J.P. that I found myself thinking, "man, have they got their PRIORITIES straight!" Like when they first explained how they wanted simply to walk with friends & family across the beach to the water's edge to be married (no chairs, no aisle). Or when Niki trucked up the hill in gold lame' high heels, wind beating at her wedding dress and hair, to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse to see J.P. for the first time on their wedding day. Or when Niki refused to be married without her grandmother's handkerchief; it was located finally, and Niki held it -- unfolded and untucked -- during the entire ceremony.
It's the first wedding I've photographed barefoot (along with the bride & groom). So kick off YOUR shoes and come take a peek at their wedding day:
Also, what a huge help David (who doubles more often as my husband) was! He's assisted me at a handful of weddings, and he is a most excellent travel companion (which is shorthand for: he's great with maps & directions AND he loves a quest for good local food). These two traits led us straight to El Indio, a San Diego landmark-of-a-restaurant that catered Niki & J.P.'s "rehearsal dinner" Friday evening.
After hearing J.P.'s mom rave about the restaurant, and after having spent 3 years living in Santa Fe in the mid-90's, we decided we needed a dose of real Mexican food, and OH YEAH! It's worth a trip to San Diego just to eat here:
And since everyone loves a picture of themselves eating...(hee hee, perhaps the only thing more risky than being married to a writer is being married to a photographer who blogs)...here's David enjoying El Indio's scrumptious food.
On another note, Amy and I now have officially shot weddings coast-to-coast, from Washington D.C. to San Diego, California, along with several points in between, including Chicago, Las Vegas, Oklahoma, Kansas & of course, Missouri! It feels like the best of all worlds...getting to work close to home and family as well as adventuring beyond every now & then.
p.s. Check back in October for more images from Niki & J.P.'s reception to be held in Columbia, MO at Stephens College's brand new & absolutely lovely Kimball Ballroom in Lela Raney Wood Hall.