Jessica & Jamey, July 15, 2006, Boonville, Missouri:
This little town of Boonville [pop. 8000]
is about half an hour outside of Columbia and let me just say that the POSITIVE perspective of the people whose lives I've documented from there has been downright inspiring.
1st this example I shared with my friend Tracy Crowe
(originally of Boonville, 2005 SilverBox bride & Reader in Jessica & Jamey's July 15th wedding) a few days after J&J's celebration:
Jamey gets in the limo, takes Jessica’s hand & says:
"hasn't this just been a PERFECT day"
Jessica replies with complete sincerity: "absolutely perfect"
BUT HERE'S THE DEAL...[coming from someone who's documented 100 or so weddings] There are always things, often lots of little things, that DON’T go according to plan. Whether or not one’s wedding day seems “perfect” has very little to do with how closely the day's reality matches The Plan and everything to do with one's own outlook.
[Hypothetical] brides are sometimes so distraught over the flowers not looking a thing like they envisioned, for example...that it's hard for them to see the beauty of the very bouquet they're holding.
With Jessica & Jamey, it was just the opposite....they were so darned determined to BE HAPPY & DELIGHT IN THEIR CELEBRATION that no inconvenience, no hiccup, no deviation from The Plan even got a second glance. [See their WEDDING DAY SLIDESHOW
to share in their delight.]
And there WAS stuff…
there is ALWAYS potentially disappointing stuff. It was 104 degrees out for example. I could make a list of things they could have chosen to be frustrated or saddened about….but why would I? They truly regard the day as PERFECT, and therefore, it was. It really was.
Come to think of it...same thing could be said for each of my other Boonville couples: Mike & Tracy Crowe (June 2005) and Jason & Kelly Lawless (Dec 2005) ~ who weren’t even phased by the fact that b/c of a sometimes less-than-flexible-military-schedule, Jason wasn't able to attend his own rehearsal. Wow. Justin & Becky Farmer (June 2003?) and James & Marcia Fuemmeler (2002??) ~ "Jimmy" Fuemmeler according to Justin. Nearly half of their wedding party & guests arrived day-of James & Marcia's wedding it seemed...again, a military thing...most of them had met in Annapolis at the Naval Academy.
I don't recall exactly how I became connected with this group of people but I'm continually thanking my lucky stars to know this crowd.
Sure seems that this determined OPTIMISM and HAPPY OUTLOOK is true for each of the 5 Boonville-esque weddings AND the family sessions I've shot on-location at the river's edge. Each of these couples and their families have been not only people who see & celebrate the positive, they have a quiet way of inspiring those around them to do the same.
It’s the opposite of the “one bad apple” idiom. The collective response to the positive perspective is MORE positive energy & perspective. What’s the idiom for that? (REALLY, email in, there MUST be one, right? and it's not a rose-colored glasses thing, it's about the IMPACT they have on those around them. Hmmm. ) Perhaps very unlike magnets, positive people attract positive people -- the result: amazing.
So when I received word of what Jamey wrote to Pictage, I was even more touched (confession: moved to tears actually.) An excerpt:
"I highly recommend Amy… [now she's like] an old friend… has done such a good job at getting to know us… I was kind of stressed and emailed her right before the wedding asking her some questions and the email back was HAPPY WEDDING WEEK....then the rest. This reply caught me off guard and really set the tone to a great weekend ahead. I've probably said enough but the wedding day was even better. I pulled up to the church in the heat of the day and she was close to the first person I saw (already taking pictures...of me and the boys)…So am I a fan?, you betcha. If you want a hard working person who takes amazing pictures and knows how to have fun and relax you in the process, use Amy. I've witnessed first hand at least 3-4 weddings Amy has done, and our friends all have the same kinds of stories. Sincerely, Jamey Freels 7/15/06"