There are 2 different kind of moments during a Raleigh wedding day. The first are natural moments, situations that arise because they have to - bride walks down the aisle, groom receives her hand, etc... These are the moments that we are all accustomed to and relate to weddings and ceremonies.
The second kind of moment is a natural moment that is staged so as to occur in a particular location or in a particular light. It's a moment that would likely happen during the day, but one that I help guide in a setting that befits it. That's what you see here.
I had taken my bride, her mom and the wedding dress into the foyer of LIon's Gate Inn in Wake Forest, mainly to give them a chance to talk to each other and get a break from the craziness of trying to get ready for the wedding ceremony.
I hung the wedding dress on the door sill and just told them to look over the dress and talk. There's almost always a little bit of "my photographer's lost his mind" that I can feel when I do this, those first couple awkward seconds where no one seems to know what to say or do. Mom and daughter generally laugh at the silliness, maybe reach out and touch the dress.
Then, it happens. One of those wedding day mysteries to me. The mood changes and they almost simultaneously realize what is getting ready to happen. The conversation becomes more serious and you can feel the emotion building.
During these times, I tune out the conversation, I literally couldn't tell you what was said. I just watch. There's a couple frames of them looking at the dress, then touching it, then tears and hugs.
Being a guy, I know but can't explain the relationship between mother and daughter. I assume it's akin to a father-son bond, but the emotional level is different. Regardless of where that relationship is, a wedding seems to bring it quickly into focus and reignite.
I imagine, in moments like this, mom talks about how proud she is of her daughter, her choice of a husband, how beautiful she is, how perfect the day is and then passes to her daughter some insights on being married and what it takes to achieve a long, strong marriage.
Likewise, I think the daughter listens gratefully, thanks her mom for all she has done and tells her how much she means in her life. It's a beautiful moment in the relationship and generally, is very emotional, so I like to do it away from everyone else.
My goal in images like this one is not about the close up moment. It's about creating an image of beautiful light with enough detail to allow the viewer to define the moment, to feel the emotion, to decide what is happening. I love creating these images and my brides love them too.
Just a moment, in the right light and location, between mother and daughter. This is the image that defines the "getting ready" portion of any wedding day.
Location: 238 N Main St, Wake Forest, NC 27587.
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