Every once in a while, a wedding ceremony just knocks me out. The words stick with me for months or years and I repeat them in my head. At a wedding I photographed in Turks & Caicos last year, the officiant closed the ceremony by saying, “And now, not only by the laws of these islands, but also by the laws of your hearts, I declare you husband and wife.” By the laws of your hearts. With these vows, it is the word home.
Eli to Julia
“Before I start vowing Jul, i have to tell you that you are so heartbreakingly beautiful, I could cry, and I’m probably gonna…
As you know I’ve been trapped in my usual writing routine, wavering ten times over on the proper metaphor to express my love and eternal commitment to you, wracking my brain for the best possible framing device to give you, and I guess 145 of our nearest and dearest, the vows you deserve.
And I will get to my pat metaphor. But in a second, because the first thing I keep coming back to isn’t a metaphor or a quaint turn of phrase, but an overwhelming, simple gratitude. You save me every day, constantly encourage me, make me a better person just by allowing me to be in your presence. You’ve loved me without question as a friend and as a girlfriend. And now you’re even willing to marry me. And the only condition you’ve ever put on that love is that I take the trash cans out on Sunday nights.
So I guess that means I’ll be getting my first screw-up as a husband out of the way right off the bat. But I feel like we’ll get through the trial of the trash cans the same way we got here: together. Today we’re not starting to make a home, we’re continuing one. We both already know that our home is wherever we are. Home is just a synonym for the word “us”, because we already have the safety and security of absolute acceptance and optimism and faith in each other.
Now then. I promise, I VOW, to do everything I can to keep building our home up, to keep it safe and warm and inviting and fun and–of course–clean. The only way that I know how to do that is not just to feel love for you, which for me is involuntary, but also to act with love for you every day: to consider your feelings as much as I consider my own, to communicate and be patient and listen and laugh. To never shut off or shut out or forget that we are our home. To be forever thankful that I’m with someone as incredible and advanced and awe-inspiring as you. I promise I will take the cans out next week and every week thereafter.
I promise to always act with love, to return your faith and your support. No matter what successes or difficulties may come our way, I promise to remember that our home isn’t under this Huppah or even the house in Venice. Home’s in the way we treat, respect, believe in, and love each other. And I’m so grateful that I get to build that home with you. Long story short: thank you, Julia.”
Sunday, July 14, 2009
Thanks for sharing Julia & Eli! Check back soon for lots more photographs from their wedding.
photographs: Gia Canali