One of the most charming and heart-felt weddings I have photographed happened recently. The setting was a small place in Lithuania called Alanta. When I had arrived, I realized that we were considerably far from the big city lights or noisy cars. Rather, this was the kind of town that you read about in novels. Quiet, greenery everywhere and colorful flowers blooming, welcoming me in...
I sat down with the bride on the special day and was struck by how nervous she was. I have seen brides with a case of the nerves, but not like this one. Šarune was a slight girl with a brush of brunette hair. I couldn’t help but feel for her nerves—this was a big day. That is what always strikes me: yes, I am a photographer, but I also am a guest to something unique and special. My job is to capture moments and provide pictures; my reward is being let into another spiritual connection between two people. It’s an honor that I don’t take lightly.
Šarune rushed to the car waiting for her wedding, looking every bit as lovely as she hoped. I saw her blazing from the door to the car and yelled “Stop!”. Something about that vision told me this was the perfect spot. The lighting was soft and beautiful. Her face reflected perfectly at this time and space, with her elegant lace dress draping to the floor. I told her to calm down, close her eyes and take a deep breath. The goal was to give her a moment alone with her thoughts; to slow them down and appreciate the moment. I recognized this as the perfect moment for me to capture the ideal photograph, but also as the perfect time in history for Šarune to promise herself- heart and soul- to the man she loves.
The church ceremony brought Šarune and Matas together, with their parents, maid of honour and best man present. After it was finished, they ventured to the bridge, where the groom carried his new lovely bride over as a symbol of their togetherness and connection. I was able to capture it for them, thinking of how lovely it would be in fifty years from now for them to revisit this moment, where it all began.
After the photoshoot, we went to the venue via a fantastic Mustang. I unsuccessfully made a play for the keys, but, well…you can’t have it all! The couple was met at the door by their parents who greeted them with bread, water and salt—a tradition that symbolizes offering the new couple prosperity.
The remainder of the night was filled with singing, amazing food, laughter, champagne and of course fireworks to close off the night. It was one of the best trips I have had. Not only was I given the task of recording their special day, but I was able to see it again- the beginning of life-lasting love. I have seen it hundreds of times, but every time it is just as special. Hopefully I will be returning to Lithuania soon because of how memorable this one event truly was.