This weekend I had the pleasure of documenting Julie and Mark’s marriage at the First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC. It was amazing seeing these two together. Every couple I get to work with shows affection for each other differently – some show it by lots of laughs and jokes, some show it through body language and touch, and some show it through an intense spiritual connection. I saw Mark was able to lock eyes with Julie across the room and have an entire conversation without saying a word. It almost felt like they’ve known each other for generations. It was so cool.
I was also surprised to find out they actually first met while in Paris. It was such a sweet story I had to share. This is from Julie’s perspective…
“Mark came to Paris with the choir from our home church FPC to sing as an outreach for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We went to a crêpe place after the first concert and I noticed him looking at me and acting nervous when we talked. He asked me to edit the video I took and make him look like someone cool like Joseph Gordon Levitt. On the way home, I said to my Mom about Mark “He’s kinda weird”. Sue, my sister, said “Yeah, and he really likes you!”. I arrived late to dinner after the next concert and my dad sat me down at the end of the table near Mark. He kept watching my reactions to the group stories, making sure I was included. I saw him really laugh and be goofy. I didn’t know it then, but I was falling.
The next day we had a BBQ with the choir that I wasn’t planning to go to, but for some reason I felt like I should. Mark and I chatted for a bit and he told me about his day in Paris. Later, he asked me if he could play our Piano. He played really really well. I thought to myself “He’s totally peacocking” haha. They all said goodbye. Mark gave me a hug and said “Let’s keep in touch” and left. I had no way to contact him, I didn’t even know his last name!
The next day I found out their flight was overbooked and some people may be staying. I hoped Mark would be one of them. I texted my sister Sue to find out who was staying, “Mark is staying in the Upper Room”. When he came in the door, he hugged me and accidentally kissed my cheek, which surprised me! We sat outside and talked for a long time about everything. We later went to a concert in our town and heard terrible covers with French accents and we laughed a lot. We kept inching closer to each other (total middle school move) and I leaned on his shoulder. I thought “Oh man, I gave myself away”, and then he leaned back. We went back to the house and played music until 1AM. It was magical. We exchanged numbers and emails, and through lots of clichés, calls, and flights, we’ve gotten here.”
After the ceremony in one of the most beautiful churches I’ve been able to photograph (the First Presbyterian Church in Columbia) we headed over the reception hall for the party! When I heard Julie and Mark had planned an “open mic” time I didn’t know what to expect – but what I experienced was so incredible – every single one of Julie’s siblings performed! It was incredible to witness the outpouring of love through music and all the song dedications to the newlyweds. A very unique reception for sure!
Thank you Mark and Julie for having me as your photographer. It was an honor to get to know you and your special family for the day and I hope that 50 years from now these images will bring back all the feels of your wedding day!
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