Earlier this year, a friend and previous client of mine asked me if I could photograph her and her husband-to-be exchanging wedding vows. I had heard they were planning to get married, but didn’t know the specific date or time of year they were thinking of holding the ceremony. What made this phone call special was finding out just a few days before they were planning to exchange wedding vows that the ceremony was going to be a surprise to their friends and family (almost like a secret elopement) and that it was going to be simple yet meaningful.
Sabrina met Richard a couple of years ago and they quickly hit it off finding many things they had in common. In Sabrina’s words, he was the answer to every prayer she had prayed for in a partner. Faith has always been a big part of their relationship and it was truly a blessing to witness their wedding vow exchange that took place in Richard’s parent’s apartment at Birchaven Village. There were only seven of us in the room counting Richard, Sabrina and their officiant Ralph.
A simple and heartfelt ceremony
I think what made this Findlay wedding ceremony so special was the intimacy and genuineness shared between Sabrina and Richard. It was truly beautiful. There was no music, no bridesmaids or groomsmen, no fancy wedding dress – just the two of them with a set of beautiful rings to exchange, Richard’s parents, Ralph and his wife, and me as their photographer. Both Richard and Sabrina wrote their own vows which were heartfelt and brought us all to tears. It was really touching.
The meaning of family
Beyond the simplicity of the ceremony was the sentimental part of sharing the event with Richard’s parents. It was very sweet when Bob, Richard’s dad, wheeled into the room and Sabrina and Richard shared with him they were getting married that day. He was elated :) Knowing that Bob had been in the hospital earlier this year with a pretty serious condition made it a true miracle that he could be there to see his son get married. He and his wife Theresa were able to celebrate with Richard and Sabrina afterwards with dinner and as they called all of their family to let them know Sabrina and Richard were married :)
Just a couple of weeks after the wedding, I got a call from Sabrina letting me know that Bob had passed away. I was very saddened by this news and knew it had to be hard on the family to see such a loving man go. More than ever, I felt so blessed that I had been asked to document Sabrina and Richard’s wedding ceremony, as those were some of the last images ever taken of Bob while he was alive. I felt privileged that I got to meet Bob and that the family has memories of him they can cherish forever.
Even with the sadness of Bob’s passing, Sabrina shared with me that he was in a good place before he went and he was at peace. I’m sure he is looking down on his wife Theresa and Sabrina and Richard’s new marriage with love and happiness.
I wish you all the best, Richard and Sabrina, as you start your new life together. I’m sure it will be full of joys and good times, and I’m so excited you have each other with whom to share your lives and experiences. Congratulations to you both!! parental security