It was a Monday in July.
I was in the Army at the time. I told my supervisor that I needed to get off work early that afternoon. The reason? I was getting married, of course.
Gina and I had met the previous November. We became the best of friends and from there a romance developed. We knew pretty early on that we were meant to be.
Despite my First Sergeant trying to talk me out of it, I walked out of the office, still wearing my camouflage uniform, and headed to the Bell County Courthouse in downtown Killeen, Texas. There I met with Gina, our daughter Madison, and a friend named Story who was our witness.
Very little planning went to our wedding. We literally started with nothing.
There was no wedding dress.
We had no rings.
No bridal party.
And no, no photographs. Nope, smart phones weren't a thing yet in 1996.
We said "I do" and we went home to change and then to Applebee's for our celebratory dinner.
Twenty-six years, six children, and multiple grandchildren later, we're still going strong. She's still my best friend.
One of the earliest photos of us.
We love our origin story. We often reminisce about our low budget, one bedroom apartment. How we shared a twin bed. How we used a folding card table for our dining room and used ice chests for seating. Humble beginnings for sure. Talk about "if I can make it there, I can make it anywhere."
We look back now and have only one regret and that's the fact that we don't have a single photograph from our wedding on our wall. We have no album on our bookshelf. I can't help but feel a little bit jealous every time I deliver our printed products to a newlywed couple.
We find joy in capturing images of some of the most important moments of people's lives.
I hate sounding salesy, but the fact of the matter is, when the caterers pack up, when the the music is turned off and the cake is gone, when the flowers and decor are all packed away, and when you leave the venue, only four things will remain:
Your love for each other.
And your photographs.
I recently photographed the wedding of a young, military couple and I couldn't help but be reminded of us coming home as a family for the first time in that tiny apartment.
I'm fulfilled in knowing they will always have photographs from their Big Day.
And that's our goal: to fill our clients' homes and offices with daily, visual reminders of who they were yesterday (or twenty-six years ago).