My mom called me on Mother's Day to tell me she received a mysterious package from an unknown sender. When she opened the CVS envelope an 8x10 black and white photograph emerged - a picture of me in my wedding dress outside of my parents' building, moments before we hopped in the car to the ceremony. Neither of us had any memory of the photographer or the moment the photograph was taken, but we both loved the feeling of excitement and anticipation the image captured.
Touched that a complete stranger had taken the time to develop and deliver this memento, my mom managed to track him down. It turned out that he was a New York Times photographer who was shooting a model nearby when he saw the commotion. "it's not every day that you see a bride," he said, so he ran over to take a few snaps. Here is the result:
I love this photograph because it transports me to that windswept moment of heightened emotion, but also because it represents the sweetness that weddings seem to inspire in others. All of the distasteful elements of planning a wedding were offset by the fact that getting married somehow made me an undeserving recipient of a wonderful series of mitzvahs - acts of kindness - from friends, family and strangers. Now that I am an ordinary civilian and no longer a bride, I realize how special that time was - and how tender that liminal state.
I went through a weird period of 48 hours during which I watched other people's wedding videos and cried. Unless you are about to get married, other people's wedding videos are about as interesting as their vacation pictures, which is to say not very interesting at all. I was on the fence about whether to even have a videographer fearing it would cheesy and intrusive, but as soon as we met Mark Alhadeff, we fell in love. Mark is an actor in addition to being a filmmaker, so when we spoke on the phone he warned, "When I come over, I will be wearing a moustache. I don't want you to be alarmed." GAME ON, BROSEPH. Anyway, Mark got what we wanted immediately: a wedding video set to strains of Henry Nilson's "Coconut."
Except that he actually did it.
And it was awesome.
So I am posting this in case you are in need a wedding videographer with a sense of artistry and a sense of humor. And in case you want to witness:
- A bunch of white people with no moves
- My friend doing a weird Egyptian butt slapping dance
- Fauxhawk looking like he wants to die
- My dad looking like he wants to die
- Peonies doin her thang
- Sarah doin in her thang
- The reason why it's probably a good idea to work out a lot before your wedding instead of eating ribs like I did
- The sound of my incredibly nasal voice
And that is the end of the story. Over and out, yo.