guarding sacred moments
This is the moment: in front of your guests you’ve exchanged vows, rings and the kiss.
“For the first time I announce you Mr. & Mrs.!” In a swell of emotion an invisible tide pulls your feet from your place of betrothal. Your Beloved, the one you’ve waited for, and spent countless hours planning this day with gingerly laces his fingers through yours, as if it’s the first time he’s held your hand. AND THE RIDE BEGINS.
You walk back down the aisle to the cheers and standing ovation of your guests. You are so engulfed in love and excitement you feel physically warm and light. The man that has pledged his life to you, forsaking all others, leads you through chapel doors to spacious, delicious, intimate aloneness, AND THEN...
Hopefully if you’ve been a bride or will soon be a bride you can easily conjure up not only the memory (or for brides-to-be, the expectation) but also the joy and excitement that comes with this moment: The walk down the aisle.
But now what? Allow me to jump back to the cliff hanger “and” I left you with above and continue. Remember, this is mere seconds after your walk down the aisle, and you are completely lost in each other and emotion. You flew through the chapel doors and didn’t know or think about what to do next. Here are a few scenarios that will undoubtedly follow this moment, all of which I’ve personally witnessed:
A well-meaning, schedule-minded planner promptly interjects herself, urging you to your next “task.”
You’ve landed in the path of your guests, [who are excited for you] but who interject with a handshake and a “meet your 2nd cousin-by-marriage-from-out-of-state so and so.”
Your bridal party, probably your groomsmen (gotta love ’em) brashly redirect your moment with a “Let’s drink some BEER!”
And literally, with those few words, the moment is over!
Let me be extremely clear: A truly sacred, once in a lifetime moment is trying to make it’s way to fruition. It is the natural aftermath of your sacred union: you are now officially, spiritually husband and wife. But it is a moment that’s shattered so easily, and quickly by any of the 3 scenarios above.
AND IT’S GONE FOREVER, NEVER TO HAPPEN AGAIN.
Thankfully, after some browsing on my favorite blogs, a (genius) photographer came up with the idea of the Ten Minute Rule. You can read their take on it here. It was truly one of those epiphany “Of course!” moments for me. Followed by a “Why haven't I been doing this the whole time?” And then the 10 Minute Rule was introduced to my brides and grooms, and their wedding days.
Go back to that walk down the aisle out of the chapel doors. Together with your photographer, your husband has picked a place to take you: a place nearby, yet out of the way, semi-private, with good light (for stunning imagery).
What’s somewhat funny about my finally having the 10 Minute Rule epiphany is that you, as the newly Mr. & Mrs, will naturally find this as your first inclination: it will feel like the right thing to do. Before this dawned on me I even saw couples subconsciously trying to find that sacred, intimate alone time, some of them half-way succeeding, some guests a bit more persceptive to what was happening than others, but regardless still stopping a bit short of embracing it.
With a good plan, I think the 10 Minute Rule is a no-fail strategy and something worth being protected. In those short minutes a truly refreshed, exhilarated husband and wife emerge, not a harried, stressed, on-to-the-next-thing couple.
People often ask me what’s my favorite part of the wedding day to photograph. It was always the same answer: the walk back down the aisle. And although I still love that part, it’s only the prelude to my favorite 10 minutes! I’m always amazed at the 10 Minute Rule at work, because I literally don’t have to give any direction, and just shoot from afar with a telephoto lens. The imagery is always the most beautiful, romantic, and ALIVE photographs I capture the entire day. And the best part is it’s 100% candid and authentic.
When you flip through your album years later you will see your walk back down the aisle followed by the moments after! My hope is that with good planning and communication those moments after, the 10 Minute Rule, will naturally be a part of your day you always treasure and remember, and even by seeing it again in your album the images will bring back the swell of emotion we allowed to take it’s full course by protecting that time together!