a destination wedding at home - the before

With guests present from all parts of the world, there is no title more fitting to describe this multi-day celebration with two people who's presence brought everyone together in a most special way. As weddings are most often a mirror reflection of the people exchanging vows, this one had a certain kind of beautiful grace in connecting us all to a greater spirit ... one that we all took away with us in the form of a book written by the bride (who is an author and one i've worked with and photographed for many years) with her new name inscribed on the cover.

two days before - mens/ladies day

the story of this couple's beginning  spanned four days of festivities which began two days before as guests traveled from east, west and north coasts as well as europe and south america so this day was set up for the men (who had a game of soccer in the morning, an afternoon of golf and an evening barbeque), a fair amount of the day time for me and the bride to visit the florist - the flower shop at nob hill, the immaculate conception church of albuquerque and the reception venue los poblanos where we had a chance meeting with executive chef jonathan perno followed by an evening at home poolside with the ladies including the groom's mom and family from argentina, the bride's sister and wife, and friends from near and far for food, warmth and a lot of laughter.

the day before - rehearsal & party

the next day  - the one before the wedding -  the couple invited everyone who'd traveled to join them for the church rehearsal followed by an evening reception at the couple's home. a gathering that was both casual and intimate and fostered a closeness among the guests who were able to spend time with and get to know each other before the formalities and festivities of the following day.

i will end this segment by sharing a story from the end of the day where i found myself looking through a large photobook on the coffee table filled with beautiful black and white photographs of the grooms parents at their wedding. while i knew the groom was the son of david patrick rusk, the lineage didn't register as this made him the grandson of  david dean rusk; (in case you didn't click the link or recognize the name, dean rusk was the secretary of state under president kennedy and president johnson). so, his parent's wedding was not only photographed by press photographers and featured in time life magazine, it was actually a double wedding ceremony with his mom and her sister held in argentina.

1961 photograph of david & delcia rusk - parents of groom

i've truly never seen anything quite like those photographs and being that i grew up with time life magazine and carry those black and white images deep in my heart, i was somewhat overwhelmed (and slightly terrified at the prospect before me). while the following photograph of his mom (in the middle), and her sister with husband was taken before i knew the history, i think it carries the strength, dignity, joyfulness and grace of those i saw in the time life photographs taken of them in 1961.

while this day ended on a high note that was both daunting and inspiring...one can only do what is before them. somehow sleep and rest as deeply as one can and be all that one can be the following day for the two people who brought me there to document their beginning.