Since she was born, we prayed.
Beth’s father, also the officiant, had silenced the clearing. The bridal party was all in place. The opening prayers and remarks had been given. People were already tearing up. Mostly family, this was an intimate, emotional wedding. All 100 people, all the trees and the stream, seemed to be hanging on his words. The air was thick and hot. His voice cut through the warmth. The weight of his words lingered within the crowd as he continued. He spoke about what they had prayed for, a companion for Beth. Someone to hold her, protect her, provide for her, and love her. He said:
We didn’t know it, but we were praying for Cody.
You could feel the collective feeling rolling through the crowd. The experience was palpable. It was tangible. Every single person seated was present to what her father was saying, and how incredibly moving it was. I had been capturing the crowd’s reaction to his pronouncement. I lowered my camera. I felt compelled to take a moment and show respect to the man addressing the crowd. The man who was primed to both give away, and pronounce the marriage of, his daughter. Although we only captured the ceremony for Beth and Cody, we were overcome by the wealth of love that their families share for them, and the beauty of bringing those two families together.
Beth and Cody: Thank you for welcoming us into such an intimate, meaningful experience, in such a beautiful place. It’s so easy to feel the love that you share for one another. We wish the world for you, and that your first months of marriage have been as beautiful and love-filled as your ceremony.