We learn so much from the people that raise us.
I learned the most from my Mum - my best friend, confidante, rescuer, best hugger, mommy. One of the biggest lessons she taught me was that when you have nothing material to give, you can still give your heart, and that is one of the biggest and best gifts you could give to anyone.
I can’t give money to pay for a whole wedding for a deserving couple (I mean, I don’t have a cool $50k hanging out in my back pocket - shocking, I know). But I can give of my heart and my talent and my expertise. And I can do it knowing that I am honoring my Mum’s memory, honoring another person’s parental memory, and blessing another person’s heart to the umpteenth.
So, since 2016, every summer, I have opened up this little corner of the universe to accept applications for free wedding photography coverage for a couple who has experienced a significant parental loss. And, for the past three years, people have poured out their hearts to me, speaking about their beloved parents who have passed on, talking about how much they miss them, how much they meant to them, how losing parents so incredible and amazing and loving has rocked their world...and not in a good way.
It’s weird to say, but there is community in death and in grieving. And we all too often shy away from it because it’s awkward, and we don’t know what to do with ourselves or with others when important people die.
Nonetheless, there is community.
So, here we are again. And here it is again, June 16, my Mum’s birthday (and also Father’s Day, which is so fitting, because she was born on Father’s Day in the year she was born). And in honor of her, I’m giving away free wedding photography coverage for a couple who has experienced the loss of a parent.
And something even more incredible is happening through this process. The following precious, incredible, generous, heart-swelling friendors are joining in:
How beautiful is this?
So many of you already know my story. Some of the above friendors have been so kind to share some of theirs…
From Albelisa, owner of Maple Field Floral:
I want to honor my late maternal grandmother, Esther, who passed away from ovarian cancer back in 2009.
My grandmother and I were extremely close; she was my confidant and the person who always encouraged me to go outside of my comfort zone and take risks.
She was an educator, a lover of the arts, a world traveler and the most generous and thoughtful woman I have ever known.
I miss receiving her handwritten notes in the mail with clippings of interesting newspaper articles and mementos.
She gifted me the life experiences that have molded me into the person I am today.
She was a go-getter, an entrepreneur of all trades (including photography!) who did what was necessary to raise 3 children on her own.
In my eyes, she excelled at everything she endeavored... but she is my idol, so I may be biased (hahaha).
From Katie, owner of A Lively Event:
A Lively Event came to be as a tribute to my sister, Breann. Breann was my younger sister who had Down Syndrome. Breann passed away at the age of 14; I was 17. This tragedy was very hard, and forced me to deal with many emotions, fears, and hurls, which I continue to fight through. When I was in the process of creating a business, I knew I needed to incorporate my sister. The butterfly is incorporated to remind me of the butterfly who visited at my sister’s wake and funeral. The business name needed to be able to reflect Breann's spirit. If you were blessed to meet Breann, you know no one and nothing was more "Lively" than she was. So, A Lively Event was created.
One of my favorite things to remember about my Mum is how her hand used to reach back and hold my hand from the front passenger seat of the car.
I can still feel her hand reaching back, here, today.
Here's what's included (for a 2020 wedding):
8 hours of photography coverage
USB of fully edited high resolution images from your wedding
Online gallery of fully edited web resolution images from your wedding
Full printing rights to your images so that you can print and share to your heart's content :)
Online gallery of both high resolution and web resolution images from your engagement session
Travel within a 1-hour radius of Wappingers Falls, NY
Hair services for one partner from BW Bridal
Makeup services for one partner from Daniela Rodriguez Bridal Beauty
Month-of planning coordination from A Lively Event - Wedding and Event Planning
A special something from Blush Bridal Boutique ;)
Videography from Love N' Pixels
A collar, bow tie, or corsage and stylish leash for a potential wedding pup from Teller Hill
Photobooth rental from Paramount Photo Booths
Gown alterations from Oh Sew Perfect
Custom cake topper (up to a $75 value) from Couples on Cakes
Wedding morning yoga for the wedding party from Yoga with Kaylee
Skincare gift basket from Neora courtesy of Stacey DeProssino
And here's the fine print:
Applicants must have a parent who has passed away
Applicants must have a 2020 date and a venue secured
Applicants must complete the application process (below)
Applicants cannot already be contracted with or a current client of the participating vendors for the upcoming 2020 season
Applicants cannot have already inquired with any of the participating vendors for the upcoming 2020 season
For all participating vendors, the chosen couple must be able to communicate and meet with the vendors in a timely fashion
For the florals, additional contracted labor and floral transportation will be an added cost
All services are subject to availability
Apply HERE. **CLOSED AS OF 9 AM ON JULY 15, 2019**
Applications will close on July 15, 2019, and the winner will be announced on July 16, 2019.