Mr + Mrs Brechtel // A Meaningful Mountain-View Wedding at Hudson Valley Weddings at the Hill in Hudson, NY

When I walked down the aisle at my own wedding, I carried two bouquets - one for myself, and one for my mom. At the head of the aisle, before I joined hands with my husband, I laid my mom’s bouquet on her chair. The chair was empty, but it was reserved for her. I have so many memories of my wedding day, but that still, small moment of resting that bouquet there felt incredibly, peacefully solitary. I was surrounded by so many people, being watched by so many hearts, but that moment felt like an embrace - a private moment between me and my mom. She wasn’t there…but she was. I know she was.

Every year, I have the beautiful honor of photographing a couple’s wedding day for free. They get all of the bells and whistles - the engagement session, 8 hours of coverage, the welcome gifts, the after gifts, the cups of coffee…but we share something not so many share: we have both lost a parent. I don’t love being a part of this club, but at least I can bring a little bit of life into it in offering my time and talent, and saying, “Hey, Mum, this one’s for you.”

So, every year, I get to do this. And every year, I cry in the car on the way home. And every year, I have a hard time writing this blog. And every. single. year, the connection I have with this particular couple reaches beyond anything words could ever say. 2018 proved this especially. There were too many “coincidences” to truly call them such.

Briella’s mom was a wedding photographer. Her name was Karen (my mom’s name, as well). They shared a middle initial. Our Karens had the same favorite song. Briella and I played the same music for our father-daughter dances. We saw the same butterflies floating around Briella + Zach as the ones that fluttered around my house on the day my mom died. Briella + Zach were married 7 days before what would have been my mom’s 61st birthday. It is all too much. It is all perfectly enough.

And not to mention…Briella + Zach are so, so, so incredible. Their souls are knit in the most gorgeous way. Their families are special spirits. Their lives have enriched my own.

Briella + Zach, you have been generous in allowing me to play a small role in your life’s story. You are my heart.

Wedding Date: June 9, 2018

Venue: Hudson Valley Weddings at the Hill - Hudson, NY // Gown: Made with Love Bridal // Suit: Indochino // Hair: Jessica Lynne Hair and Makeup // Makeup: Makeup by Kristine Falsetta // Florals: A Night in Bloom // Invitations: Vistaprint // Catering: Rogue Hospitality // DJ: Ekko DJs Entertainment // Videography: Love N’ Pixels // Second Photographer: Jessica Smith

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