Growing up my best friend was named Christine. After my sophomore year of high school and the relocation of her family further north we lost touch. Ten years later I found her on Facebook one night and convinced myself with the help of some liquid confidence to reach out to her and meekly sent her a message “I don’t know if you remember me…”
That was one awkward Facebook message, but the most important one I believe I’ve ever sent- it reconnected me with my special friend and we picked up in our beautiful friendship in such an authentic way without missing a beat.
Last year Christine and her boyfriend, Brendan (once her high school sweetheart!), eloped in a small park in Guilford, CT. Brendan later explained that the little long strip of outdoor oasis was designed by the same person who designed Central Park in NYC. It was a location that had endless meaning to them as a couple; it was the location they’d escape to as high school sweethearts and teenagers in love to secretly do what teenagers do when out of the sight of parents and authoritative adults. It was located in their hometown, and a place Brendan now enjoyed visiting on his way home from work. And now, it was where they spontaneously decided to blend their lives into one in front of a handful of people. I was so very jealous I wasn’t one of those people, but so deeply excited for them and their marriage!
Immediately I asked if they had a photographer who captured the day, and as with many spontaneous events, theirs was simple and authentic and the photographer wasn’t a priority.
Since the day I learned of their marriage I have begged them to let me do a photo session for them, sort of a “Post Engagement Session,” to document and celebrate the truly wonderful couple they are. It took over a year, but we finally did it!
We traveled around Guilford and Branford, Connecticut spontaneously pulling off the side of the road when I felt some inspiration, and, of course, revisited that little park that had such heavy meaning.
You may think I’m biased when I tell you that Christine and Brendan have something special as a couple and just as people in general, but it appears I’m not alone in this belief; Christine had ordered flowers for the upcoming photo shoot and, without her knowledge, friends had rallied together and donated to purchase them as her for a surprise.
The photos are dark and moody and contemplative, but full of spark and authenticity and spontaneous giggles… so much like the childhood best friend I remember from twenty years ago… and so much like the special friend I now have today.