Emily and Sean. :) What a pleasure.
Emily and Sean. :) What a pleasure.
Oh Lauren and Ned. :) Their joyful love for each other is surpassed only by their love of God and paralleled only by their family and adoring community of friends.
Everything about these two make me want to love God more, love people more, and be joyfully present. So thankful for you both Lauren and Ned!
Brittney and Fox- thank you. The both of you are two reasons why I believe America is the best country in the world. You’ve taught me what it means to take everything in on the wedding day, even when there’s a little drizzle; and made me grateful that there are intellectuals such as yourselves willing to passionately dive into educating our inner-city children and fighting for our country. So honored to have celebrated alongside you guys! Thank you thank you thank you.
Greetings photography enthusiasts! In place of Brian’s typical insight, Brian Kwan Photography presents a limited-run series of interviews with married or engaged individuals, each introduced by a member of the BKPhotography board. Our first entry comes from South Dakota resident Daniel Seibel who married the love of his life in July of this year. I had the honor of appearing as a groomsman in Daniel’s wedding party and proudly present this insightful and humor-filled account from one of the best men I know.
-Scott Faris, Brian Kwan Photography board member.
What are your top 3 favorite memories from the wedding day?
Memory Disclaimer: I think every moment of a wedding is different when you are so sure – the “without-a-shadow-of-a-doubt”, whole-hearted, capital-S kind of Sure – that you want to be with this person everyday for the rest of your life come rain or shine or zombie apocalypse. I imagine that the difference between being “Sure” and being “pretty sure” is dramatic. That it colors the way you see each moment or escalates feelings of joyous anticipation versus nervousness. So here are my memories, coming from a guy lucky enough to be capitol-S “Sure”.
Memory #1: I have a slow-motion memory of my breathtaking bride walking down the aisle toward me with her mom and dad on either side. You really can’t imagine how that moment is going to feel beforehand, but it’s pretty incredible. As if she isn’t amazing enough, the sun is glinting through the trees in the orchard, there’s a softness in the smell from the light rain that subsided about an hour earlier, and there’s a mandolin floating on the wind. Tara looks up at me and makes eye contact about halfway down the aisle and the “it’s really happening!” feeling finally takes over. At that point, despite my best efforts NOT to turn into a blubbering baby, my eyes begin to fill up with happiness. Looking back, I’m amazed that Tara was able to make that long walk (probably fifty yards total) in heels without completely wiping out. Either way, that probably still would have been my top memory from the day haha!
Memory #2: Our photographer had done a great job of surveying us for all the different pictures and combinations we wanted far before the wedding day, so we had a solid gameplan for photos. The ladies were set to go first, then the guys, then the bride and groom for the first look and couple’s pictures. I guess somewhere along the way we underestimated the amount of time it would take for the nine bridesmaids to get properly primped. There’s a moment when all the guys are helping set up the reception area helping organize, fixing place settings, and messing with the band when the photographer bursts into the big reception tent (which was on the same property of the orchard where the ceremony would be and the historic mansion where everyone was getting dressed and ready) and frantically says, “The girls are supposed to be ready for pictures now but say they need a bit longer…can the guys be ready in 5 minutes? Any longer and we’ll be pushing back into the ceremony!” That was the moment where everything flips from nervous fun to all-out chaos. I holler at the guys, we rush down into the dressing area and madness ensues. Ties are being thrown, pocket squares tucked, brothers realizing they forgot belts, and everyones asking everyone to check and make sure they look ok. I think those frantic few minutes really stick out with me because you wait and plan and plan for months to make sure everything is perfect…but you KNOW a moment will come where everyone will freak out a little and that’s ok. As long as your pocket square is poking out just the right amount in the pictures.
Memory #3: For several years during college my brothers and I had a wedding band that played mediocre jazz and pop songs. We have experienced a lot of different receptions and know firsthand how painful a night can become if the band is not hitting on all cylinders, the sound system has problems, the guests at the reception have no personality, etc…the list of potential buzz-killers goes on and on. However, we managed to score an awesome, original band – my brother’s indie-rock quartet who just so happened to be humble enough to learn three hours of pop covers. At the end of a night of great music and even better dancing, they played Wagon Wheel (our favorite song) and everyone linked arms and sang along. It’s one of those organic moments of real community and real happiness that you could never plan. I’ll never forget it!
2) What about your wedding might you change if you could go back?
You plan and plan and plan for the big day and you never know what will go wrong (or right!). So looking back, we feel lucky to be so happy with the way everything turned out. The only thing that was a little stressful the day of was making sure that everything we envisioned and planned for was actually set up the day of. I guess we never really lined out who was going to make sure all the cute decorations were in place or who would arrange the tables when all of the ladies (the ones with the best eye for that kind of thing!) were getting ready in the morning. We had people slated to bring things (like the florist, caterer, photographer, etc) but it was unclear who was responsible to make sure the vision was executed. But the groomsmen all helped out and several family members swooped in to make sure everything was perfect. Crisis averted! As much preparation as we did though, I was kicking myself that we didn’t have that all lined out.
3) What advice would you give to those in the midst of planning a wedding?
We would definitely tell people planning a wedding to spend your time and energy on the things that matter the most to you. There are SO many decisions you have to make along the way and if you don’t prioritize, you will find yourself stressing about everything when so much of it won’t actually matter in the end! For us, the most important things were having an authentic ceremony that reflected who we are and a sense of community, great food, and a fun party that everyone would enjoy. So we spent a lot of time on those aspects and it paid off. No one will remember the color of the linens or what’s being draped on the chairs in the aisles, so just make the decision and move on. Better yet, delegate the less-important decisions to someone you trust and chose not to stress about it! Oh, and don’t underestimate the value of GoogleDocs when trying to stay organized…it’s a lifesaver!