Yesterday while driving alone, I passed the site where the man and I had our wedding reception. The grass had grown up around the sidewalks and the many windows were cloudy with dirt and disregard. I found myself wishing it weren’t up for lease. As I drove, I began to think about brides and weddings and the beginning of marriage.
I thought of all the brides and grooms who live in my town who will be getting married this weekend. I thought of all the families on their way, the luncheons, the rehearsals, the last minute dress alterations.

And then I thought of one bride. For one imaginary bride, I wished her day to be everything she dreamed it would be and some of what she didn’t. I wondered if she was giving herself permission to enjoy this week or if she was at her bridal breaking point. And then, I prayed for her photographer. Prayed. Out loud and without a second thought, I prayed for her photographer to be wise and smart and creative. I was alone in my car and that is what came out. I sort of looked at myself sideways. Are you kidding me?

She doesn’t even exist. I made her up. And then, I prayed for her pretend photographer. What about the bride herself? The groom, even? Or the marriage? Why not pray for like, the important stuff?

I could have done all that, I guess. But that’s not what came out. Though I don’t know her name or what she looks like, I do know that one day seven years from now, she will be like me. And a major part of her abilities to remember the day when she and her love became one will be from the photos.

The job of a photographer is to be the teller of a story that is vulnerable, colorful and true. I’m not a wedding photographer. I haven’t gone to school to be a photographer. But when I see a bride and groom on their wedding day, there is something inside me that feels compelled to capture it.

So even though I feel crazy praying for a photographer who I’m not sure even exists, I like to believe it makes a difference for someone. And I will probably check the Celebrations section in the Sunday paper to get a real life peek at one of my imaginary brides.