In honor of Mother’s Day weekend, I wanted to write something a little different.
Sometimes another mother’s spirit touches us from afar…even if we never met….even if we lived states apart….even if she passed away before I could ever meet her.
In 2014, I flew to the Dominican Republic to shoot the fantastic wedding of Danielle and Joe Caterino. Those crazy international weddings are so much fun because, as photographers, we get to spend so much time with our couple and all of their friends. On top of the usual wedding day, there are casual days at the pool, dance parties at the bar, welcome and rehearsal dinners (that turn into more dance parties) and more. During the course of that trip, I got to meet Cayla and Jay. They are just the sweetest and I loved getting to know them. They were guests who also lived in Charlotte so when Jay proposed a few weeks after the wedding, I was thrilled they asked me to capture their wedding.
Early in the process, Cayla let me know that her Mom, Robin, had passed away a few years earlier. She mentioned to me how special her Mom’s cousin, Mary Jane, was in her life and that she would be that motherly figure coming to see venues with Cayla, go dress shopping, etc. Mary Jane and Robin’s mothers (Cleo and Ethel) had been sisters and they had a cousin relationship that verged on sisterhood. So, it only seemed natural for Mary Jane to take on a bigger role in Cayla’s life during the wedding planning process. We mothers just instinctively know when a daughter’s heart needs the most love and attention and Mary Jane was doing what Robin would have done for any of her own girls (Lauren, Megan or Jen).
So, Cayla and Jay were married in 2015 and that night, on the dance floor, Mary Jane pulled me aside to tell me how much Cayla had appreciated my help during that year of planning. When Mary Jane didn’t have an answer for a question, Cayla would call me. And Cayla gave me the biggest compliment any bride has EVER given me. She told me that she missed her Mom so much during that year and when she needed someone to call to be excited for her (for anything- finding a florist, getting her shoes, etc.), she would call me. Y’all. Cue the tears. As a mother of 2 daughters, I just knew how hard that year (and wedding day) had been for her. We mothers just know when a heart is tender and needs a bit more love.
Mary Jane asked me that night in 2015, whenever the day may come when her girls would get married, would I travel to either FL or the NC mountains to capture it. I said yes in a heart beat! This family is generous and kind. Working with any one of them never, ever felt like work!
So, in 2016, I got that happy call from Mary Jane that Adam would be proposing to her sweet Jen and they wanted me to capture it. Cayla came too and a bunch of us hid behind trees at the Biltmore Estate for the surprise proposal (click HERE). Cayla and Jen have the very same more-like-sisters-than-cousins that Robin and Mary Jane did. Seeing how overjoyed she was for Jen was so sweet. Getting to work with this family round 2 was just the best!
So, on 4.22.17 Jen and Adam tied the knot at Mountaintop in Cashiers, NC. It was so beautiful and the details were incredibly lovely BUT this family knows what really matters in this life. People. Relationships. Family. Cousins. Sisters. Love.
Enjoy a peek at Part One of Jen and Adam’s big day. I promise Part Two won’t be this sappy but in honor of Mother’s Day, I just wanted to let Cayla (and Jen and Mary Jane know), that Robin is the thread the binds us all together. Although I never met her, I know the kind of woman she was. She was kind, generous, full of hope and full of love. I know because I see it in Cayla…and Jen…and Mary Jane (and her other daughters, Lauren and Megan).
As mothers, our only hope is that our children know love. The measure of love we give to them is the same measure of love they will give to the others in their lives.
Robin loved and she loved well. I can’t wait to meet her in heaven one day and thank her for bringing all of these amazing women into my life.
Special thanks to our vendor partners: Venue/Caterer: Mountaintop Golf and Lake Club | Hair and Makeup Artist: Flawless | Florist: Floressence Flowers | Event Coordinator: Firefly Event Company | Musicians: Anita Band | Gown Boutique: CC’s Bridal Boutique | Videographer: Brian Bunn | Stationers: Ideachic | Event Rentals: Professional Party Rentals | Transportation: Elite Limousine |