Before scrolling to see these images of Molly and Mitch's wedding, I have something to say. Something that IF I had the courage and emotional stability to on July 20th, I would have. But I couldn't. Already my heart was swollen with emotions as I photographed their big day. Point in case: as Molly and her mother Joelle danced to what is generally the 'father daughter dance' I was a hot mess. For those who do not know Molly personally, she sadly lost her father 7 years ago to cancer. Her courageous mother has been raising her and her brothers and sister since then. (And might I add has done a better job on these 4 than I could do on even 1.) THEREFORE. If I did speak into the microphone that night I wouldn't have gotten through what I wanted to say.
So instead, I am writing this to you both Molly and Mitch, what I wish I could have said on your wedding night.
Here we go.
Molly. My girl next door. Molly and her sister Maddy quickly became the 2 sisters I never had. I'll never forget the first time I met Molly and her siblings. "WOW..they're ALL so blonde!" I thought. With their gorgeous silky locks and their beaming blue eyes I thought they were so pretty. Nothing has changed tonight. All four of you are so beautiful. And momma Joelle, you can pat yourself on the back for that. Well done darling. Watching each one of them grow up was pretty exciting for me. Not only did I have younger siblings to play with, I also made a lil cash on the side being able to babysit them now and again. I often would 'force' Kendall and Joelle to go on dates. Sorry about that Joelle... I needed cash...and hey! Date nights every week weren't so bad no?
My darling Molly. I was trying to think about a word that would best describe you. But one word is not fair. You deserve more than that. Graceful, kind, generous, loving. Those are easy words. And just a few to get us started. But let's think back to when you were 9. At the tender age of 9 you were displaying so many beautiful qualities. One of which I can think of is nurturer. There you were tenderly caring for your 3 younger siblings. And of course, they got on your nerves from time to time. But even then I saw an outstanding little girl who with a maternal instinct, helped these 3 grow up right alongside her mother and father. I was deeply impressed by you way back then and it's of no surprise that today- you've chosen a career in nursing to once again, help others. You shine so brightly my dear. I'm so proud of you.
Another thing that you learned early on, was the determination to fight for what you love. Whether it's your faith, your family or that man who sits beside you tonight, whom you love so much. You're a fighter. Not the type we see on tv. No not the obvious heroic.. not the one with their 'cape flailing in the wind' type..but rather the soft, quiet one. The one who without a word spoken knows what she wants and works towards that goal. Tears may be shed, arguments between mother and daughter might arise (right guys? ;) ) But in the end, with a couple scrapes and bruises along the way, you've shown what and who is important to you. Jehovah God, Family and your new acquisition- the gentleman beside you - your husband. I will forever love you for the silent fighter that you are. Do not change. Continue to fight only for what matters most.
Mitch- I know you have heard these words before- that behind every good man is a really great wife. Trust me. It's true. Her love, her kindness and her unselfish desire to make you and everyone else here tonight happy is something to be admired. So please, I ask you. Admire her. Daily . Look into her eyes and tell her you admire her. Never neglect her. Always put God first in your marriage and everything else will without fail fall into place. One day Mitch, Molly was over at my place in Montreal. We were sitting on the back deck just talking basking in the sun. I didn't know much about you. But one thing I asked her ...
"Molly... you like this guy?"Molly: Yeah
Me: "Really? Like you LOVE this guy?"Molly: I really do
Me: Then it'll all work out. Don't worry about a thing.
And here we are today. Mitch. You got the girl. It all worked out and between you and me, I think she likes you.. a lot.
Be the best you can be for each other. Never let anyone or anything between you. Have conversations each day. REALLY listen to each other. I may only be married for 7 1/2 years, but through my experiences, these things matter and I know you two will grow beautifully together.
Thank you Molly and Mitch for letting me be your photographic eye today. I cannot believe this day has come. That my little sister has grown up. But today I see you as a woman. As a wife. And as always, my friend. I love you both. Congratulations.
Special thanks to my other homegirl Chery for her assistance and actually she makes a great 2nd shooter! Also she provided the last image below. Thank you girl. The weekend couldn't have been more complete without you!! xx
This blog post is dedicated to Kendall Ibbitson. To Molly's father. Who helped mould this beautiful lady into who she is today. Although he couldn't be there on your wedding day Molly...soon he'll meet your Mitch and my goodness will he ever be proud.