Just last week I shared a very heartfelt post about Ian, myself, and our current views on marriage for us. You can read it here, but the more I thought about it while writing the piece, I realized that this would be a great blog series... to learn different peoples opinions and hear their experiences related to marriage.
Marriage has changed so much and still looks different in different parts of the world. People are married for status and wealth as well as partnership and love. Some people believe marriage is a religious union, some people don't connect it with religion at all. So this is our goal, to learn about marriage from the people, and maybe through that we will be able to discover what our own hearts and minds value as well. If you would be willing to share your thoughts, experiences, and hopes on the blog, please email me at evergreenerafilms.com.
(PLEASE NOTE: this is an open-minded space. It is for people to share their opinion and to be heard, not to be argued with. It is a safe space. If you want to debate, hate, or discriminate, this is not the place)
First up, Jennifer's view on marriage...
"Personally I am so excited to get married. Not for the party, not for the gifts, or photos, but for the symbolic stamp of affirmation that you get when someone promises you in the most ardent way possible that they see themselves with you forever. It's not something I need, but something I think will be mind-blowing to have, freely given and with intention.
In the past I've wanted my ex's to talk about marriage because I needed them to, because I was insecure in my relationship and wanted that contractual commitment. So unhealthy. But now that I've met Bobby- my perspective has totally changed. I'm no longer in any rush. He makes me feel more secure than anyone I've ever known. I know he loves me, and I know he intends on staying with me long into the foreseeable future. It's not about need, but rather just a desire to eventually experience the process and the promise that comes with marriage. To have them say it out loud would be a powerful experience that I wouldn't want to miss out on, whether it was in front of 1000 people or just in front of me and the mountains. (In Colorado you don't even need an officiant to get married.) I guess in a way, it's just as meaningful as any ritual is to groups that find value in whatever ritual they practice. To me it's a way of ultimately expressing and honoring your relationship.
And again- it totally depends on the people- but I think sometimes if things get rough and rocky, it's a little bit more difficult to exit a marriage than it is a non-contractual relationship. This is the most shallow point in a way, but I think it can make some difference. If there's more at stake, more headache and difficulty to make the exit, sometimes it forces people to reflect a little on whether or not they actually want to leave something so serious. It also keeps people in situations they should have gotten out of, and that isn't to say non-married couples don't take breaking up very seriously as well. But as with many things in life, impulses can overrule reason fairly quickly. When there's a kind of forced waiting period, sometimes the dust can settle and people can remind themselves of why they made the commitment in the first place. Sometimes they'll be obliged to make the extra effort. ? Like I said- just a small reason but I think there's a little validity to it.
! I wouldn't consider myself a traditionalist, I just think this is one I would choose to follow because of what it [would] mean to me personally. <3"
Jennifer is a wedding photographer based out of Boulder, Colorado.
See her beautiful work at www.jennifermorganphotography.com
Three years ago I fell in love when I least expected it. Fast forward to now and here we are having lived together for 2 years and moving into a home that Ian purchased this month. He is my best friend - He tickles me just to hear me laugh uncontrollably just because he loves it, I've never seen my family bond with someone outside of our family so much before, and he amazes me every day with something new, but not once have I ever thought "I'm going to marry this man".
This doesn't mean that I don't think I want to spend as many years as I can with him, I'm not happy enough with him, or that I don't think we are a good match. I have truly never known a partnership like this before... It has blown my young hearted expectations out of the water compared of what my future serious relationship would look like. I couldn't have imagined anything as purposeful or enjoyable as my partnership with Ian has been so far and for this I am so very thankful..
So the reality is that I have never been sold on the idea of marriage itself.
I have never been sold on the idea of marriage *for me* and Ian feels the same way. This is where we are, where we are happy, where we find the most purpose right now as a couple and that's all that matters to us right now.
I'm a questioner, and the older I've gotten the more proud of that I have become. Ian is a questioner as well, more so than me thanks to his scientific brain. We like to rip traditions, societal expectations, and cultural propagation apart until we can wrap our mind around the "why" and see if it fits with who we are. We believe it's healthy and important for all people to do this (and are grateful we live in a place where we get to).
It's not even that I'm afraid of all the negative things you hear about people once they get married - divorce, cheating, children, intimacy, etc... I believe that marriage can be incredibly powerful and worth it amidst all of those challenging experiences. It's mainly that I want to know in my heart what I believe a marriage is - what makes it different than what I have with Ian right now, other than legality and a title, and I don't know that yet. Maybe I never will, maybe it's something you can't know until you are married, but I'm okay with trying to figure that out.
So when it comes to being a wedding filmmaker (and loving every minute of it), but not really wanting to be married myself, I have chosen to live by two of my biggest beliefs:
1. Love is a beautiful, purposeful, worthy mystery that we get to enjoy as humans. I want to celebrate that and share the stories that show the depth of that. We spend a majority of our lives searching for, struggling with, and relishing in the whirlwind of love, therefore my films aren't just a representation of a day - I strive to make them a representation of the couple. Love is my focus and I don't believe there is anything more worthy to spend my career celebrating.
2. All people are different, and deserve to choose different things for themselves to live their most joyful life. I ask all my couples why they want to get married. WHY - what change do they think will occur, what will it bring to their life that they don't have now that means something to them - And you know what? I get some badass answers and they are always different. I love that. Just because I don't necessarily want to get married doesn't mean other people shouldn't. We make choices based upon what those choices mean to us and marriage should be no different.
When making this film of Melissa + Josh I knew I had to express the ferocity of their chemistry. Their love seemed magnetic and passionate. It became more and more obvious each minute we spent with them; When Josh kissed Melissa on the shoulder when buttoning her dress or when Melissa kissed Josh's finger after she placed the ring on it... I spent a majority of the day amazed at how open-hearted they not only were with each other, but with us being around as well. It blew me away. Love isn't something to hide.
Therefore, I wanted to represent the beauty I saw in their relationship as powerfully as I could.. I hope I did it justice.
Check out the feature on Junebug!
Photography: Fox & Owl Studio
Florals: Little Wild Bloom
Dress: Wildflower Bridal
Hair + MU: Powder Me Pretty
Cake: OWL Bakery
Rentals: East West Venue & Vintage Rentals
Macrame: Find Your Fiber
Ring: Stephanie Ellis Jewelry
Linens: Green Earth Studio
The first of hopefully many more to come...
“When we welcomed our sweet daughter into our life we were amazed at how quickly the weeks started to fly by. There were so many moments we wanted to capture as she daily changed before our very eyes! However, sleep deprivation and the exhaustion of becoming new parents made it extremely difficult to find time to document our new life together. We took videos and pictures here and there on our phones but knew it would be forever before we ever had the chance of doing something with them. Then entered Kathryn.
Kathryn came to our home and filmed the small yet sacred moments that make up our daily life with our newborn daughter. I was so grateful to know that these memories were being recorded so that we could show our daughter when she is older just how much love she filled our little home with when she was born. I was delighted at how peaceful and relaxed we felt while Kathryn was with us. Instead of feeling awkward the process helped me to slow down and fully absorb the time I was sharing with my daughter. It was like seeing her with new eyes that allowed me to appreciate all that she meant to me and all of the beauty she has added to our life. The actual process of filming filled me with gratitude for these small but priceless moments I get to share with my daughter.
I hope that we can have Kathryn come back many more times to record the important milestones of our daughter’s childhood and to help remind us to slow down and appreciate the miracles that make up our life together as a family.”
- Maggie Shackelford
I'm not married, nor do I have children, and I'm not sure if I ever will, but watching my friends around me experience the transition from being who they've always known themselves to be into being parents has been extraordinary.
As a personal filmmaker, I'm drawn to memories and moments that make life meaningful. My eyes are entrancingly fixed on the heart of humanity and all it's wonder. I continue creating to continue learning.
Therefore, filming the daily routines of Zach, Maggie, and their newborn daughter Rilla was another chance for me to learn about life. In that time with them I gained so much more insight on love, parenthood, birth, and partnership. They both amaze me in their strength & compassion. The added bonus to all that I feel I am given through this type of work is that I get to help them remember these fleeting moments a little easier as years go by, providing an everlasting source of gratefulness and joy throughout a lifetime right there whenever they need it.
If you are interested in learning more about family films, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica + Christopher
A bit of their story:
Jess and Chris live in Florida, so when they decided to elope they made a grande adventure out of it. They left home before their wedding day, taking their time, stopping at different locations along the way. They went horse back riding, rented a cabin, and enjoyed local hot springs before eventually meeting up with Fox & Owl Studio and us on their wedding day. Wouldn't you know it that it had been beautiful sunny weather every day except the one planned to elope, but we all embraced what was given and made a memory all 6 of us will never forget.
We always embrace the rain.
By the time we finished shooting it was pitch black and they were soaking wet, but they excitedly jumped in their jeep to get take out pizza to celebrate.
Over the next few days they adventured more, going ziplining, blue ridge parkway cruising, and they even got to enjoy some mountain snow!
My 3 favorite things:
-getting dressed in the woods with clothes hanging on branches and rocks
-personal vows handwritten in little booklets
-popping champagne in the headlights of their jeep and passing it around drinking from the bottle
Whenever I try to explain the reason that watching a film compared to looking at photography is a totally different experience, my mind always immediately goes to Harry Potter...
Yes, that's right, Harry Potter.
I think about all the badass moments in the movies where images that are supposed to be still shots in real life actually MOVE in their magical world.
You were stoked about this too, I know you were.
The feeling that something is alive and full of characteristics is so much more enthralling than a flat, still shot of them. With movement we can get a better idea of who they are, how they are feeling, what's going on, and sometimes even how their voice sounds - all things that help us to define a person.
Therefore, I like to think of film as being emotionally compelling.
So here are some examples from Harry Potter that really show the difference you get when you look at a still shot compared to the actual moving characters in the movie.
Admit it, if those would have been still shots it wouldn't have been nearly as awesome, right?
Now all you Harry Potter lovers tell me your favorite moving photo in the comments below!
(I did not create any of these images or Gif's - all sourced from google)