cry laughter

Standing on the cliff, overlooking paradise cove, one of the grooms pulls out his vows and attempts to speak them. What comes out of his mouth can best be described as cry laughter.

So moved my this moment, he is unable to speak. These words are so true and tightly wrapped around the inner workings of his chest that they won’t come out. They cling so tightly to his heart that all he can do is try to gather himself before attempting to release them again. These words are so heavy, carrying the depth of a heart in love, dedication, and appreciation, that he can’t even lift them with his voice.

He cries and laughs after each futile attempt to read the first three words in front of him. He laughs at how ridiculous it is that he can’t manage to get through on sentence. He cries because the words carry everything.

I should have known that this would be an emotional moment. As we gathered ourselves on cliff, getting ready to start, he said to his partner, “Wait, before we start can we just have a moment and embrace?” So they did! They hugged and held each other tightly. It was a way of centering themselves, marking the most of the moment, being present. It was a way of anchoring before this big moment.

What should have taken one minute of speaking his vows, ended up taking twelve. In that time I could have turned around and caught the spectacular view of the sun inching closer to the water, but if I would have done that, I would have missed the best view!

Sunrise at the Pier

Manhattan Beach Pier

I was just remembering an elopement from a few weeks back when I took this photo.

Confession: I often don’t use last names in my ceremonies, just because a few of them can be very difficult to pronounce. I think I came across my hardest one for this elopement.

What I enjoyed about my memory of that morning (besides the great view), were two people so much in the moment and just so happy to be marring each other that any trouble I had with her last name was so insignificant to the magnitude of their love and commitment.

Not every couple really enjoys the moment. Some get nervous, which is totally understandable. But some are totally present, laughing and crying. They aren’t in their mind…. but just present.

I don’t think this is indication of anything or that it’s a red flag if you do get nervous. I just think that it makes the day more enjoyable for the couple.

So I’ll remember this morning for presence of the couple, their beautiful vows, and the wonderful sunrise.