Bethany & Jono's DIY Wedding in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Bethany and Jono - Intimate DIY Wedding in Colorado Springs, Colorado | Union Printers Home | DIY Wedding Photographer

            When Heather needed me to second-shoot a wedding down in Colorado Springs I wasn’t particularly excited to spend a day in a predominantly conservative town, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Bethany and Jono’s DIY wedding in the Springs reminded me of several unexpected benefits of working in the wedding industry: exposure to different belief systems, the immersion of oneself into the intimate moments of another person’s life, and the power of a family to come together to get things done.

            The morning of Bethany and Jono’s wedding I found myself drinking coffee and eating biscuits in a stranger’s (Bethany’s mother) home, talking to a stranger (Jono) about his relationship with God.  While some cower away from polarizing topics like religion, my background in philosophy piques my curiosity into the mindset of believers. I quickly noticed that Jono was intelligent and relatable, making this dense conversation easily navigable as I openly questions and he provided thoughtful, honest answers.  Jono’s relationship with God was not based in fear but rather a means to hold himself accountable to the decisions that shape his life—it was refreshing to hear such clear insight to such a complicated subject.

            There we sat as the sun poured in through the living room windows as Heather snapped Bethany’s first portraits in her wedding dress.  Jono and I continued our conversation where just a few moments before he peered over the sunflowers in Bethany’s mother’s garden in her backyard during their first look.  It’s crazy that Heather and I are welcomed into intimate moments like these and even crazier than we can have substantive, meaningful conversations amidst the stresses and logistics of the day.

            In the garage, Bethany’s family were putting the finishing touches on the wooden benches that would serve as the seating for the ceremony and the reception.  The image of family members carrying the benches from site-to-site still hangs in my memory to this day like a glimpse into an Amish community or something.  It was like everyone was living in a town and each person had a role and did their part because they are part of a community rather than working for a wage.  That day the sun danced between the clouds, casting shadows for moments but never leaving us for too long.

            The day ended when Bethany and Jono hopped into an old, refurbished 1940’s car with their hands raised into the air.  We said goodbye in the parking lot and when Jono embraced me I saw a real sense of gratitude in his eyes as he appreciated the comfort of our exchange hours earlier.  His family stayed in South Africa and our conversation occupied his otherwise running mind and I felt tears welling behind my eyes.

            Open minds lead to connection and connection can alleviate the unceasing operations of our thought processes.  I’m grateful to meet kind people like Bethany and Jono and hope their families can build little towns like the one I watched them create on their special day in Colorado Springs.