Downtown Columbus / German Village Engagement
*deep breath* I'm going to be completely transparent here.
When Lauren and Mariah first inquired about wedding photography with me, this was their email to me after I responded to the initial inquiry: "I do feel like I should mention this now though.. this is a lesbian wedding (you probably noticed this when I listed the Groom's name as Mariah). We hope this is not a problem, but if it is we would rather know now than later. If you are not interested, we understand. Frankly, we wouldn't want anyone there that didn't want to be there anyways. But if you are interested, we'd love to meet with you!" They had been rejected by other wedding professionals and felt the need to preface their correspondence with that information. I was heartbroken for them.
That being said, let me also say this... I don't like labels. I had a really strong internal debate whether I wanted to use the LGBT label. I don't want to make it a debate or an issue or an argument. I really want it to just be another engagement session that I'm sharing with you. But I also want other same-sex couples to know that I welcome you into my life, value your love and respect you and your relationship and have a very strong belief that I shouldn't have to make this distinction. I pray that one day a wedding is a wedding and a wedding photographer will shoot your wedding, regardless of your gender and your fiance's gender... that it won't matter. But the truth about our world at this moment is that I do need to make that distinction. I do need to tell you that I would be blissfully happy to photograph your wedding, as long as you are two people in love. ... and you both are legal. (ha!)
I don't consider myself to be a real religious person. I have faith, I believe in God, although like many people, I have a lot of questions. But I was raised in the Catholic church and the words that resonate so deeply inside me are, "Love thy brother as Jesus taught us." I am in no position to judge. I am far from perfect. But here is what I do know to be true: Love is love. We all need someone in our lives who loves us to our core, all our imperfections and struggles and in good times and in bad. We all need someone to validate us, value us, understand and support us. What I don't know, though, is if we actually get to choose that person or if that person is chosen for us. If that person is just brought into our lives to rock our world, make us think differently, see the world differently. Love differently.
Here is something else I know for sure. Lauren and Mariah have the sweetest, most pure love for each other. Just being in their presence, you can not only see it but you can feel it. And I feel so grateful and happy and all the good feelings that they chose me to capture their love at this moment in their lives.