If you are considering exchanging love letters with your future spouse in the hours before your wedding ceremony, we would wholeheartedly recommend that you do. We have photographed couples writing and reading these notes at Northern Virginia weddings and find it to be a lovely moment.
There are many reasons why these Northern Virginia wedding photographers like it so much. First, it is a little ritual gives you and your intended a chance to tell each other your private feelings before exchanging your vows publicly. It allows you to share emotions that you might not feel comfortable revealing in front of family and friends. Second, it gives your marital celebrations a lovely, timeless sensibility. Exchanging handwritten letters in the digital age seems delightfully old-fashioned. Finally, it makes for some beautiful photos of you both telling each other how you feel about your upcoming marriage. Equally moving are the pictures of you hearing something similar back from the person with whom you will be spending your lives.
As with nearly every wedding-related tradition, of course, it is important that you and your beloved find your own individual way to do the letter exchange tradition. You can send your notes along with a gift. Alternatively, you can let your words alone express everything that is in your heart. You can choose to write and read your letters surrounded by your bridesmaids or groomsmen, multiplying your joyful emotions by sharing them with loved ones. Or perhaps you feel that these moments are private by nature and prefer to express and take in those personal sentiments by yourselves. There is no right or wrong way to do it, naturally. It depends entirely on the personalities of the two people getting married.
The bride and groom who tied the knot in the wedding at which we took this photograph had a very sweet approach to the tradition — one which we had not seen before. Each wrote a letter to their future spouse telling them everything that was in their heart. Instead of sending them to one another before their rural outdoor ceremony at Khimaira Farm in Luray, Virginia, though, they decided to save their notes and exchange them when they celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary.
What we love so much about this spin on an old nuptial tradition is that it seeks to do exactly what we try to do as Northern Virginia wedding photographers. We strive to create something that will allow you and your intended to remember and relive how you felt on the day you got married. Our approach to taking pictures of a you on your wedding day is to get images that tell the story of everything that happened during your marriage celebrations. Not just the things that took place, but the emotions that you, your families and your friends experienced as everything unfolded. We want you to be able to look at your photo album in five, ten, 20 and hopefully 50 years, and ask your spouse, “Remember that? Remember how happy/thrilled/excited/touched we were when that happened?”
Because the missives written by this bride and groom are going to serve as similar reminders of how they felt about each other on their wedding day, we got the impression that each was spending a little more time than usual penning them. If their words were going to be pulled out of a figurative time capsule in five years, they wanted to make sure that everything sounded perfect. The intense concentration that it required is evident in the groom’s body language in this photo and added some dramatic tension that makes the shot one of our favorites. More importantly, it was also one of their favorites!
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