Potok's World Photography
Potok's World Photography

It goes without saying that a wedding is a joyous event, a celebration of two people who love each other exchanging vows and committing to spending a lifetime together. Obviously, brides and grooms are happy, but so are their respective parents. Yes, they might be a little sad that their little girl or little boy is all grown up and about to start a new phase in their life, but in the end, they just want their child to find happiness. So any tears they shed watching their son or daughter tie the knot are tears of joy. The same is true of siblings, friends and other assorted wedding guests. They are present at the marriage celebration to support someone they care about and bear witness to them marrying the person they love. How can they feel anything but happiness?

When we take wedding photographs in the Washington, DC metro area, we are always trying to capture that joy when we see it on the faces of the bride, groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents or any other invited wedding guest. We want our pictures to show how happy everyone for the couple getting married and how the elation that they feel at the altar infects everyone who watches them say, “I do.”

That said, there are times when wedding guests feel something other than happiness, and we feel that it is important to convey those emotions photographically as well. Fortunately, we have never photographed nuptials in which there have been serious bad feelings, but occasionally, we witness scenes like the one in this image in which more complex emotions emerge. This adorable little boy was the groom’s son from a previous relationship. He had been an absolute champ the entire day, but when it came time for the ceremony, he was starting to get a little overwhelmed. When his dad left him with his grandparents and went up to the altar, the moment became a bit too much for the little man. There were a lot of people around, and he clearly did not entirely understand what was happening. His grandmother could sense that he was getting overheated and put a hand gently on his head to comfort him. Her gesture was a beautiful and tender moment that we were very happy to get on film.

The other emotion that we noticed on his face, though, was concern. Even though he loved and had a great relationship with the woman who was going to become his dad’s new wife, he could not help but be worried about the most important man in his life. Even though his grandmother was trying to comfort him, he still worried about the future and wanted everything to be ok for his father. We love that this particular photograph shows this emotion, because just like the joy on the face of the maid of honor as her friend or sister gets married, the little boy’s concern comes for the groom comes from a place of love. Love means being happy for someone when they exchange vows with their future spouse, but it also means worrying about them because you only want the best in life for them.

Location: Foxchase Manor, 8310 Chatsworth Dr, Manassas, VA 20109.