A Wedding Now & Then

Now, I've never actually witnessed a wedding in the Sculpture Garden and they may not book or even allow weddings to be performed there ... being a well-trafficked attraction. But, plenty of people get married elsewhere and make the trip to the garden on their special day to capture their memories in this unique landscape.

Little did Claes Oldenburg expect his cherry to be so copiously embedded in the American matrimonial memory or spraying out the top of some poor schmuck's head while grasping the only person who could share the experience with the same abandon.

Weddings over the last forty years have become more about getting the groom's tuxedo for free by increasing the size of the wedding party than celebrating a ritual steeped in tradition. Weddings were really ugly in the seventies. I don't know if it was the hair, the powdered blue ruffle themes or the bell-bottom tuxedo pants but, they were really ugly. I'm not so sure they've tamed down since then although they seem to have become more like a mixed drink that has sat at the bar too long.

Anyway, I saw this couple getting their wedding portraits done that had a much more modest sense of what they'd just done. It may be because they were young, it may be because they've struggled as a minority, it may be because they were catholic, but I hope it was because they have a little more respect than the rest of us. They certainly possessed the dignity.

bride & groom

I chose to process these in black and white. That was the way my parent's wedding was filmed back in 1955. There was something special about that time in photography. For many were again a first, maybe second generation of immigrants looking to prolong the dream ... classic, traditional, respectful. And those are the qualities I saw in these young people and their wedding party.

pretty in pink

The boys gathered around the cutest girl, her dress a fuchsia cotton. She played the part of Nature's inspiration with an ease only innocence and youth could perform. She was perfectly sweet and they were perfectly engaged.

they're so young

The groomsmen uncomfortably pocketed their hands and shuffled about wishing there was something to do, hoping to win their own girl and awkwardly maturing in front of the camera.

Normally, I'm not much for nostalgia ... romance maybe, but I'd rather the pendulum swung back and cherry-picked the things done well and avoided most of the fashions.

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