Reflections of a Skeptic Bride

By Chantel Elder

I didn’t blog about it. I couldn’t really, until I could reflect a bit.

It is just now that I am really able to sit back and realize that I got married and now have a husband. That is such an “un-me” thing to do. It wasn’t in my deck of cards to meet someone, plan a giant wedding, have it, and then have a husband. That just wasn’t the way I saw my life going.

To be really frank I thought the whole thing was stupid – marriage that is.

I saw myself living happily with someone possibly for a lifetime, but never really involving paperwork and government and all that. I could be a photographer to the stars in between being a photo-journalist in a war torn country and then come home to my fantastic “life boyfriend” and be quite happily unmarried. That is what my life was going to be like. Work first and love second. Because all my own dramatic issues indicated that work was so much more predictable then love and even though I loathed the idea of predictability and work, it was some how much better then marriage. Marriage = bad.

Yup I had issues.

So naturally someone with that perspective becomes a wedding photographer, right?! Hmmm…

Weekend after weekend I would come home on Saturday nights after photographing people and their families having ceremonial, marital bliss – while my perspective stayed the same. I even dated people (previous to Greg) that shared the same perspective. Marriage was for saps, and for years I was the president of that club.

Then I fell, for a die hard, true blue, romantic. A hot air balloon ride in Napa Valley and a large sign sprawling on the ground below, with one short question, accompanied by my Grandmother’s vintage ring in Greg’s nervous hand, changed everything.

Like I said, he is a romantic and I …I am the lucky one I guess, because each of his attempts at romance is better then the last. I am the clueless dude in the relationship.

Greg wanted a big wedding initially with a fantastic party. I thought eloping would be better. We thought Europe and then Tahoe and then my parent’s back yard and before you knew it a whole year had gone by and we hadn’t decided a thing. Nothing felt right. It all felt like someone else’s wedding, someone that I had either photographed or had seen on a blog. If we were going to do it then it had to be ours.

But wait…I was never going to get married.

Our wedding was over Labor Day weekend this year. September 5th to be exact. We held both the ceremony and reception at Beatnik Photography Studios off Broadway and 17th. My dad walked me down the aisle in a room of all of the most awesome faces on the planet and at the front was Greg. The backdrop of our ceremony was giant photographs of all of the most romantic places we went together on our trip to Europe. I get chills if I close my eyes and visualize everything all over again.

I started crying the second I saw him…and through my vows…and first dance…and speech…and father daughter dance and the next day I cried even in the elevator leaving our hotel. This un-romantic “never gonna get married” girl cried tears of joy the whole time. Who knew?! Greg did. He knew this wedding photographer loved parties and celebration, family and friends, flowers and photos and delicious desserts and food…in a nutshell weddings.

Everything didn’t go perfectly. Weddings aren’t perfect. Marriage isn’t perfect, and I certainly am not perfect.

But if I were to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. Not one. It was amazing and a total rush and I loved every minute of the event that I never wanted to have.

I was never going to get married, and Greg knew I would. He knew that I am indecisive, and I usually change my mind several times even though I already know exactly what I want. He knows I throw fits and am stubborn. He knows I am scared of famous people and wouldn’t last a minute in a war torn country. He also knows that for never wanting to get married, I spend an awful lot of time at weddings. He knows me better then I know me, and he lets me “self-discover” without telling me I am wrong.

That is why I love him and that is why I married him.

And that is how I ended up with a husband.

Above is my favorite picture from the day because it captures everything perfectly. I posted tons on my Facebook and Roger wrote a lovely blog with his take on the day….because naturally he was my photographer.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Originally posted on Chantel’s personal blog.

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  1. Robin Swanson says

    So poignant and so very real! I love this piece and can very much relate!

  2. bombaygirl says

    I love Chantel…she took our family photos a couple months ago and was wonderful! So glad to hear she’s doing well and happy!

  3. Kori says

    Chantel…what can I say? You are amazing and I adore you.

  4. Chantel says

    Kori! What an awesome comment! I should read it on days when I wake up on the wrong side of the bed and my favorite jeans don’t fit anymore! xoxo

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