I got married a couple of weeks ago. It was simple – just us and three kind witnesses at a small registration office whose whitewashed walls belied its crumbling exterior. Somewhere in the courtyard, there was a primarily blue mural depicting the old and the new of this city. We talked, waited and sweated in our masks, sat in front of a camera and left a thumb print, signed papers and a register and repeated weirdly old-fashioned oaths ("I ... take thee ... to be my lawful husband.") There were flowers and balloons, lunch by the sea (well, sort of), and a free piece of cake. We also had another, larger cake – with three kinds of chocolate and adorned with books – all to ourselves. There were evening outfits for a virtual celebration, and there was wine.
I just finished reading Meik Wiking's The Art of Making Memories, and he talks about how photographs are the "key to a vault of memories", and a way to "outsource" memories by serving as triggers. He suggests that we can recall special moments more vividly if they are rich with sensory detail and we pay attention to the little things. "You remember things by association," he writes, "so make sure you place something in your experience that can take you back to this exact moment."
A day like this is not merely about showing up; a fair bit of thought goes into it, and it was these nuances that I wanted to remember, because this was the culmination of daydreams and efforts. I knew early on that I would be directly involved and behind the camera as much as possible, whatever form this day took, and following the work of some amazing photographers for years served as my inspiration. The people – both here and from afar – the love, the intentions, the expectations, the decisions, and even the curation, time and backache of photographing these elements are all part of the memory this will eventually become.