February 8, 2019
Background story for Logan Utah Wedding Photographer Lauren Kay Photography.
I hesitate to share this. I hesitate to share this for so many reasons.
I hesitate to share this because I know what it means for my family and friends and all those who helped with our wedding.
I hesitate to share this because it’s a part of my soul that I’ve been hiding for four years and my heart desperately resists putting it out in the open.
I hesitate to share this because I believe in being positive and this story isn’t.
I hesitate because this seems so inconsequential when there are those who have been through horrendously heart-wrenching trials.
But this is my story. This is my why. And it’s time for me to share it.
I didn’t love my wedding. Honestly, I didn’t even like it.
I got married when I was 19 to the guy I had had a crush on ever since I met him at age 15. Literally, it was a dream come true. An impossible reality. Everything I could have ever hoped or dreamed for in a love story – except that it wasn’t.
When I planned my wedding, I totally thought it was exactly what I and we wanted. I didn’t want help because “I knew what I wanted, I could do it best, and I didn’t need anyone’s help”. Although at the time I had no idea I was being this prideful, in retrospect it is crystal clear to me. It had nothing to do with my budget, I had plenty to work with. It was all me.
It is so difficult to portray the depth of emotion I feel without it sounding dry or inconsequential. But try to imagine with me for just a moment…
Imagine your wedding day. Whether you’re married already or you have a dream of how that day will go. And imagine that it is not a happy memory. That you don’t have a single picture of it in your home. That you don’t like to talk about it. Imagine that you cry every time you come home from a friend’s reception because it’s so painful. That every time you see someone’s wedding photos, you’re fighting back the tears. Imagine that you can’t bring yourself to watch other people’s wedding videos because it’s a jabbing reminder of what you could’ve had and chose not to.
Imagine that you didn’t even get ready – the day you get to be the princess you’ve dreamed of being since you were three – you didn’t even do your hair or makeup. Imagine that you didn’t dance with your daddy or your sweetheart. That it wasn’t really a celebration at all. Imagine that you had burned so many bridges along the way that you could literally count how many of your friends came on one hand. That you had damaged your relationship with your sweetheart so much that your wedding night was a fiasco. Imagine that you spent the first years of your marriage grieving over what the start of your marriage could’ve been rather than celebrating how it started.
And you never get a chance to do it over.
I could go through all the details, and eventually I will, but that’s for a later time.
With more gratitude than I could ever express, I’ve found healing in Christ and it’s no longer painful for me. I love seeing other people’s weddings now. I can even laugh at how stupid I was, which is huge! But it doesn’t change the fact that I look back on my wedding and literally regret every single thing except that I was sealed to my sweetheart forever in the temple of God.
This might not sound like much of a trial, but for me it was a refiner’s fire.
And it’s why I actually became a photographer.
I’ve just never had the courage to share it until now. Since starting this photography journey, I have beat around this bush. I haven’t wanted to share this because it is so vulnerable for me. I haven’t wanted to share this because I don’t want to seem ungrateful for all that my family and loved ones did for me and our wedding day. I want them to know without a shadow of a doubt that this is all on me – no one is at fault but myself. I haven’t wanted to share this because I don’t want pity. I haven’t wanted to share this because I know to others it may not seem like a big deal.
But I finally decided I couldn’t keep going in my business as a lie. It was time to either share why I’m really doing this, or be done. I didn’t become a photographer just because I like pretty pictures or because I had a knack for it. I became a photographer because I want to serve brides. I want more than anything to be able to help someone – even if it’s just one person – not make the same mistakes I did.
My wedding was a painful experience for me and my husband. A day clouded by deep regrets. It should have been one of the happiest days of our lives and it was just the opposite.
I never want a single bride or groom to go through what I have.
The thought of helping brides create a day worthy of their love story lights my soul on fire. It keeps me up at night. It gets me so excited! The chance to use all I’ve learned from my experience to bless someone else is a chance I long for with all my soul.
I was totally that bride who thought it was ridiculous that people spent so much on their weddings. I was totally that bride who thought, “It doesn’t matter. It’s just a day.” I am not that bride anymore. I know how important a wedding day really is and why it matters. I know what makes it truly meaningful. And I’m here to let my experience be a blessing to others.
I want to serve you. I care about you.
I’m not just here to be your wedding photographer. I’m not just here to take some pictures and call it good. I am here for you. To be your friend. Your extra bridesmaid. The one you can ask a million questions to. The one who sees your vision and does all she can to make it a reality. The one who knows all your wedding day can be, and not only captures your love story perfectly, but helps you craft it to be exactly what you’ve always dreamed.