An August Wedding at Blackberry Farm

A few weeks ago I photographed my oldest friend Ali wedding her long-term girlfriend Sam at Ali’s incredible family home on the island the three of us grew up on.  Ali and I spent innumerable hours in this magical place as kids playing on rope-swings, roofs, trees and forest-trails, covered in berries, mud, stinging nettles, clay, sap or pond water.   We shared our excruciatingly dorky teenage years, our love for 80’s hair-metal, our secrets and laughter, and a miserable yet empowering outward bound expedition which we confused beforehand with simple summer-camp.  We grew up, settled into different towns, moved toward our own careers, and stayed close.  Photographing this wedding was profoundly moving for me, not only because I have known and loved Ali and her family for almost 3 decades, but because I first found and fell in love with a camera at this home, one day picking up her parents polaroid at age nine, immediately claiming Ali as my muse.   I have always been drawn to this place, so beautifully designed by Ali’s parents, so warmly cultivated with artistry and ease, filled to the brim with paintings, music, food, books and a steady flow of foreign visitors.

I am most excited about weddings wherein the couples’ community brings a celebration to fruition from the ground up.  This wedding was a beautiful example of this:  friends and family grew and arranged every flower, built both bridge and dance-floor by hand, loaned each plate and spoon, cooked every dish for their amazing dinner.   On top of celebrating their strong partnership we honored these two beautiful women simultaneously balanced on the threshold of motherhood, Ali 8 months pregnant and glowing, tireless.   I could go on and on, because these were all the things I meant to say at the wedding, yet was too busy shooting to surmount my nerve and give a toast.

I am delighted for you two, and I cannot wait to be a part of your lives for another 30 years, to meet your daughter who is due (today, as I write this!) and to return to Blackberry Farm in all it’s incarnations year after year, home away from home.   Congratulations Ali and Sam–I love you!

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