I promise this isn't just an excuse to show more wedding pictures.
So the photographs from our big day have been piling in. We have five major sources of pictures: our professional photographer, my oldest friend and her camera, my father and uncle sharing another camera, my father-in law and his phone, and my sister-in-law and her school project. So we've got really five people who were taking pictures. A stranger, a friend, a father of the bride, an uncle, and the sister to the groom. We've got different ages, we've got different motivations. And seeing the day through these different people's eyes has really reminded me that everyone sees one big event differently.
I remember it a certain way. I remember being really frustrated with my wedding coordinator. I remember being angry and hurt that Alex forgot the backpack full of props and music back down the mountain. I remember feeling fat and not believing anyone that I looked good. For the good amount of the day, I wanted to disappear, because I felt like I was ugly and unwanted at my own wedding.
But I also remember Alex looking so in love. I remember him taking my hand and pulling me in as he sang a song to me in front of everyone. I saw him smile. And I could breathe for the first time that day (mostly due to the corset in my dress and elevation of Estes Park, but you know, still).
Now the pictures roll in. Our photographer captures these small moments of Alex and me being in love. She gets these little moments with nature that are gorgeous. She shows this brilliance of the village around us, the grand landscape where we chose to give our vows.
My friend, I can tell, focuses more on details. She has this gorgeous photo of an elk that shows individual hairs on its neck. I promise, it's a lot more majestic when you see it.
My father-in-law focused in on Alex. My father focused in on me. My uncle focused in on both of us. And my sister-in-law captured pictures that no one else thought to capture, mostly of my mother-in-law and of her brothers. She even has one of my brother and me, and I got to see our relationship through another's eyes.
Seeing how each of these people focus on different things in a scene, frame it in different ways, put their own spins and angles and filters ... it is a good lesson in character. It is a good nudge to keep perspective in mind. I know that people have discovered this before, like with The Slap, etc., but it's just so fascinating.
I guess the question then becomes, how can we be mindful of this while writing?
I think the answer lies in a lot of strong characterization. Each one of us came to the wedding with our own centralization, our own web of relationships to other guests and wedding party members. For some of us, it was our wedding, for others, it was our children's wedding. There's a huge difference in emotion there.
So knowing each of your characters walking in, I think that will help ground you in separate head spaces.
What a cool exercise in perspective.
What is this?
Dawson is an editor and writer and MFA student at Stonecoast. She writes stuff.