Not every story is easy to tell.  Some stories leave such an impression that words don’t seem adequate.  It’s every photographer’s hope to help tell these stories with meaningful photographs.  This couple briefly stepped into my world and I can not stop thinking about them.  Their story is still somewhat of a puzzle to me, one where I have only a few of the pieces.

First, they are the youngest couple I have ever photographed being wed.

He is a sailor.  Old enough to serve our country but too young to celebrate the marriage with even a champagne toast.

She is a college freshman living on the opposite coast from her beloved, still at home with her mother.

She wore an anchor charm around her neck and came down the stairs barefoot to meet her groom, not a bit of makeup on her clean face.  He never uttered a word until he was asked to give his vows, just stood there with his hands folded and face a little red.  I’ve never seen a young man so nervous or hold his breath so long.

Her mother was in attendance and their only witness, other than the officiant and myself, to the wedding.

I’ve named them Romeo and Juliet for a few reasons.

His father does not approve of their relationship….too serious at too young an age.  He is someone of importance in the film industry in Hollywood, and I imagine he has his own expectations for his son.

They intend to keep their marriage a secret until they feel it is appropriate to announce it.  Or to recreate it without any mention of this secret ceremony.  Whatever will cause his family the least pain or stress.

I’m a mother…and I couldn’t help but put myself in the place of their parents.  They looked so nervous… young. But when did I turn into the person who holds youth against someone…against their own good judgement??  My overwhelming feelings were fear for them, for their future….to make a choice like this at such a young age.

But my mother wed that young and is nearing 40 years of marriage.  And I know of many others who settled their hearts upon their first love in their youth, still writing their own happy endings.  So I choose to think positively about this couple, marrying against all odds, and am praying for their amazing story (whatever it truly is) to outlast them all.




  1. What you wrote is really beautiful….yes, we who are older and MAYBE wiser will catch our breath at their youth and decisions made BUT they are following their hearts …. who is to say which is right? I met a man, considered by some to be too young, who spoke to my heart with a simple “Hello”. I listened to many who said we shouldn’t be together, but my heart over ruled those nay sayers and I finally said “YES!”. He made me believe in love again….he accepted my four children and loves them as though they were his own. We have been together for 22 years and he still gives me butterflies when his lips touch mine. I would like to think Romeo and Juliet will be showing these captivating pictures of their wedding day to their great grandchildren someday and tell them their story…..”Once upon a time……” for above all… I BELIEVE IN LOVE!

    • Roxie, you are so wonderful! Your husband must adore you! If two people determine to love each other through it all (with God right in the middle of it) it’s bound to grow into an amazing love story.


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