A few weeks ago, I had to remember our wedding again; a Brazilian blog asked to publish it and wanted to know what motivated us to have the wedding we had. It was pretty clear to me: we wanted it to be one big party – no map table and no defined hour to eat, we wanted people to dance and have fun with us! Though eloping wouldn’t have been an appropriate option for us, I happen to totally understand couples that decide to go for an elopement: nothing to care about, no one asking you to pose on a photo with her while you’re trying to reach the buffet… just you and your beloved one and the pure feelings that go with the “Yes I do”. Tara and Joe decided to get married in Iceland—my dream destination!—and reading their photographer Levi’s words gave me goose bumps: what an honour it must be to be the only witness of something like that! Photography by Levi Tijerina.
Joe and I met while we were both working at the Guggenheim museum in New York. I had recently moved to New York and had been living in Italy for many years before that. I told Joe on our first date that I would be moving back to Italy as soon as possible, which is what I did. We spent one year apart but as soon as I returned we knew we never wanted to be apart again, and Joe proposed. We just wanted to be married, so within a couple weeks we married at city hall, and decided to plan a church ceremony for the following year. After many fruitless attempts to plan a wedding in New York, we finally decided to plan a honeymoon, and have a private church ceremony somewhere along the way. When I found the church at Budir in Iceland, everything fell into place naturally.We were married under the midnight sun at Budir, near the Snæfellsjökull glacier (a glacier on top of an extinct volcano) which is believed by many people to have mystical power. We were told on our wedding day to make sure to stare at the glacier. When I turned around to look out the door of the chapel I noticed the glacier was framed perfectly by the church gate.
Nothing. When we first got to Budir I was afraid I should have planned out the flowers better, however we picked wildflowers for a bouquet/boutonniere just before the ceremony, and they turned out beautifully.
… And one thing you’re really happy about/ proud of.
We wrote our own vows, which made our private ceremony really intimate and special.
The word of the photographer.
The first time I got a chance to talk with Tara and Joe was over Skype. After our initial conversation, though, I knew that their wedding was something that I had to be a part of. An amazing location, like Iceland, is fantastic, but being able to document a story that you get to be a part of is something ethereal. I was privileged to be one of the only witnesses present for their ceremony. That kind of trust is incredibly humbling and to this date that has been on of the most meaningful weddings I’ve ever been asked to document.In addition to that, though, Tara and Joe are incredibly gracious and adventuresome people and we spent the entire evening driving along the western coast of Iceland photographing and taking everything in. It really was an awesome way to document their wedding and explore the country. I mean, we picked Tara’s bouquet from the side of the road; it doesn’t get more incredible than to have that kind of adventure-as-you-go mindset. Everything–the people, the location, their vows–it really had a transcendent feel to it. It was like a physical analogy of what marriage is, you know? Something so much bigger than yourself.