Photos & Text by Tony
Life is a funny thing; and when life offers an adventure, I try to jump on it every time.
In 2002/2003 my wife, Jocelyn, met a longtime friend, Marli, by doing a high school exchange program in a quaint town in the very northern part of Germany. That in and of itself was an adventure all on its own.
In late 2016 another adventure was planned. This time in the United Kingdom and this time our two kids and I were allowed to join Marli, and Jocelyn. By the end of our time spent together there, a domino effect had started that would eventually lead Jocelyn and I to yet another adventure; starting in France and eventually into Northern Germany the following year.
I can’t tell you how fun/exciting/bizarre it is to shoot a wedding with my wife’s secondary childhood family in a country where english is not the primary language. I pride myself in many things, but knowing a second language is not one of them.
Now I have shot a wedding before where everything was spoken in Mandarin, and I did love it. It’s so unique documenting a love story where your only clue to what’s going on is the body language, laughter and tears; and it’s AMAZING! If you ever have the opportunity to witness a wedding that’s in a language you don’t speak, I highly recommend it.
However, despite not being able to speak German, I grew up with an extended family that spoke a different dialect of the language almost exclusively around me. And I somehow managed to not pick up a single word.
However, with Jocelyn’s history with the family, with how welcoming they were of me and with my childhood memories of family gatherings spoken in a variation of this language, I felt like I was part of this family, and felt like I was at home. As I sat there surrounded by lovely people who I could barely communicate with, I wondered to myself, is this what my dog feels like when I’m talking to him?
I can’t thank Juli and Nils enough for allowing me into their day to document such an important piece of their story. And that “thank-you” extends to Marli as well, who made it all happen. A secondary big “thank you” to Marli, who didn’t mind me airing out my socks and footwear from her car, while driving, after I had fallen into the Baltic Sea while taking formal portraits of the happy couple.
Congrats to Juli and Nils on starting their own big adventure together.
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