Renata and Roman, in the mountains of Switzerland. Appenzell, to be precise, where Roman grew up in a quaint, quiet little town, so picturesque it seems straight out of a fairytale. This was one for the books.
She’s Chilean, they live in Chile, they have their life in Santiago. They did a civil wedding there last year but Roman and Renata wanted to also be able to celebrate their beautiful commitment with his family so they made the journey, thousands of miles, with suitcases full of mini pisco bottles and merquen as favors, a wedding dress and a rough idea of how they hoped this day would turn out. Planning online from abroad, in such a small, non-touristy village, where most people don’t speak English or Spanish, let alone have a website for their businesses, could not have been easy.
I overhead Renata telling the band that when she contacted them online and sent them the deposit money, she was actually a little nervous that they weren’t even a real band, that it was some kind of internet scam and she had no idea if they would even show up or not (for the record, they did, and they were amazing).
But with a little hard work, love and care and LOT of faith, Renata and Roman pulled it off, they made this magical day happen and were able to share and enjoy every moment with Roman’s little corner of Switzerland universe. The celebration was incredibly important to his family, it meant the world to them to have his parents there, looking on emotionally as he said his vows to Renata.
When Renata started speaking, she choked up and the first thing she said through tears was, “I feel so far away from home….but I’m still so happy.”
With that statement, the gravitas of documenting this day, the importance of what I do when I photograph a wedding was all summed up into one emotion. Her mom, her dad, her family, far away in Chile, they need these pictures. They need to feel like they were there. Roman’s family needs these pictures. A documentation of one of the most important days in their own history, for many reasons.
And I felt a lump in my throat, as there’s no statement I can relate to more. That bittersweetness, that maybe you always carry with you when you’re far away from home…but still so happy. I hope you can feel that when you read these words and look at these photos.