For better or worse, weddings are undoubtedly a time when the reality of our family dynamics are brought to the forefront. Sometimes weddings make a difficult relationship come to a head, sometimes its an excuse to finally see the brother you haven’t spoken to in fifteen years.

The visibility of family dynamics showed a particular fervor at Kate and Kevin’s ceremony on September 23 at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton Township, NJ. I adored Kate and Kevin from the first moment I met them. We bonded over the love of good food, travel, and, of course, coffee. However, as it is with many of the couples I’ve worked with, I didn’t see them shine until their wedding day. 

Now I have to preface by saying I can’t swear to how Kate and Kevin interact with their families every day. I don’t know how many times a week Kevin calls his mother and I don’t know how many holidays Kate has not spent with her parents. What I can tell you, through Kate’s father giving her away to the love of her life, through heartfelt toasts by siblings and friends, and through lingering, meaningful hugs, I witnessed a closeness between two families that I do not often see. Whether it was a sibling, a parent, or even an in-law, each member of Kate’s family and each member of Kevin’s family presented an overwhelming feeling of tribe-hood and allowed the honesty and genuine joy of the couple be the focus of their wedding day. 

In a world of difficult, sometimes broken, relationships, I saw a whole family [a new family] stand together for two of their own and truly honor the couple with a day that was all about them.

I write all of this with a naiveté of a first impression. But I hope that Kate and Kevin know that as I watched them move throughout the most beautiful day of their lives, I saw love follow them everywhere they went. I hope that this is a love that will always surround them and permeate their lives. With a little luck, and a little help from their friends, I hope that the beauty of their wedding day is something that stays with them forever.