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Meera Graham Photography
Let's dare to do this sh*t our own way.

words & images

My blog features beautiful humans of every shape, size, race, gender-presentation, sexuality...and more. This is the place where I get to celebrate them and tell their stories.

Real Stuff.

See the world through my eyes, and the eyes of my people.

Lindsay and Richard: Doing Joy Their Own Way - an authentic, DIY, doughnut-filled wedding at the Lake Mohawk Country Club

I knew Lindsay back in HIGH SCHOOL. She was a year ahead of me, and to this day is still one of the kindest, warmest people I've ever met - which is saying a lot; New Jersey can be a harsh place, not really known for an abundance of gentle souls like her. Having 4 older brothers made her one of the most laid back gals you'd ever meet. Growing up a preacher's kid made her one of the kindest.

When she and Richard got in touch about their wedding, it had literally been over 14 years since I had seen or spoken to her last. They've been together for 8 years and have known each other for a decade. Richard, too, is cheery and kind and warm. (I love when the right people find each other. They just feel...easy...together.)

Lindsay and Richard are both involved with professional theatre - in their day-to-day lives, they are actors, educators and facilitators of this art. Now, when professional performers get married, things can go one of two ways - they either find it hard to shut down their "performance" side, or they actively work to make sure that their wedding does not feel like another performance in a life of performance-based work. Lindsay and Richard chose that second option. There wasn't a drop of spectacle or show at any point during their day. No fancy lighting, or over-the-top "staging" for these two. Lindsay and Richard were as excited to help their loved ones get ready as they were to get ready themselves. And instead of hiring a thousand vendors, friends and family came together to make all the little details happen - from favors to decor to boutonnieres, to a "doughnut-topper" made with paper (they didn't want a cake. And for the record - YES, I had to Google the spelling of boutonnieres).

OH - and this should really tell you something about these two. They held their wedding on the same day as two momentous events in their families: Lindsay's parents' anniversary, and Richard's mom's birthday. They were not only overjoyed to have their wedding date fall on this meaningful day, they took time to celebrate both things during the night. UMMMM. How flippin' lovely is that??? No self-importance at this party.

Just start looking through these photos, and you'll see a lot -

Here's what it looks like when you enter your wedding morning relaxed and excited to spend the day with those you love, rather than focusing on perfection or unrealistic expectations:

Here's what it looks like when you are so generous-hearted and so beloved by your community that every single person in your life is thrilled to celebrate your happiness with you:

Here's what it looks like when you involve your community in every part of your wedding - from your father officiating your ceremony after walking you down the aisle, to students serenading you, to siblings sharing readings:

HERE's what it looks like when you keep things so low-key that it's easy to shift from a sentimental celebration to an unfettered dance party, kicked off with a first dance full of joy and laughs:

Here's what it's like to be authentically and beautifully honored by friends who love you and feel you're a blessing:

HERE'S what it looks like to have a community that knows how to CELEBRATE. And what it looks like when you are part of a big and loving family, and beloved by many generations of siblings, nieces and nephews. And further down... what it looks like when you're part of a Preacher's family and "Son of Preacher Man" comes on.

Here's what it looks like when - moments after you "cut the doughnut" together, you take the time to celebrate other loved ones' birthdays and anniversary. Because honoring others' happiness is just part of who you are:

I'm so, so blessed to work with people that know what really matters about a wedding, and Lindsay and Richard were no exception. They've been together a long time - they know how to laugh, how to stand by each other, how to love and how to spread joy. L&R - may your marriage continue exactly as it began: honestly, joyfully, protected by the love and support of community young and old, with endless opportunities for sharing and laughter and dance.