Aimee & Michael: {Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens} West Palm Beach Wedding

I was recently blessed to be a part of the West Palm Beach wedding of two of my favorite people.  Aimee and I were best friends and neighbors in high school. We shared a closet, a music library, and lots of crazy memories.  In college, her older sister would often babysit my son.  And, Aimee and Mike have always welcomed me warmly into their home in sunny Los Angeles.  Last spring, I was lying in their guest bedroom dozing before a day of wine tasting when I heard lots of giggling and excitement in the other room.  I sent her a text asking if I'd be shooting their wedding soon and the laughter that erupted confirmed my suspicions.  So, I feel like I've been right there with them for every step of this crazy, beautiful ride.

Aimee is one of those women who walks into a room and everyone is immediately drawn to her.  It's not just that she's beautiful, smart, and talented...it's that she has a magnetic personality, a quirky sense or humor, and is warm, open, and wise beyond her years.  When she and Mike met, she refused to play games and not call him for days.  She said "when something feels right, you just do it."  Truer words have never been said, my friend. When life gives you a gift this great, you accept it with an open heart.

Over the past few years, I've also enjoyed getting to know Mike and I'm endlessly impressed by the way he loves Aimee with no limits and accepts her with no conditions. He is her biggest supporter and is there whether she is standing tall or at her lowest.  Mike was so incredibly intense during his vows that it would be impossible to doubt his commitment and sincerity to this marriage.  He is a talented artist and even painted a wedding gift for Aimee that you will see below.  I don't have enough kind words for this man who doesn't just tolerate our silliness, but initiates Michael Jackson dance parties in the back seats of taxi cabs and quotes movie monologues like nobody's business.

I've seen hundreds of weddings and I can honestly say that Aimee & Mike's was one of the most personal ceremonies I've witnessed.  Officiated by their friend, he brought us all from laughter to tears and back again.  I can't tell you how thrilled I was that after months of begging for them to begin the ceremony with "Mowage....wuv...and mowage" he actually did!  

I was lucky enough to play a few roles that busy weekend...friend, photographer, and reader.  Aimee asked me to keep the selection I had chosen a secret so they could fully participate in the experience and hear the reading for the first time along with their guests. Since Aimee & Mike recently relocated from Los Angeles to New York with their two sweet little pups, I felt like this was the perfect choice.

Aimee & Mike: You are each other's 'person' now...so be best friends, be loyal and protective, take long walks, fill your home with laughter and forgiveness, remember that our lives are short, and guard what you have between you like a dog with a bone.  A love this big is precious and rare.  And, love always multiplies.

How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog
by Taylor Mali

First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?

On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.

Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.

Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Somethimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know "Don't you ever do that again!"

Sometimes love just wants to go out for a nice long walk.

Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block
and leave you panting, breathless. Pull you in different directions
at once, or wind itself around and around you
until you’re all wound up and you cannot move.

But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops