Why it Matters Most - The Marriage of Becky and Julie at Henrietta's Table
Today is an important day for millions of same sex couples and their families around the United States. The Supreme Court will "hear a challenge to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which bars married gay couples from receiving federal marriage benefits. The federal law defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. President Clinton, who signed the law, recently recommended that it be overturned." -Thanks Boston Globe for breaking it down for me cause I stink and summarizing stuff. But THIS is not a political post. This is a post about marriage. A marriage that matters most on this day. Because this marriage is more than two people. This marriage is actually about three people. Two women and a little lady. Julie and Becky have been my clients WAAAAYYYY before I ever considered photographing weddings. They were one of my first family clients ever when I moved to Boston. They were around before the blog. Before my expensive cameras and before I kinda knew what I was doing in terms of business. But they have grown right a long with me and I love them for that.
Julie and Becky adopted an amazing light of a daughter a few years back, named Ally. They love her more than anything in the world. It's so obvious when you see this family together. It makes my heart sing.
Last year, Julie was trying to schedule in a family shoot for their holiday card and my schedule was pretty nuts. We were trying to figure out how to fit everything in and then the emails stopped for a bit. One day I received an email from Julie saying that they wanted to pass on the family card this year. They wanted to know if I was around to photograph their wedding instead! I was overjoyed that not only was I available but that they were finally tying the knot.
When I met with them to talk about price and stuff I decided to ask them something a little personal.
Me: So why get married now?
Julie and Becky: Everyone is asking telling us "oh it's like you are married already" or "Finally you are going to get married".
Me: No that's not what I asked. I wanna know why NOW?
They looked at one another and their answer took me by surprise. For some stupid judegmental reason, I assumed that Julie would be the one that wanted to get married first. But this was not the case. It was Becky who had been trying to convince Julie to take the next step and marry. I looked at Becky as Julie explained that she was more nervous about this choice because everything was so great now why did they need a piece of paper to prove their love and commitment. All true I thought. And then I said something like this.
Me: Hmmmmm... I get that. But think of it this way. This is not just about the two of you. It's really about the three of you! We are lucky enough to live in a state where you CAN get married. You can really call Becky your wife and legally she WILL be. It will provide Ally with not only legal rights to her mommies but she will be able to say that HER parents are married too. You need to do this for all your gay brothers and sisters who would die to have the rights you have here in Massachusetts. It means everything and MORE! You love her, she loves you. You both love your daughter. What more do you need? This is why it matters.
It is hard to describe the look these women were giving to each other as I said this but it was amazing. Love filled the room. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. They held hands and I could just tell it was what they needed to hear. At least I think it was. Maybe I'm giving myself too much credit, but whatever happened at that moment, it mattered. It mattered to me that's for sure.
Julie and Becky were married on December 26th in Cambridge at Henrietta's Table in the Charles Hotel smack dab in the middle of Harvard Square. They were surrounded by their friends and close family. But most importantly their daughter Ally was by their side. And it all mattered to everyone.