The journey of love starts long before we ever meet the person we’ll go on to marry. It begins in our mother’s arms, the moment after we’re born. It’s captured in our earliest smiles and giggles, as we learn to take delight in the presence of other people. When we take our first tottering steps, the guiding hand of a parent teaches us that in order to succeed, we must sometimes accept help.
These fundamental lessons continue as we grow: From falling off a bike, we discover that loving arms and comfort can make us brave, so that we try again. Leaving home to attend school makes home dear to our hearts, defining it as the one safe space that we can always return to. As we make friends, we come to understand that joys are amplified when they’re shared, and burdens truly are made lighter by many hands. Even our first arguments enlighten us: When we make up with our friends as children, we learn how to accept people for who they are, for “two persons cannot long be friends if they cannot forgive each other’s little failings.” (Jen Bruyere) We learn how to love someone even if we don’t always agree with them. Finally, as our friends help us through the biggest challenge of growing up—transitioning from adolescence to adulthood—we realize that seeing problems from multiple perspectives is the best way to solve them. We see that we’re not always right, but we don’t have to be; our community of family and friends will love us just the way we are.
When I shoot beautiful wedding photography in Paphos, I am reminded of all of these lessons, so central to building character and finding peace. After all, each wedding is not just a commitment between two people; like the Dayna and Patrik’s celebration, shown in this amazing wedding photography at the Elysium hotel, it’s a culmination of many years spent learning how to love. From our family and friends, we learn the acceptance, openness, forgiveness, and generosity we will need to form a happy marriage. And when, like Dayna and Patrik, we invite our family and friends to our wedding, we’re committing to them, too. We’re telling them that we want them to be immortalized in our happiest memories, and we want them be an irreplaceable part of our future. We’re thanking them for teaching us that, “To live and to love are inseparable from each other.” (Shirley Vandersteen)
Without our friends and family, we would never know how to treat our husband or wife like what they are: Our best friend. As you enjoy Dayna and Patrik’s amazing wedding photography at the Elysium hotel, take a moment to think of the people who taught you how to give and receive the greatest gift of all…