I have a co-worker who is coming into her own as a photographer. The best advice I have given her thus far is that she needs to have thick skin. Photography is an art form, and not everyone likes the same kind of art. Some people just are not going to like how we take pictures - and that is just fine.
My thick skin came in handy early this year. For the first time ever, I had a couple cancel a contract because they just did not like my work. It stung, real bad - I can't even pretend to lie. My heart dropped like a bowling ball Charlie tried throwing down a lane, and my face got hot. It wasn't even confrontational - just a super sweet, honest email (which I totally appreciated). Still. It hit me hard.
Quickly though, my ever-efficient self started planning. I had to release the date for availability and try to re-book that date immediately. Right?
It wasn't so much a light bulb that went off as it was a large explosion of epiphany mixed with transformation.
If there is one place in the world I love more than anywhere, it is Colorado. Ryan and I even went there on our first vacation together last summer. We spent a few quick days exploring the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park (near Shadow Mountain).
It was perfect.
Now that my dream wedding was finally possible, things just felt better. I did not feel tormented or overwhelmed. It felt peaceful.
When brides ask me what they should know about planning their wedding, my advice is pretty much always the same: do what YOU want to do.
Sure, when I planned my first wedding, I had it in Wisconsin and it was huge. At the time though, that was what was important: being surrounded by all my friends and family and having my grandmas there.
Now, my friend circle is tighter and more meaningful, and my family includes Charlie and Ryan. Even though we are not married yet, we are already a family. The only one missing from the event will likely be Tyson (my dog), but that is only a physical thing.
I know my grandparents will be there, with Tyson, standing on a mountaintop as I marry a man who truly cares about my hopes, my dreams, and our future. I know that my heart will fully be there in those mountains.
This time around, I am not settling.