June 23, 2020
“When life throws you a rainy day, play in the puddles.” – Winnie the Pooh. As we entered downtown Houston, the rain began to fall. First softly, slowly, then, it began to pour. April and I drove by the Houston Club, where the wedding ceremony was to be held. We decided it was best to drop April off at the hotel to meet the girls first, so she would not get soaked. I would swing back around to get a lay of the land. I dropped April off at the Hotel Zaza under the cover of valet parking to shield her from the downpour and headed back. As I neared my destination, I looked up, a group of about 250 protestors were crossing the street. In that moment, sitting there in the rain, delayed by the group, I couldn’t help but think. “I bet Chris and Traci did not picture their wedding day like this!”
When I arrived at the JW Marriot to meet up with the guys. I was warmly greeted by Chris. He was all smiles! I remember one of the first things he said was, “I am so glad we got a chance to talk over Facetime for a while, I feel like I already know you.” I am not sure if that was entirely correct, Chris was just that nice of a guy, I bet anyone would have felt like his friend upon meeting him.
After getting some detail shots of the separate wedding parties at their hotels, I headed to the Houston Club. Although the weather had started to clear, it was now muggy. Meeting Chris had certainly lifted my spirits, but a part of me still felt bad for the happy couple, having to endure so much on their special day. Then I met Traci. Traci had a presence that commanded the room, but a personality that instantly brought a smile to my face, almost as bright as hers.
Traci walked down the aisle. As she did the sun peered through the clouds, reflecting off of the windows from the towering buildings around us, illuminating the room. As she walked her joyous smile could be seen from any vantage point, her eyes fixed upon the man she would be doing life with forever. Chris stood there at the end of the aisle with a look of amazement on his face. A truly lucky man. There on the 49th floor of The Houston Club amidst a crowd seated to social distancing standards, during one of the strangest times of my life. Traci and Chris said “I do!”
As the evening went on the time for the happy couple to make a speech came. Chris took the mic and thanked everyone for coming. He highlighted how much it had meant to them. Then Traci shared, as tears of joy welled in her eyes she said, “We are having a one of kind experience, on one of the greatest days of our life!” It was in that moment that I realized, there is no reason to feel bad for this couple! They are having one of the best times of their lives!
Chris and Traci, thank you so much for allowing us to be there to celebrate your special day. Observing you two through our lenses was both joyful and encouraging. Though things may be in a bit of disarray, and though the storms may have come and life may have thrown you a rainy day. Thanks for letting us watch you, play in the puddles.
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