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Personal

My journey | Why I started Photography

As I sit here trying to find words to start what will be a long post I’m a little lost for words.  I get a knot in my throat and my heart aches whenever I think back on my wedding day…It was the most amazing day of my life, the day I married my best friend. Someone who I knew I would grow old with. Yet, I do not have one single professional photo of the beautiful fall day in Charlotte, NC.

I’ll never forget the day he proposed.  We just finished closing on our newly constructed home in Charlotte, NC. We decided to take a leap of faith and move out of Miami.  We were so excited to start a new journey somewhere we had never been.  We were lucky enough to have some family make the move as well. This made it easier for us!  We had a new set of keys to our brand new house and as I walk in I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear. This is our new home, our home where we would raise our kids (so we thought) and grow old together.  As I entered the kitchen, my favorite room in the house, I saw red roses, a bottle of champagne and a card! I was thinking “how nice of him to put a personal touch”.  Well to my surprise while reading the card I turned around and he’s on one knee asking me to marry him! I was the happiest girl alive.  A beautiful new home and my love proposed. Life was good!!!

Shortly after all the planning began.  All the dreams I ever had of having a wedding were starting to come to life.  The first thing I looked up was Charlotte photographers! I knew how important it was to have this day documented so this was a must. I found Agie Photography through google and searching a thousand wedding blogs and websites. Fell in love with his photos and booked him. We had our engagement session by him and all was hunky dory! (See some below)

As days, months past by I realized how expensive everything was. How little by little things were adding up to a lot more then what I wanted to spend. But no way was I making any changes! The planning must go on.  I must have the wedding of my dreams!

Four months before the wedding my fiance then, husband now, asked “how much is this costing us?”  My face turned red, I blushed and mumbled in a low voice scared of his reaction “oh roughly $40,000.” I swear I’ll never forget the look on his face. I laugh now and shake my head at the thought of it but boy was I scared.  You see, we have a good balance. He brings me down from cloud 9 when I get over my head and I do the same for him.  We always try to do our best to compromise with each other and listen to each other (as much as we can lol), remind ourselves to stay humble and remember what’s truly important.  So that’s what he did, he brought me down from cloud 9.

Reality hit…it hit hard! We simply could NOT afford the wedding I was planning. We had just purchased a new home a few months back, moved to a new city and started new jobs with not enough time to save. I cried, I screamed, I did what any bride would do. Sob until their were no more tears left. I had to put my big girl panties on and make some tough decisions.

I thought about moving the date, canceling the wedding and doing a small court ceremony, you name it! But my family just wouldn’t have it. So with much pain and sadness I started to cut back. Cut back on vendors and details that just weren’t that ‘important’. Changed my flowers around, made changes to my linens, venue etc.  These things really didn’t bother me. I knew at the end of the day the most important part of this day is marrying my best friend and our family and friends there to witness it. The rest was just materialistic!

But the one thing I regret every single day especially on my anniversary every year, is canceling my wedding photographer.  Yes you read it right, I cancelled Agie, my photographer. Its even hard to type or even believe frankly.  But I did. I remember sitting across my mom and Robert in her living room getting ready to make the call to Agie and telling him we won’t be needing his services due to our budget.  I didn’t realize then how much this would affect me.  Especially now that I have a daughter.

On 10.18.2008 we said I do! We had an incredible day with friends and family who flew all the way to charlotte to be with us. every single one of my family members and friends took pictures of us that day. I even had a friend who had a pretty good camera (rolling my eyes lol) take some getting ready photos of me and some other shots. For that I am forever thankful for.

But not one photo of Robert and I kissing at the alter after being introduced as husband and wife. Not one photo of us with our court on the beautiful golf course we got married in.  Not one photo good enough, sharp enough to hang on our wall at home. This breaks my heart and I will forever regret this decision.  The only decision I regret making when I was ‘cutting back’.

You see, I was a bride with a vision. A bride that wanted it all but simply couldn’t have it.  This world can be very materialistic. We look at what others have a wonder ‘why can’t I have it’. I learned a very valuable life lesson with my wedding. I learned to stay humble. I learned that I never wanted to miss another day in my life….or anyone else’s.  I knew from that day on I will never, ever miss another milestone in my life.  Two months later, February 2009 I purchased my first ‘semi-professional’ camera and started snapping pictures of anyone who would let me.

It’s been 7 years since I BUILT this BUSINESS FROM THE GROUND UP.  I taught myself everything I know and I’ve met some pretty amazing people along the way.  I’ve also learned through my journey that you can have everything you want in life, just not always at the time you want it.  I’m now able to have beautiful memories of my daughter as she grows up.  I now have the ability to photograph your wedding day and give you back something I never had.

I tell my brides all time, I live vicariously through them.  I get to capture their special day and give them a gift they will treasure forever.  Yes I understand completely when a bride and groom can’t afford my services, trust me, I know!! But don’t go without a photographer. Don’t make the same mistake I did.  Cut back if you have to on other things that will not live (flowers) or be around after the big day.  You can still have a beautiful wedding without all the bells and whistles, just have someone document it!

  1. Lulu

    December 4th, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    You know what you need to do ! Pit that drrss Back on, put rob in A suit and Let’s make it happen !!! 😘

  2. Linette Gary

    March 4th, 2018 at 4:44 am

    Elizabeth. Your 10 year anniversary is coming up! Do something special like a vowel renewal and document it! Best part? Your daughter is here and will be a perfect completion to your family not to mention, a memory SHE’LL never forget. Loved your story!

  3. Elizabeth Garay

    March 5th, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Hi Linette! Yes we have a plan for our 10 year and I’m very excited 🙂

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