“The earth is like a beautiful bride who needs no manmade jewels to heighten her loveliness...” ~ Kahlil Gibran (Essayist, Novelist and Poet. 1883-1931)The Setting: The Rose Gardens at Norfolk Botanical Garden
The Time: May through July, Any given year.
The Subject: Weddings, Brides, Love is in the Air.
Beginning in late May and extending through July, the scenes are repeated over and over. Brides flock to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens for wedding portraits and often, for the wedding itself. The rose garden is one of many venues available and is planted with hundreds of rose bushes in all shades of pink, red, yellow, orange, white, cream and everything in between. Tree roses, hybrid teas, old English roses, floribundas, fragrant and vibrant with color fill the space. Wide lush green grass walkways all lead to a central gazebo covered in tiny, yellow, delicate climbing roses. To one side is a stone building with stairs leading up to a low roof where a string quartet sits, the beautiful strains of The Wedding March and other classics wafting through the air. The large stone wall near the steps is covered completely with masses of ruby red climbing roses interspersed with leaves of dark emerald green. It is a royal place, a magic place, a perfect place for a wedding. No need for a floral budget here.... the flowers ARE the cathedral with blue skies and fluffy clouds as the ceiling and the soft green grass as the carpet. Simply add guests and the wedding party and in one simple step... a wedding.
Even if the wedding is held elsewhere, this is a favorite place for wedding portraits. On this day, I saw no less than three brides in various areas of the garden. Her photographer was set up far to my left and in front of me, posing her for a silhouette shot. I was using my long lens with no flash and was far enough away to be unnoticed by anyone. Everyone was shooting the flowers, as was I, but I thought there was a story here. Such promise in her pose. She was radiant, even without seeing her face you could tell this was so. I wondered what she was thinking. Was she simply excited, happy, anxious? Or was she taking in all the beauty of her surroundings and making mental notes to remember this day as well as her wedding day. Did the fragrance of the roses send her to the same imaginary world of perfection it always seems to send me? I couldn't help sending her candid silent wishes for a long and loving marriage filled with much happiness and joy! Oh, yes... I DO hope she got to have her ceremony right here.... no place could be more perfect.
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Carmi's Theme - "Candid"