Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

the best weddings are just like thanksgiving jeff lundstrom photography

Ah, Thanksgiving. Family, football, turkey, and pumpkin pie.

My Uncle Perk loved Thanksgiving. He preferred it over Christmas because, in his words, Thanksgiving is “all about family”. It doesn’t have the distractions that come with Christmas. No decorations, no presents, no Santa Claus, no reindeer. Just family.

Personally, I have always preferred Christmas to Thanksgiving. I mean who doesn’t like getting presents? I used to love me some Christmas presents! I was one of those kids who was up at the crack of dawn and under that tree tearing into whatever Santa had brought me. But as I grew into my twenties and thirties, presents and things became less important.  The older you get, the more you realize how fleeting your time is and how precious your relationships are. And now that I have a family of my own, I’ve come around to my Uncle’s way of thinking.

Thanksgiving has officially supplanted Christmas at the top of my holiday list. I don’t think it’s ‘better’, it’s just more emblematic of what a holiday means to me as an adult. Intimate, warm and all about those that matter most in your life.

So, why am I writing about Thanksgiving on a Wedding Blog?

Because as I was thinking of some holiday related content for ya’ll to read, it dawned on me that Thanksgiving embodies all the elements of the weddings I truly love to photograph – intimate, warm, family-focused celebrations. Of all the categories of weddings I’ve shot over the years, my favorites have been the smaller, more intimate gatherings where family and friends play the starring role.

I believe that a wedding is a party first and a formality second. Kinda like a Thanksgiving Day feast. I don’t know about your Turkey Day’s growing up, but ours were spent at my Aunt’s house in New Jersey. An all-day event with plenty of football on the TV, kids running around in the yard, adults chatting away about life, glasses being raised to toast the day, and everyone stuffing themselves full of the best homemade fixins. It was a hodgepodge of activity. Kind of a ‘come as you are, do as you please’ vibe.

And when you’re with family, there’s really no other way to be.

So, as you plan your weddings for next year, keep that image in mind. Let Thanksgiving inspire you. Let it be a reminder that it’s your relationships that matter most. That ‘gather here together’ means that people put their lives on hold and travel far and wide to give you their thanks and to wish you well. You know, kinda like ‘over the river and through the woods’.

Be sure you make room for all that on your wedding day because it makes for the best memories.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

If you know anyone who could use a little Thanksgiving inspiration for their wedding, just click SHARE ON FACEBOOK to, you know, share on Facebook!


a sentimental trip to rome

a sentimental trip to rome

colosseum rome, italy

This past April, my family and I gave my mother her trip of a lifetime – Rome, Italy.

My mom was a History and Latin teacher for over thirty years. She especially loved Roman history. Naturally, my childhood was filled with stories of emperors and battles, daily Roman life and culture, not to mention word origins … oh, was there a lot of word origin lessons! Circumference, natatorium, arboretum – She never missed an opportunity to showcase Latin’s current day influence on the English language. A couple of years ago, when she was up visiting at Christmas, I asked her, “If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?” Without hesitation, she said “Rome!” All those years teaching others about Roman history and she had never experienced it for herself.

As children, we never really appreciate what our parents do for us. The lessons, the patience, the sacrifices, the early mornings, the late nights. Until you have children of your own, you won’t know what it’s like to be a parent. You can’t know. But when you walk in their shoes, you’ll understand. And when you understand, you will want to say “Thank You”. And we wanted to say thank you in a big way … what can I say, I wasn’t the easiest child to raise and neither were my brothers! Come to think of it, I think the size of the gift you give is directly proportionate to just how much of a pain in the ass you were to rear. Yeah, Rome was a BIG gift for mom and dad – LOL.

We spent 10 days in the Eternal City and did our best to live up to the old saying “When in Rome …” – Dining al fresco in the streets, freezing our brains on sublime gelato, enjoying home-made Italian style meals in our apartment (thanks to my brother Bill, the chef), wondering how on earth tomatoes can taste SO good, drinking way too much wine, people watching at the cafes while sipping capuccini, stuffing our faces with Roman-style pizza, and doing our best to support the local ‘selfie-stick’ economy. Rome is a special place. It has a unique blend of modernity and antiquity. One minute you are dodging scooters and mini-coopers, the other you are gazing up at a facade so old that it defies reason that it’s still standing. I couldn’t help but marvel at the architectural accomplishments of those Romans – The Pantheon, The Colosseum, The Forum. Jaw-dropping efficiency. And like an Italian meal, the courses just kept coming – one after another … Piazza Navona, Galleria Borghese, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Di Popolo, The Vatican and the dumbfounding beauty of the Sistine Chapel (which, by the way, is about the size of a postage stamp).

Every step of the way, mom and dad were grinning ear to ear. Giving them that gift is something I’ll never forget.

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So, I’m curious, what’s the best gift you’ve given your parents?