October 21, 2018
Caitlin and Stephen had one of the most unique weddings I’ve ever been to: it was held during church. Actually, it was held at our church, during our usual service – and it was beautiful. We’ve been attending a local Hamilton place of worship since last June and it’s such a good fit for our family – ask me about it sometime. But what proved us even more right in finding this space for our family was that our church was open to marrying two people… in the service. (Planned, of course).
John really loves the book On Marriage and Family Life by St. John Chrysostom. It’s a book that entirely contradicts the way we do weddings in the 21st century, suggesting that weddings are a space for open community, a space to feed the poor, an opportunity to welcome the unwelcomed. You and I both know that this is not how we do weddings in Canada today. It’s just not. But after a hundred and some weddings, the concept sounds kind of refreshing and John and I are drawn to a socially responsible method of getting married, we just don’t quite know what that looks like yet.
This, we think, might be going in the right direction. Our church is a welcoming, open space to all people (I mean all people – it’s LGBTQ friendly, probably like Jesus) and guests showed up to the wedding in suits and ties and …not in suits and ties – many didn’t know they’d actually be at a wedding that day. Pictured below are the two pastors of the church, laughing away, fully representing the vibe we get on Sunday: reverent, but accessible.
Anyway, this was how it felt: open. Safe. Loving. Warm. And it was in this environment that I was so inspired to create photos that reflected the warmth, the love, the safety, the openness and joy. I hope that comes through for you, too.
JOHN + SAMANTHA BUTLER
photo and video
follow along @johnandsamanthabutler