I have known Molly Wood for the vast majority of my life. Our families spent a great deal of our childhoods together during that amazing time in our lives when everything was an adventure and there was comfort in knowing you had wonderful people to share it with. As we got older we went off to different high schools and then colleges in different states. A lot has changed between now and the days of swimming until it got dark and racing wooden boats down the brook. I am now married. Molly's brother and my brother are both married with beautiful daughters. Molly is an extraordinary woman. She is talented, determined, sweet and thoughtful. She is a chef, a nurse, and, in her father's footsteps, a member of the town fire department. She and Kenyon risk their lives to help others. It might be that quality that binds them so tightly.
A year ago I received an excited message asking if I would be interested in taking engagement photos because Kenyon had just proposed! I was thrilled at the invitation and excited to meet the man who had made my friend so happy.
Our engagement session was wonderful. Molly had the same contagious, bubbly giggle that she has had since she was 5 and Kenyon opened up as our morning of photos at one of my favorite secret spots unfolded. Through all of the posing and smiles and goofiness it was apparent that Molly and Kenyon were crazy about each other.
Last weekend I met Molly to take pre-wedding photos. I walked into the house where we had spent so much time as children. The house was warm and cozy thanks to the stove that used to thaw us after long days spent playing in the snow. A swarm of bridesmaids and flower girls buzzed around in a sea of tulle and blue. A black cat entered the room to investigate the dress I was photographing while another lazed on the bed, taking in the scene. It was as if nothing had changed and everything had changed.
I took pictures of stunning Molly in a wedding dress next to the bannister we used to slide down. I took pictures of Matt's gorgeous little daughter in the house where we used to play hide and seek. As I was editing images of Molly in the parlor a lump formed in my throat and I thought about her father sitting in that room listening to Bye-Bye Miss American Pie.
In the exuberant adrenaline filled atmosphere there wasn't much time to think about anything except getting the bride ready and out the door to meet her adoring beau. Now, as I am going through the images the memories are flooding back to me.
Periscopes and puppets, swimming, sailing wooden boats, playing kick-the-can (often times with their amazing Grandmother Goodie-Good Wood), filming news broadcasts and commercials with Matt, riding to piano lessons in Dave's old minivan with the wonky speedometer, Matt and Molly harassing their father to put the siren on the roof and turn it on just for a minute...and Dave, sitting in the parlor listening to Don McLean sing about the day the music died.
The wedding was perfectly Molly and Kenyon. With the help of loving friends and family, they transformed the Cornish town hall into a little wedding oasis. Mason jars, hand-made napkins and glass milk bottles adorned the tables. A table full of candy greeted guests at the door and beckoned them toward the guest book/photo booth, complete with goofy props. Molly's father's old fireman's jacket sat alone on a chair at the family table surrounded by those he had known and loved. Lines of pale pink rose petals formed the aisle where Molly would be escorted by her mother to the place where Kenyon stood, waiting to see his beautiful bride for the first time.
The ceremony was short and sweet but poignant and heartfelt. The day was filled with laughter, hugs, dancing and giant infectious smiles. Kenyon Lord has an amazing smile; one to match that of his beautiful wife. They are two peas in a pod; two people made for each other. They are bound by love and strength and honor. They are fearless and selfless and will continue to be heroes not only for the people they help and the lives they save, but for each other. I am so happy that my friend has found her counterpart and I wish them many years of love, happiness and adventure.