After a fire claimed the unprocessed film of Jennifer and Timothy’s wedding in 1979, their daughter Ashleigh, a wedding photographer, decided to give them a surprise couples photo session for their 38th wedding anniversary. Read all about this touching and inspirational story in celebration of a beautiful marriage – 38 years young. Congratulations to Jennifer and Timothy from all of us at Pleasures Magazine!
Imagine one of the most important days of your life coming and going and you not having the photos you thought you would once it was over.
That’s exactly what happened to my parents, Timothy and Jennifer Bing. It was their wedding day, July 7, 1979 and the excitement was at an all time high. Being on a budget, after just purchasing their first family home together, they decided to have friends document their wedding day instead of hiring a professional wedding photographer. The day was amazing just as they hoped it would. They felt confident in their decision as they witnessed friends and family capturing the day as it unfolded on their own 35mm cameras.
In the following days, the newlyweds dropped off the film for processing at Rodman’s Pharmacy. Unbeknownst to them, they would never see those images. The very next day, the pharmacy caught fire. Jennifer would never be able to frame a photo of her daddy, who died of a heart attack 2 weeks following her wedding day, walking her down the aisle. Timothy and Jennifer’s children and grandchildren would never be able to experience their big day while rummaging through old photos or looking at a portrait from July 7, 1979 framed on the mantle.
As a 38th Anniversary gift, I surprised them with a “bride and groom formal” session. It was in God’s plans all along to have the couple relive their wedding day formals despite being almost 40 years later. I felt they deserved to have a grand backdrop since they waited almost 40 years for photos. I wanted to make it worth the wait.
Their wedding actually took place at Seabrook Baptist Church in Lanham, MD with a backyard reception in New Carrollton, MD. Nothing like the National Cathedral or Kennedy Center. I did all of the planning without my parents help since it was a surprise to them.
Knowing that my mom loves off the shoulder and high front low back made it easy for me. She is not a glitz and glam dressy type but I thought this was the perfect excuse to get all done up.
My father loves chucks and passed that love down to my brother and Myself. Mom is not a heel wearer and I thought it would be cute for her to have her first pair of Chuck Taylors and she hasn’t stopped wearing them since. I must admit while I know my parents really well, it was a little challenging at points getting all of this done without them knowing. So as a wedding photographer, I have a lot of connections. I have worked with the makeup artist and florist on different shoots and even weddings from clients.
I told my parents that I needed them on Saturday, June 17 and that they could not make plans until at least later. My mom kept asking me questions but I would not tell her anything. I got great joy from her trying to figure it out and being wrong each time. She finally just gave up!
The night before, I showed her the dresses and told her that she needed to be up and ready at 5:30am as the makeup artist would be ready for her. She cried and could not believe it.
They were so excited and could not have wished for a better 38th wedding anniversary gift!
Happy Anniversary to my parents!