Wedding photographer documents longest-married guests

When David Weightman photographs a wedding, he’s focused on one story: the bride and groom. “But there are many other relationships, many other couples, and many other stories that could potentially be told” at a wedding, he says.

So as a personal project, at each of his clients’ weddings, he delves into a compelling sidebar—the longest married couple at the wedding and their secret to a successful marriage.

Several weeks before the wedding, Weightman asks the couple to identify the longest-married couple who will be in attendance at their event. At the reception, during the lull between toasts and the first dance, Weightman pulls that couple aside to a quiet area he’s scouted for good lighting. He doesn’t have much time for posing, so he photographs the spouses separately to ensure both are well lit. Then he joins those images together in post-production.

Post-production doesn’t end with compositing. Weightman prints the large-format photo on heavy paper and then embellishes it with gouache paint, pencil, charcoal, and pen-and-ink to create a one-of-a-kind fine art piece. He prefers gouache to other paints because it’s less reflective, which is beneficial when he’s photographing the completed work.

The final embellishment is a quote from the couple, displayed beside their portrait, revealing their secret to a happy marriage.  

Amanda Arnold is associate editor of Professional Photographer.