A Simple Vow

Sarah and John exchanged vows in the tiny, New England Quaker church of Sarah’s childhood.

Sarah and John’s wedding was a new experience for me. Although I’ve been honored to be chosen by hundreds of couples to photograph their wedding, I’d never been to a Quaker wedding ceremony. There is no officiant. The couple walk in after everyone is seated. Once the couple take their place, any member of the congregation is free to speak their mind. The only rule is you have to allow at least one minute to lapse between the last person to speak and the next person. This creates a silence that allows everyone to focus on what was said and to think about it for a moment. Once everyone who wishes to speak is done, the couple exchange their vows and the elders of the church – seated behind Sarah and John – declare their marriage. It was a fascinating day and the surroundings spoke of the traditions of the religion that began in the 1640’s.

Because of my photojournalism background, I am used to creating photos in circumstances I’m seeing for the first time through a lens. You can see more of the many different types of weddings I’ve been honored to photograph at