In my opinion the pound for pound greatest portrayal of a Marine ever on film, was the crop topped, gap toothed, paranoid, foul mouthed, PVT HUDSON, in James Cameron's Aliens. Played brilliantly by the late great Bill Paxton! An iconic role that has had me screaming for years, "Game Over Man, Game Over!" when I feel the slight urge to give up on a task that is kicking my butt. However, much like the "harder than woodpecker lips" toughness that Pvt. Hudson raised from the depths of his shaken Marine Corp (see what I did there?), i utter that phrase and continue to drive on until the task is finished or until I'm violently ripped through the metal floor boards by a nine foot alien with concentrated acid for blood!
Why am I rambling about my #1 all time favorite Marine? Simply because my #2 and #3 favorite Marine's are my bride and groom, Michelle and Nace. In no particular order! (Actually its a very specific order but I aint saying which). Nace has retired from the Marine Corp while his now bonny lass, Michelle is well into double digits for time served and is knocking on the door of retirement herself. Almost 40 years of selfless dedication and sacrifice to their country. This is why the three of us clicked immediately. Unless you've been hiding under a rock you should know that I am a veteran myself. I have so much respect and admiration for not just them but for anyone who has served in our Armed Forces. Yet to do it as long as they have and with as much dedication and honor is nothing short of deserving a salute.
Ok then! On to the wedding. After all that is what brought us together and ultimately what has drawn you blog readers and looky-loo's to this entry. The day was, much like the couple, low key and stress-less. Michelle and her mother did their hair and makeup in their room at The Cornstalk Hotel in the French Quarter in New Orleans. After the finishing touches were applied the ladies were whisked away to City Park to track down Nace in a Toyota Scion. Nothing but the best for my clients! They had an all too real First Look. Nothing like true emotion spilling out of my camera frame with those images. Even hard nosed Marines fall prey to the waterworks sometimes. After some epic portrait taking around the park we headed to the Botanical Gardens for a ceremony that produced a cinematic renvisioning from the popular 80's romantic comedy, Say Anything, if you ask what that was then seriously people I don't know how to talk to you. A brilliant stand in raised the boom box over head complete with Peter Gabriel singing out to a brilliantly warm sky. (John Cusack couldn't make it apparently Mr. Cusack had a previous commitment which explains the family member stand in)
The ceremony ended with a visually brilliant sky resting over friends and family as they second lined through the park. The night was filled with a few tears, laughs and an extra inch of hair grew on Nace's beard. One thing a lot of people are unaware of is that Michelle and Nace hold down a personal Titus Childers Photography record as of this day. They talked me into accompanying them and several friends and family down to Frenchman street for an extended reception. As the hours wore on less and less family members were around and eventually it was just myself, Michelle who is still in her wedding dress and Nace, who has started doing his, "This spot where I'm standing/sitting looks like a good a place as any to go to sleep" routine. The last three soldiers "standing" proceeded to iHop on Canal Street at 4:30 in the morning. Michelle and I polished off some epic breakfast while Nace watched the back of his eyelids face down on the table. Seeing Nace reminded me of an old familiar saying from a certain Marine that applied to his new wife practically carrying him to the car, which was simply, "Why don't you put her in Charge"! Thank you for your steadfast dedication and service to your country Michelle & Nace!