I love pictures. I’m plagued with a poor memory, but once I have a picture in hand or on the computer screen something shifts in my mind and I am back in that day, experiencing it again.
Due to this, I took a ton of pictures at all my sister’s wedding-related events. My sister’s bridal shower was on June 15, 2013 and I took 386 pictures. I took a lot of candid shots – I think they show the true emotion of a situation, so I lean towards them. I also got posed shots of her with each of the guests. I got a shot of her opening each present, and trying food, and laughing with the other bridesmaids. I got a shot of my mom chatting with my sister’s future mother-in-law and of a bridesmaid organizing the food on the table. I got shots of the co-ed BBQ that occurred after, of my cousins cracking up on the porch. I captured some sweet moments between my sister and her future husband, one eating off the other’s plate here, stealing a kiss there, and lots of them laughing together.
At times I even put the camera into double shot mode, in which two photo are taken in succession, once with flash and once without, so we knew we would have a good end result, one way or another.
Then I promptly lost the camera.
Month’s 1-2: “I just misplaced it.”
Deny, deny, deny. This helps if you are, by nature, a messy person as I am. For the first two weeks, I didn’t worry about it at all. I misplace things all the time, keep living my life, and they turn up. When my sister started to request to see the pictures (so excited!!), I told her exactly this, “I just misplaced it, I’ll look for it.”
Gchat: August 2013
Jessica (bride): did you find your camera this weekend?
Jenna (sister/MOH): hehe, every time you ask that I’m shamed into admitting I’ve let my apartment go another few days in the crazy disorder it is in. I do need to find it asap though, because my other camera is on the fritz, so I’ll need both for this weekend!
Jessica (bride): yeah! plus, i want to see bridal shower pics! hehe
Then the cycle would go like this: I would search the same six places in my apartment. You know the ones I mean – they are the black holes of your living space, where keys, and small purses, and other important items get sucked into time after time. I checked both of my couches, sticking my hand between each of the cushions, my dresser drawers, the travel bag I took that weekend, and my truck. Then I would get frustrated, so I’d stop, and then life would pass by a bit. Then my sister would ask about it again and the cycle would restart.
Months 3-5 – “I think I left it at home.”
This worked for so long because I live 4.5 hours from my parents’ house, the location of the bridal shower/BBQ. And since I had checked the black holes of my apartment my only thought was I MUST have forgotten to pack it, right? Actually, I was sure that around 8 PM the day of the shower I had put it in a place of safe keeping, probably behind one of the framed photographs in the family room. It didn’t matter that when I relayed this to my mother she never found the camera. I was sure that once I was home, I would look around for five minutes, and it would be a success.
Gchat: October 2013
Jenna (MOH): so after searching my apartment I have a growing theory that I left the blue camera at home after the bridal shower…
Jessica (bride): oh no!! but at least that means it’s there haha
Jenna (MOH): the place where I would have put it, in with my video camera, it’s not there, and i checked a few other spots where I would put it, and haven’t found anything, so… although I haven’t 100% cleaned my apartment, therefore it could still be there, I’m going to search at home and call mom today so she can be on the lookout 🙂
When it wasn’t a success the first time I went home, I didn’t fret. I hadn’t spent THAT much time looking for it. So I thought, I’ll get it next time. The second visit home was similar; there’s was so much going on at home that I ended up looking for it before bed one night. But that was after midnight, I was tired, and I could have just missed it. The third visit I buckled down and basically turned my bedroom upside down along with the family room looking for it, and was forced to come to one unfortunate conclusion: it was not at my parent’s house.
One week after my trip home: “One of the other bridesmaids must have it.”
You know when you’ve lost something for an extended period of time, and your mind makes up these insane notions that have little base in reality, but they MIGHT have happened despite all the evidence they are absurd? This was that. Keep in mind, this was FIVE MONTHS after the bridal shower. I didn’t stop to think that in the five months since we parted ways after the bridal shower, if another bridesmaid had the camera, they would have said something. Nope, that didn’t stop me from sending out an email asking if any of them had accidentally packed it that day. Of course the answer was no.
Months 6-8: “I’m sorry, Jess, it’s gone.”
I came to one inescapable truth: it was gone. It could have fallen out of my truck somehow on the way home – that’s what I had thought. That was the vulnerable point of the trip. All other times it was either in my apartment or my parents’ house.
Breaking the news to Jess was hard; we had both been looking forward to reviewing the pictures of the bridal shower. She was a little frustrated, but mostly sad, and we lamented together. I told her that I would keep an eye out for it, but that I didn’t think I would find it. And I was really sorry. And at least we still have the video from that day (which was luckily taken with another device).
May 13, 2014, nearly 11 months after the bridal shower…
I found the camera.
11 months after the bridal shower, 9 months after the wedding, 7 months after all the professional pictures of the wedding were in my sister’s hands… I found the camera from the bridal shower.
I was moving apartments and found the camera underneath a couch, wedged between the mattress and the carpeted floor. I had searched that couch more times than I could count in the past year, always stopping just short of lifting them up to peer under – because those couches are extremely heavy. I had pulled out the cushions, pulled out the mattress… but it wasn’t until two friends were moving the couch to my truck that I saw the small blue camera on the floor, surrounded by pens and hair ties and other things that had gotten sucked under the mattress of the couch in the two years I lived at that place.
The relief of finding the pictures…
It was a celebration! I called my sister and told her I had found the long-lost camera. I called my parents and told them all about it. And, now that I had found it, it was kind of interesting and fun to have something new to look through for the first time that dealt with the wedding. It was like a lost archive of an important historical event that finally goes public after twenty years. We looked through the pictures, told each other our favorites, and reminisced about the day and funny moments that had happened. We found moments that we had forgotten over the year, and laughed out loud again once we remembered.
I suppose that’s an upside to losing the camera with your sister’s bridal shower pictures on it for 11 months…
This blog post was written by Jenna who is a mental health therapist in West Virginia. She loves everything outdoors and writing in her spare time.
What would you do if you thought you lost all the pictures for your sister’s bridal shower? Was taking pictures an important part of your shower or a shower you hosted? Tell us in the comments.