Whenever I find myself in the midst of a preparation frenzy on a wedding day, I hear and see so many interesting things. Most of the time, I would come into a very busy layout of the room with different individuals donning different roles and slowly but surely, you get to know them and how they are associated with the bride–even when all they do when they see you is flash the gentlest of smiles.

I met Monica on her wedding day and she was very calm unlike any other bride I’ve ever seen. Her pupils would hide behind her chinky eyes but a certain unexplicable joy would radiate from her. Like a fireplace would warm an entire room, she would quietly sit by herself and wait for her makeup to finish. Everyone seemed to feed off her unflustered approach to this day and whenever I would look at her, I was sure that I would always see a small smile always stay. When you were there, it was like a scene from a slow cinema art film where one take seemed to go for hours on end. It was so serene that it seemed unfitting to even add anything to the moment. That living room with guests biding their time, a bride eagerly waiting for her time to be ushered onto the aisle and the soft glow of sunlight illuminating the room…everything was as right as rain.

You learn different lessons from the people you meet. You learn how to deal with certain challenges with some people and at times, you learn how not to face setbacks as well. I’ve always viewed a wedding day as an orchestra with dozens of conductors. Just to have so many things be right at a specific moment is honestly overwhelming to think about. This is where I find intriguing how some people find it so easy to keep a calm demeanor when so many things need to be right. And in between the frenetic pacing of people, amidst the infectious laughter and the rush of obligations, it was there that I came to realize, perhaps making one’s wedding flawless wasn’t the end goal. Perhaps perfection wasn’t the point at all. Monica knew something that most people would not even focus on a day such as that. She knew that no matter what, the day would end with her married to the love of her life. And for her, that was more than enough.

*Shot for Sofia Genato