Last year, he decided to turn his camera on another kind of couple in attendance: couples with decades of marriage under their belts.
“My photos celebrate the start of a new marriage, but with this series, I wanted to champion the longevity of marriage and give the longest married couples the recognition they deserve,” the photographer told HuffPost.
At each of the receptions he shot last year, Weightman asked the newlyweds to point out the guests who’d been married the longest. (In most cases, it was their grandparents.)
Then he asked the marriage vets to sit for a photo and share their secret to a happy, long-lasting relationship.
Weightman takes the photos of the spouses individually, then merges them together using Photoshop. Then he prints the image onto large, heavy-duty paper so that he can layer paint, charcoal, pen and ink directly onto the surface. The process gives the portraits an otherworldly quality.
As for the “secrets” the couples share, they’re as sweet and cheeky as you’d expect after decades of marriage.
“[The secret] is tolerance, a give and take, and a kiss good night at the end of the day, no matter how many arguments you’ve had,” a woman named Joyce said of her 66-year marriage.
Her husband, James, had a simpler recipe for marital success.
“Doing as I’m told,” he joked to Weightman.
So far, Weightman has photographed 20 couples. With each portrait, he learns a little more about what it takes to make it far beyond the honeymoon stage. More often than not, the couples stress the importance of a shared sense of humor ― and accepting that change is inevitable.
“The most noticeable thing in my conversations with the couples is how important humor is,” Weightman said. “Many of them also mentioned how the nature of their relationship had changed, and how they’d managed that. I even had one gentleman get quite choked up when I asked him what the secret was. He was clearly still so in love.”
To see more from the series, scroll down. Head to Weightman’s website, Married to My Camera, for more info on his work.