#wcw | Mary Marantz


I’ve started this about 11 times because I can’t seem to find the perfect words to explain how much Mary means to me.  Over the years she has become so many things to me.  In the beginning…she was the first real person I met in the wedding industry.  An industry that can be a very mean place and you never really know what you’re going to get.  She was this shining light that didn’t just pretend to care…she actually cared.  She taught me so much but the one thing she gave me that I will treasure for the rest of my life…is her friendship.  Having someone like Mary in your corner pushes you to be better.  To go after life like you never knew you could and show the world exactly who you are meant to be.  She is not only brilliant but she’s one of those people that is bound to make the world better.  To leave her mark in ways that she may not even know yet…but are happening every day.


She is an incredible photographer who gave me the most priceless gift I will ever receive…the chance to relive my wedding every single day (in case you didn’t already know…her and Justin were our wedding photographers.  And our house is basically the Justin & Mary gallery).   She is living out her real life love story and inspires me constantly to love harder.  She is witty and hilarious and just a flat out blast to hang out with.  But above everything else…she is one hell of a woman.  Making waves and reminding us all not to follow in her footsteps…but to create our own.  And she is someone I will forever be so proud to call my friend.






Up until this past weekend, you couldn’t see our guest bed from all the clean clothes that were piled on it rather than just putting them away.
Lately I’m addicted to Pizza Bites.  Y’know, those frozen rectangular tiny pockets of pizza that you used to eat at sleepovers when you were 13?  Yea, I eat those as a grown up.
I haven’t driven a car in years because New England drivers scare me, and most recently I let my license lapse for two years until I just got it renewed in May.
I have some “Mean Girls” in my life.  You know those “Regina George in Sheep’s Clothing” type of friends who will hand you the world’s meanest comment without once breaking a smile and then act as if nothing happened?  I’m thinking of going all T. Swift about the situation and writing a song about it.
At this very moment, I’m overwhelmed.
I worry more about what it would feel like if I never chased that scary big dream than what could go wrong if I did.
I can’t sing.  Like really, really can’t sing.  Cameron Diaz in My Best Friend’s Wedding can’t sing.  And I really, really wish I could.
I cuss, get my feelings hurt, and drink more wine than I probably should.
I have stress dreams in some form or another pretty much every night.  My favorite is the “I forgot to go to class all semester and now I have to take the final exam” one.
Sometimes it takes my breath away (in an Oh my God, I can’t BREATHE sort of way) how many people we have who want things from us in any given day.
I’m a classic A+++ over-achiever who has to constantly remind herself that my worth doesn’t depend on how many to-do’s I accomplished that day.
Yesterday, I showered and got dressed, did my hair, and put on make up.  And then Justin asked me if we had a meeting or something because it was so out of the ordinary.  Whoops!
I’m working really hard to be a better friend.
It takes me WAY too long to blog.
I’ve been trying to lose 15 lbs for ohhhh the past year or two.  I think I’m down 5.  But ask me again tomorrow.
Sometimes I check my phone in the morning before both eyes are open.  I look like a technology addicted pirate.  Arrrrrrrr.
I will be paying off the very expensive student loans I took out to go to Yale to then NOT become a lawyer for a very long time.
I buy pretty clothes now because growing up in a leaky, broken trailer, all my clothes were from yard sales and smelled like mildew.  I dress up now because in so many ways I’m still trying to get away from that trailer.
I’ve survived an abusive boyfriend and a cheating boyfriend.  Those bad past relationships just make me realize and appreciate more the AMAZING man I have now every single day.
I can’t stand false leaders, fake inspiration or a lack of integrity.  I have no room in my life for people like that.
I would however like to get better at putting on false eye lashes.
I prefer the truth in tears over a fake smile any day.
I like to watch scary movies in the middle of the afternoon.
I don’t cook a single meal for myself.  Justin handles breakfast, lunch and dinner.  But I light the candles & pour the wine soooooo…
Every time someone makes a reference to how old our golden retriever Cooper is getting (he just turned 10), I want to come across the table at them like a spider monkey.  Don’t want to think about it, don’t want to talk about it!  They’ll understand that some day when they’ve had the honor of bearing witness to an animal’s entire life.  And he’s going to live to 100 anyway, so just stop talking about it! 🙂


I just love this idea that my amazing friend, Lauren, started.  And I am SO honored to be a part of it.  But even more so, it was a breath of air and a lifeline for me at a time when it feels like we’re all drowning.  Sometimes I think we forget the walls we put up.  We stop noticing how much we have twisted and contorted ourselves to fit into what someone else says we should be.  We get so good at curating the perfect image and spinning the perfect caption that we forget what it is to be really, really honest anymore.  Because we convince ourselves that if we sat down across from someone and showed them who we really are….that it might not be enough for them.  That it wouldn’t be pretty enough or young enough or pinnable enough or double-tap worthy.  I think sometimes we forget what it is to allow ourselves to exhale.  To come alongside someone with a bottle of wine and an over-sized sweatshirt, and lean in closer when they tell you everything that’s going wrong.  To listen to really hear, not to respond.  To look them in the eye and not down at your phone.  To nod your head and swirl your glass and let out a blues-y “mmmmm hmmmm.”  And then when they’re done, to whisper the only two words in the English language that can really start to help heal people, the two words that act like a cool salve to the wound: “Me too.”  Oh have I been there.  Ohhh do I know how that feels.  And you are not alone.  So today, wherever you find yourself somewhere in the midst of the messy middle you’re currently walking through, I hope you read these words and hear me whispering, Me too, friend.  Me too.
#wcw, inspiring women, amazing women, women in real life, chicago wedding photographer, indianapolis wedding photographer_0005

  • Stephanie Stewart - September 16, 2015 - 8:59 am

    Loooove this!!! Mary is just one of those wonderful people you are thankful for in so many ways! She’s real, sincere, insanely talented, savvy, and beautiful from the inside out. So thankful I met her in Chicago years ago and have had the chance to learn from her so much since then! A shining beacon of hope and courage in this crazy industry!!! Cheers and hugs to you, Mary!!! Thank you for being such a incredible inspiration to so many people, and to me, each and every day. XOXOReplyCancel

  • Ashley Mitchell - September 16, 2015 - 9:09 am

    Not enough words to say how much I LOVE this. We need to all sit around a bottle (or two) of wine together soon!!! Love both of you so much!ReplyCancel

  • jen - September 16, 2015 - 10:30 am

    I LOVE this. I’ve gotten to follow mary (and Justin) online for a few years now and I love that you, who were her client first and now friend, showed a beautiful and real side to her that only makes her more admirable. I love this and am excited to be introduced to you to follow as well! Thank you for the read this morning! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Rici - September 17, 2015 - 8:29 am

    Thank you Lauren for this incredible idea! & for the courage of sharing the real. @Mary :* you are beyond and above wonderful! Way to go!!! Cheering you on about all the things you overcame & did not let you keep in the place of pain or frustration!ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *