Brittany and Elizabeth (and Billy)

Brittany Lakes and Elizabeth Brandt on Brittany's wedding day

Brittany Lakes and Elizabeth Hardt on Brittany’s wedding day (photograph by Goldie & Christine Photography)

“I have always loved the art and aesthetic of tattoos. An individual’s body art can tell you a lot about that person, because each piece tells its own story. Some people have their children’s names, a home flag, or even portraits of their pets. My best friend, Elizabeth, had no tattoos when she first talked to me about Love Letter To the World. I already had several, so she knew that this was something I would appreciate. We were seniors at Transylvania University, getting ready to embark on the adventure known to some as ‘the real world.’ This isn’t a term I have ever really agreed with, but I did know that my life would be changing. We would soon be graduating, moving to different areas, getting jobs, going to graduate school, and I would even be getting married in the Fall. Elated at the idea of adding a piece of art to my collection to commemorate this time in my life, I said that I would join her when she went to get her tattoo. When deciding on which part of the poem we would get, we unintentionally chose lines right next to one another: ‘about change’ and ‘about revolution.’ When deciding on a placement, I wanted something intimate, like change. My back became an obvious choice: while somewhat intimate, it could still be seen in the right setting. On that day, I held Elizabeth’s hand as she got hers, and she held mine.

After graduation, the big move, the school decision, the job search, October came. On the third, I began perhaps the biggest adventure of my life: I got married. I chose a wedding dress that would showcase the tattoo, because change (and love, of course) was the theme of the day. Everyone asked if I was scared or nervous about this life decision, but I never was. I found myself being more excited than anything. It became even clearer to me why the line ‘about change’ spoke to me; I embrace change in most aspects of my life and view it as a good thing. So many people fear change, but I’ve learned that not only is it inevitable, it can also be wonderful. Change is growth, change is life.

I couldn’t be happier that I made the life decision and commitment to marry Billy. Elizabeth, despite moving all the way to Washington, D.C., was by my side, holding my hand yet again. This tattoo will be relevant throughout my life; it will serve as a reminder of this important time, while also speaking to changes that have yet to come.”

Brittany and Billy Lakes on their wedding day

Brittany and Billy Lakes on their wedding day (photograph by Goldie & Christine Photography)