Whew, what a whirlwind week it has been! Emily and Hays came to visit last Friday and left on Monday in time for some dear friends to arrive from Florida and stay for a few days. Both visits were just so much fun and good for my soul. So that explains the lack of blogging this week but sense I finished up Brandon and Jillian’s wedding pictures yesterday I could not pass up sharing a few on a Friday Favorites post.
This wedding was beautiful. To be honest, when I heard the color scheme was going to be shades of pink I immediately thought soft and princessy but I should have known better for two reasons.
Firstly, the bride is the daughter of one of my oldest friends who has impeccable taste and she raised her girls to have the same. Secondly, the event was being coordinated by the ever so talented Soiree By AJ, also a friend and Em’s wedding coordinator.
If it was a wedding fit for a princess then it was more along the lines of Princess Kate and not a Disney character. It was elegant with just the right amount of glamor from touches of gold.
All of the girls had cute matching pajamas to wear while getting ready and they just looked lovely from start to finish. They also had a fantastic playlist going most of the morning too.
The guys don’t have nearly as much fun getting ready as the girls. Or do they? Somebody was having a good time.
The ceremony itself was beautiful and the singing joyful. I really had a hard time narrowing down some pictures because of the sweet way the groom was looking at his bride during the service. And have you ever seen a cuter ring bearer or flower girls?
Afterwards the party was awesome! There was dancing, dancing, and more dancing.
Brandon and Jillian, your family and friends celebrated you well and with much love and happiness. May the Lord bless your marriage as you establish your family and home in His name and for His glory.
What a wonderful, beautiful and crazy ride it has been!
So many people told us how beautiful everything was, how beautiful Emmy was, and what a great time they had and I know it was partly because it’s the polite things you say at such an event and I know the proper response from me would have been to nod graciously as I said thank you but AJ outdid herself on the flowers and decor, Emmy did make a beautiful bride, and the reception was just so fun that I had to agree. But I did follow up with a gracious thank you 😉
I took very few pictures myself because I wanted to focus on each moment and savor them as they happened but family and friends snapped and shared some with me. I can’t wait to see what the photography team captured!
Some things we learned along the way of wedding planning.
Hire a wedding planner.
A good planner is worth every dollar & cent and then some to help develop and guide the process, keep track of the details (so many details!) and check things off the list. I cannot adequately express what an amazing job Soiree by AJ did from start to finish. Having a planner also gives people a go to person to ask questions of leaving the bride and mother of the bride free from having to handle too many things in the days immediately leading up to the event. I feel like poor Elizabeth had much more to manage and more logistics to handle as the mother of the groom and we decided with her other two sons that she should hire a planner too. (I will say that she did a fabulous job working out her details and making sure so many of us were housed in the week prior to the wedding. Maybe she can start a side gig as a mother of the groom assistant? I would recommend her!)
Ya’ll this is a crucial yet somehow underappreciated piece of planning. I do henceforth, now and ever always, do solemnly swear to give either my yea or nay in a timely fashion for any and all events which require said response. And I offer my deep heartfelt apology to anyone that I ever neglected to do the same for in my poor uninformed ignorant youth. I am older and wiser now and get how hard it is to gauge numbers without that information. I do realize that part of the issue might be that things are done online more now which is nice because of the lack of expense in including a printed card with a self addressed and stamped envelope but does require finding time to sit at a computer and going to the website and clicking all the appropriate clicky spots. I guess there really is no good easy way to handle it but I will be much more on top of that in the future no matter the format.
Length of engagement.
When Emily and Hays got engaged we had six months to plan the wedding. It was about two months too long in our opinion. At some point you reach saturation and are just.so.over.it. No more questions please. No more decisions to make. Enough already. Can the day just get here? Someone else may do a better job in stretching it out but it’s a lot. And it tends to dominate life. The number of times we uttered the words, “After the wedding…” is ridiculous.
But here we are. It’s after the wedding and what a gloriously happy and lovely day it was. The fruit of so many hands graciously working on our behalf was humbling. There was generosity and hospitality shown in spades. Pastor Steve Wilkins gave an outstanding homily that articulated so much truth on a subject sorely disregarded in our world today.
Marriage matters. When Emily and Hays said I do it was a battle cry that echoed into the heavens. It was a declaration of war to the enemy who seeks to distort and destroy everything that glorifies and reveals the true Groom.
A Christian marriage should be radically different than even the most loving and committed of marriages that exists between two non believers because a Christian marriage should accurately and truthfully reflect the Gospel of the true Bridegroom laying His life down for His Bride.
God’s love changes us…makes us better and something other than what we are on our own that is glorious and impossible apart from Him. That is the love the world should see because as believers there is a man and a woman that are first His and then together, one flesh.
CS Lewis put it this way, “It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit, reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God…’Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity; this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run. Being in love is the explosion that started it.”
May God now grant Emily and Hays to grow and abound in that deep steadfast quite love.
Exactly one month ago today on 12/13/14 they became husband and wife in a beautiful ceremony surrounded by family and friends. It was truly a beautiful wedding with some of my favorite details to date. The flowers alone were just stunning.
The most beautiful thing about the wedding though was the love that cascaded between the bride and groom and washed over everyone there.
Such a beautiful family was created at that day!
At the risk of picture overload here are some lovely high lights from part of their day. More to come!
Walt and Casey, you have both remained steadfast and faithful, trusting God’s goodness to sustain you. God has surely blessed your obedience to Him. May your love for each other continue to grow and shine the light of Christ into the lives of everyone around you.
There was a wedding, some Christmas cookies were baked, and spent some time with a precious little newborn. That’s a busy three days but full of such goodness!
Day 13 ~
Day 14 ~ Taken with my cell phone and not nearly as lovely as Saturday or Monday’s picture. But after shooting a large event like a wedding I have to give my eyes a break 🙂
Day 15 ~ But today my eyes weren’t as tired and the thought of lifting my camera didn’t make me wince. Plus I still had the fabulous 35mm 1:4 that I had rented for the wedding and it shoots like a dream and oh my I wish I could keep it forever and ever. And then of course there was this sweetness going on.
Just so precious. The wedding was beautiful and Emily’s cookies were tasty so I guess we can count these three days as a success.
I don’t photograph very many weddings. One, they are a lot of work. Two, they are pretty stressful because if you mess it up there is no do-over. That being said there is something fun and wonderful about being a part of that life changing event.
But never in my life have I been as moved and blessed to be a part of a wedding as I was shooting Lisa and Dave’s. From start to finish it was beautiful and humbling and so exciting to be a part of. Partly because I worked along side some incredibly talented friends who came together to create a dream of a wedding for a cherished friend and partly because in a very real way God was telling His story of redemption and resurrection…of life coming after death…God’s way of turning mourning into joy…beauty from ashes.
And pretty! My word was it a beautiful wedding! I don’t even know where to start.
Wait, I take that back. I’ll start with Lisa because I have never seen a more radiant joyful bride.
Lisa’s boys walked her down the aisle and words cannot express how beautiful it was to see them delight in her happiness.
From start to finish the wedding told the Gospel story and everyone joined in singing praises.
After a hope filled homily and being pronounced husband and wife they invited everyone to stay and celebrate with them. And boy, do they know how to throw a party! I think I’ll have to share a part two post with pictures from the dance floor.
I mentioned earlier about the talented people I worked beside during this wedding. These woman, all close dear friends with Lisa, are so very talented and shared every ounce of creativity they have to make this day stunning. From the flowers to the decor to the food it was simply beautiful.
Despite all the attention giving to details, all the extra sweet touches that made this wedding so lovely it was the atmosphere of joy that really set it apart from other weddings.
Dave and Lisa, your love for each other shines as only gold can after being through the Refiner’s fire. May you be a blessing to everyone around you as you live out a marriage that depicts living breathing grace.