There was as much laughter and joy as there was love on Matt and Katie’s wedding day. And when that kind of joy comes easily to a couple, you know they’re in it for the long haul. Everything about their day went so smoothly… There was no doubt about it, they were exactly where they should be.
In addition to the laughter, let me just mention the dancing. Matt mentioned early on in the day that he was looking forward to all the dancing… but I had no idea how amazing the dancing would be. Each generation that came out to the floor had more moves than the one before it. I left the party with sore feet and a full heart…. and the perfect ending for me came as I walked to my car at the end of night, I heard everyone singing, “Sweet Caroline” (the true Spartan way) at the top of their lungs and I knew…that the party was FAR from over.
It poured on Jake and Lindsay’s wedding day… Like cats, dogs and angels bowling kind of a storm. Thankfully for them, I carry with me a piece of good luck. It has never rained during any ceremony I have photographed. It has stormed before and immediately afterwards, but never during the ceremony. Now, I realize I must knock on wood every single time I announce this luck and that someday, my luck might wear out… but what made me smile most on this day was that even when we were unsure that the storm would let up, Lindsay said to me, “I don’t care if I get married outside… or in this hallway. Because at the end of the day, I will still be married to Jake, and that’s what matters.” That ladies and gentleman, is what a wedding is all about. Love and partnership and the promise that two people give to each other. It’s about the rest of their lives from that day forward. And on this day, the rain did stop. The clouds disappeared and the sun shone down upon Jake and Lindsay and everything was just as it should be.
Oh, the laughter and love that filled this entire day. Everything about this wedding just fell into place. From the date, to the dress, to the venue…. It all just fit together as it was the plan all along. And maybe that’s how you know…. Maybe that’s how you know you are exactly where you’re meant to be. I am blessed to have been a part of their day; to witness their love and all the joy that came with it. And speaking of meant to be… this song came on as I was doing a final preview of Eryn and Mark’s post and it made my heart happy so if you’re feeling up to it, I urge you to let it play in the background as you scroll…
Having been a bride myself, I can say this with certainty: there is a feeling on your wedding day that rushes over you heavier than you ever imagined: The moment when you realize you’re marrying your best friend. Everything you ever wanted is standing in front of you and the rest of your life awaits.
This is what that moment looks like.
Brace yourselves for this one. The immensity of this story has been over decade in the making.
You see…Amber is the reason I am a photographer.
It was 2003 and my English teacher, Mr. Swartout begged Amber (“G” as I call her) to give me a shot at joining the high school yearbook even though I had missed the application deadline. Timeliness, being an important quality to have when applying as a journalist, I can’t blame G for being hesitant to let me try out. Yes, you heard that right. We had to audition for a role in the high school yearbook. Listen, our yearbook was a big deal. We won several awards and even went to summer yearbook camp at Michigan State!
What happened next is something both G and I remember very clearly.I made her cry during my audition.
I walked into the audition and before I could reveal all of my journalistic talents, G commented on my mother’s vintage “Love is an Old English Sheep Dog” t-shirt that I was wearing. Unknowingly, she asked me if I had a sheep dog. My voice quivered as I quietly said, “I did. He just passed away.” G, being the dogs-are-the-best-thing-in-the-entire-world kind of person, immediately began to cry along with me. Our friendship (and my new yearbook position) were solidified in that same moment.
I was “hired” onto the yearbook staff because I had been recommended as a writer, so G was taken a back the day that I asked for the chance to be a photographer. I can’t remember the reason why I wanted to give it a try, but whatever I said, I somehow convinced G yet again to give me a shot. My very first photography gig! Thinking back, I can’t even remember what I photographed. Perhaps a JV soccer game? Who knows.
I impatiently waited for our photos to be processed at CVS Pharmacy (No, we did not have a dark room at our elaborate and expensive high school). I was elated when they came back “in focus” enough to earn myself a position as assistant photo editor on the staff. And thus my career set it’s path.
As you can tell, G had an immense impact on my life. Not only did she give me my first photo gig, she is one one of my absolute favorite mentors and people. We often joke that if we had been the same age and grown up together, we would have been best friends. The impact she had on my life as a teenager was immeasurable. After high school I followed in her footsteps and attended MSU where I studied photojournalism and even lived in the same dorm as she did.
Fast forward a decade or so to when G contacted me and asked if I would photograph her wedding. “What a wonderful chapter it adds to our story,” she told me. To say I was honored, would be an understatement. Not just because of our history, but because of the love that Amber and Andrew have for each other. Their love for each other is the kind that makes your heart hurt in the best way possible. It’s sincere, solid and I’m pretty sure it could move mountains. No matter what obstacle has been thrown at them… in sickness and in health, their love is unwavering.
You can see that love in every single photograph of the two of them. You can see it in their family and friend’s eyes. Their love filled the room and it made for just the best.day.ever.
Andrew, Amber– Thank you for allowing me to be apart of your day and to capture your love on film. May YOUR story be filled with as much joy and laughter as ours has.