April 5, 2023
The Spirit is Moving:
The Lord is at work, even in the “ordinary” circumstances of our lives.
I have been a wedding photographer for 18 years and, as cliche as it may sound, I truly love all weddings! Every once in a while, though, a wedding experience is elevated from a joyous, beautiful day job into a profound and treasured encounter, as God not only pours out His grace on the couple, but on the photographer, too!
Anne and Michael’s wedding was one such day, and it remains a highpoint in my career because the Lord awakened beautiful things in my heart that day; He not only reminded me how much I love my work, but also how much I love my own family and our story.
When the day came for Anne and Michael’s wedding, my excitement was in full force, as I have known Anne for over ten years now. We’ve had many conversations throughout that time about finding the right man for her, and, when Michael showed up on the scene, sweet Anne – though longing for the right man – still got scared and tried to run. Thankfully, he knew she was the one and, like any gentleman, he waited to be allowed in. After many prayers and trying days, she discerned that he was the one, too, and as they say, ‘the rest is history’!
On the morning of the wedding, I walked into Anne’s home and was struck by an immediate peace and joy that radiated from it; the feeling was something I could not adequately express with words, but suffice it to say: I wanted to move in! Her family’s joy and peace were tangible, and, as we moved throughout the day, the mood did not fade! (In case you need a visual, I can share that Anne – a music major by training and a music-lover since birth – led us in song the whole way to the church!)
Once the entrance song began and Anne walked down the aisle, I was moved to tears remembering the joy I felt walking down the aisle to meet my husband, Brian, 14 years ago; and I continued to feel the Lord speaking to my heart many times over throughout the Mass.
While non-Catholic photographers may struggle with the length of a Nuptial Mass (they can be over an hour!), for me, it is a privilege to capture the beauty of a wedding Mass. At this wedding in particular, the Lord gave me the grace of seeing, hearing and feeling His presence in a more profound way and it stayed with me – remarkably radiating into the rest of my weekend and the next week with my family! This family truly lives out St. Paul’s words to the Philippians: “…I rejoice and share my joy with all of you. In the same way you also should rejoice and share your joy with me.”
From our time capturing formal photographs after Mass, to the candid photos caught at the reception, the party was light, carefree and joyful, and the Father of the Bride Speech had everyone alternating between laughter and tears. Taking a group shot of the bride’s family and their long-time family friends, with whom they raised their children and traveled, brightened my heart as I laughed along with them. The fun did not wane as the evening went on!
My husband was my second photographer for this wedding and, since that day was his birthday, as well, we normally would have not stayed late. However, as the evening wound down, we found ourselves on the dance floor two hours past our contracted time (did I mention that this family is really fun?!?) and we got the rare blessing of being able to dance together with the other guests as a beautiful conclusion to an amazing day.
The joy of this wedding and the insights gained by my participation in it still continue to unfold for me, and they inspire me to live and work with more joy and peace, whether on the job or with my family! I am tremendously grateful for this experience which truly confirmed that, even in the ordinary circumstances of my work, the Lord is present and active!
We pray that Anne and Michael’s life together continues to bless all those who encounter them and serve as a witness to the peace and joy that comes with living in close union with the Lord.
Church :: St. Mary’s Catholic Church
Reception Venue :: Crane Bay Event Center
DJ :: Audio Inferno
Catering :: Crane Bay Event Center
Hair :: Mandy Hale
Makeup :: Rohli
Cake :: Long’s Bakery
Wedding Dress :: Sophia’s Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses :: Sophia’s Bridal
Men’s Attire :: Men’s Warehouse
Engagement or family sessions do not have to be stressful! Grab this guide to help you best prepare for your upcoming session! From preparing your mind to looking your best, I have all the tips!