as usual - busy. Surprised? Me either.
Though I am hoping for some slower weekends after this one because it was my last scheduled photo session for the year. I always try to take off during the holidays so I dont have to rush & fill up time editing all weekend long, when instead, I can stress over holiday things like gifts & decorations & parties & celebrations... normal stress.
But the last one for the year was a wedding... & not just any wedding... but a wedding that was five years in the making.
Let me back up.
Most of you know that I serve in Middle School Youth Ministry - a true passion of mine. & something I've been doing for a long time apparently.
These kids... they grow up... fast. & I dont feel like I'm THAT much older from when I started working with some of these kids.
But these babies... BABIES... at least to me... they're now full fledge adults & getting married.
& this isn't my first youth kiddo to get married. I actually did one of my special girls wedding a few years ago....
& now, another one of my girls has taken the path of becoming a Bride.
& I love this precious girl. Heck, I love all my girls.
Lacy has been in my life for the longest time. I remember her coming into youth ministry when she finally hit the 6th grade BIG LEAGUE... & she was always inseparable from her best friend Lindsay. You never saw one without the other. Never. The way that every 6th grade girl should have a best friend. One always with the other.
|Believe Youth Conference in 2007
Through the years, I have laughed with them, taught them, cried with them, prayed with & for them, sang with them, been on my knees with them before God. I have some special memories with these girls.
So when Lacy got engaged, she made sure I was going to be there to photograph her wedding. Actually, she told me YEARS before her wedding that she wanted me. See, her & her boyfriend got married on the actual 5 year anniversary date that they started dating. How cute is that? But truly, she asked me years ago to make sure to write down that date - November 5, 2016... & I did.
It was such a blessing to be with her on her wedding day...
& to be with her family.
I ADORE her family... all of them. Her parents, her grandparents, her brother's family.
Love her groom, love her grooms parents.
This wedding was made for me & Chasity to be there.
|Chasity was happy to be there too apparently :)
The bad thing - when I'm emotionally involved, I'm a sap. Well, let's get it clear, I'm a sap on a GOOD day - or bad day - however you look at it - but when I have emotional ties to someone, I'm a sap to the 20th degree.
So by the end of the night, Chasity had to take a napkin & get water on it & clean up my face where my mascara was out of control. #SotheTruth
Some of the things that made me tear up....
... seeing this girl I still see as a little girl get in her wedding dress. & when her momma started tearing up, I had to join in.
|I have to laugh at this picture because momma there is trying to hold her tears in by keeping her head back #funniestmomma
... when her momma teared up from getting a card & gift from her daughter
... when the bride got on a swing that her dad made for her to take pictures on. He tried it out with her to make sure it was sturdy enough & he pushed her. Watching him push his little girl, oh yeah... cue the tears
... when the bride & groom exchanged letters with each other before the wedding (without seeing each other). The groom said he had a 'lump in his throat' all day long & it was just swelling up. I cry when any man cries anyways - so when he would cry, forget it - pass the Kleenex.
... when she did a first look with her dad. I LOVE LOVE LOVE a daddy/daughter relationship & she is a total daddy's girl ... what a special first look.
... I HAD to take the opportunity to pray with these two before the wedding & their families. To be able to pray with Lacy before this huge moment? It was so special for me. I loved being able to hold her hand with her future husband's hand & pray for God to be the center of their marriage.
... when her dad looked at her before the wedding - literally as they were lining up to walk down the aisle & said giving her away was the hardest thing he had ever done in his life.. & then had to leave because he got choked up. OH MY WORD... just push me over at this point.
... when the groom saw his bride. It was what EVERY bride wants their groom to look like - just floored with emotion at seeing his bride.
... during their pictures after the wedding. They were just so happy to finally be together. I would pose them in certain ways & the groom couldnt help but kiss his bride. It was the sweetest thing.
... Dances of all kind get me - bride/groom - bride & father - groom & mother.... so precious.
... Speeches. I love a good heart tugger speech from maid of honors & Best men. The Maid of Honor is just like me - crying at every little thing - so when she got choked up at the end of her speech (which I was proud she held it together so well) I got a little choked up with her.
PLEASE NOTE: Saps dont leave other saps hanging
& one of the most special things I loved about the day - remember when I mentioned earlier about Lacy & her friend Lindsay? They were together for this amazing day. Lindsay has made the move to New York. She's going to be a culinary star! Watch out for her one day on Top Chef! But she made her way to come back home for her friend's wedding. I know times have changed & their relationship isn't like the 6th grade years through high school, but that they have stayed in contact with each other & that they could share this special day together? Made me choke up even more.
|Me & my girls
With the bride & groom
With the families supporting them both
With friendships that never end... old & new.
& for me, with girls that I am cheering on in life & will always love & am so excited to see what God has in store for them...
It was such a blessing to be a part of this amazing day.
So needless to say, it was a pretty darn good weekend....