History is important. We review it and learn about it to grow from it, but also to be inspired by it—hopefully to make a difference with our lives. As a wedding photographer, we want our images of family beginnings, as small as each individual family’s impact on the world is, to be a reminder to them of their own history…and their love and what was important to them. That's why we consider our work “investing in a marriage," rather than just covering the events of the day.
Will & Jen's faith was woven deeply into every aspect of their wedding day, especially during their emotionally melodious ceremony. In all its movement, tears, expression, and gratitude, it is a rich piece of their history they'll never want to forget.
As we spend nearly every moment with both the bride and groom (Eastlyn with the bride, Joshua with the groom), we realize more and more that the treasure of photography is a humbling thing to take part in. During weddings, we have front row seats and backstage access to our couple's favorite day—one of the most life changing days of their lives! Being this close to our couples on their most personal day, is almost like being part of the family and we feel the emotion as such—tearful, heart aching joy.
Will & Jen both got ready in West Alexandria, Ohio at Ascension Life Church, the church that Jen grew up attending, and had their ceremony in its backyard. The bridge crossing the creek was built by Jen’s father for his very own wedding so many years ago, so before the ceremony, with the brook trickling beneath their feet, he said a blessing over the couple on it.
Jen’s 20s-style veil was partially sewn by her grandma who she also calls her best friend. When Jen was a little girl, she would pick wildflowers with her grandma and put them in baskets, so for their wedding, Jen asked her grandma to be her “flower-girl” and carry a basket of flowers to represent this part of her story.
Children from both their families announced the processional of the bride by ringing bells, and the remaining children carried her train. Like a dream dipped in gold, each angelic little one was wide-eyed and bursting with excitement to be part of this storybook wedding day.
Friends played live music, and the couple took communion together. At the recessional, the guests yelled “hurray!” and threw lavender in the air, and Will and Jen ran away with the kids.
For their sunset portraits before the reception, we drove down a country road and stopped at a soybean field. Jen wrote a little bit about the location on Instagram: “When I was a little girl, I'd walk this country road with my friends down to the old, white school house. We'd swing high till sunset and talk about the sort of men we thought we'd marry one day. Between the giggles and silliness, I told them about a blonde-haired boy with blue eyes who took piano lessons from my stepmom. Will and I lived 12 minutes of back roads from one another while dating. The halfway spot was just a jog beyond the simple schoolyard of my childhood. We drove the road often for three years, and witnessed countless evenings of soybean fields painted gold, faint pink skies fading to dusk. On the day of our wedding we told our photographers that we didn't want to think much about where our portraits would be after the ceremony, that we trusted them to choose. It was a pleasant surprise when they unknowingly led us to this familiar road, our secret middle-place. The sky seemed to burn for us that October evening. In these small details I find evidence of God's rich presence and faithfulness.”
We concluded their perfect day with a dessert & coffee pour-over reception in Jen’s grandma’s barn; and surrounded by a community of family and friends, they nearly danced right through the floor (literally)!
Although they knew each other since they were children, Will and Jen spent most of their dating relationship apart as they both went on separate 9-month mission trips around the world…9 months for Will and when he came home, Jen went away for 9 months too. Their story is that of patience and adventure and growing love. Truly, their impression on our own lives has been full of blessing and grace; and we can't wait to see where life take them next.
Jen & Will, thank you for inviting us into your lives to be part of your story as your wedding photographers. It was an extreme blessing and honor.
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