I've noticed this in many wedding photos and not just ones that I take-when the bride and groom have their first look at each other here's the series of events:
1. Bride gets groom's attention by tapping his shoulder or giving a hug from behind.
2. Groom turns around and inevitably smiles from ear to ear. [Insert tears whenever they may fall.]
3. Groom's eyes go up and down the contours of his bride's body taking it all in-the dress, the hair, down to the shoes and fingertips. By now, they're holding hands.
4. Their hands always go out (far out) to their sides as if they're flying so the groom can see every little detail of his soon-to-be-wife.
5. The groom circles his bride to take in the back of the dress, because he knows that's the prettiest part of course!
6. Then the hug. The hug that has the groom's arms totally surrounding his bride's body, leaving no part out in the lurch. The hug that makes you close your eyes so that you can feel all the more acutely. The hug you want to last forever. And starting today, that hug will last for your lifetime.
Tasha has a thing for birds. So when she found her dress, she knew it was the one because it has "wings". When she told her hair stylist this the morning of the wedding, the stylist looked at her, with images of Victoria's Secret models in mind, thinking she was nuts. They were the first thing she told me about when we met to discuss her big day a month ago and the first thing she showed me when I arrived at the church. I wouldn't be surprised if the "wings" were Tasha's favorite part of the day.

Tasha is a music fraternity sister of mine and based on the photos I've posted on Facebook, wanted me involved with her wedding day. What trust! She's one of those. The kind that you can pick up right where life left the two of you off the last time you touched base. And you continue the journey from there.
As I made my way to her church location, I turned the corner and a big fat, "YES!" escaped my lips as I saw the perfect site for photos. The big white steeple. My favorite! I made my way inside totally stoked and found the bride-hair done, maids' hair done, we were in fine shape! As their gift, Tasha had made little slippers for their feet!

At first I thought we'd do their "first look" in the front of the church with the steeple, then future-mother-in-law mentioned the gardens on the side of the church. "The what?!" I asked. "Take a look!" She responded. God is incredible. Not only did He provide 55 degree and sunny weather for Tasha and Aaron's day (at the END OF NOVEMBER!) but He gave us a beautiful place right outside the door for photos. The plan was in place, the bride was getting ready and all the groom needed were. . . black socks!

(We eventually did change his socks, but thought it best to capture the moment.)

In the hour we had between photos and ceremony, Poppy arrived. Oh, what bittersweet happy tears fell then. You know it's good when even the photographer cries! I knew exactly how much this meant to Tasha to have him there, sweat pants and all. Yes, his presence made us all cry, but it also calmed all the family members present. "Poppy's here. Now we can have a wedding. Poppy made it."

This was my first wedding "up front" during the ceremony. What a great view! When I got home from the wedding, Gerard asked me my favorite part. "The sermon." I said. Pastor has done 198 weddings and Tasha and Aaron were the first to request Ephesians 5 to be the message. Look out stubborn wives, including myself at times, here comes Christ! These verses are some of the most controversial in the United States today. Pastor described it simply as a "holy competition". Who can out-serve the other? "Wives submit to your husband as to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church." What did Christ do to show His love for His Church? He DIED for her. Let the competition begin!

When Tasha told me that their reception wouldn't have any dancing, my curiosity was peaked. "We're going to play games." She said triumphantly. "AWESOME." Was my reply. No awkward dancing grooves or the crazy aunt pulling out John Travolta moves that should be left to John Travolta.  Ping pong, Mario Brothers, Twister, card games, Connect 4-you name it, it was on the table.

What were the bride and groom to do? They had a First Game. If you think Tasha will win, please place a dollar in her hat. If you think Aaron will win, please place a dollar in his. Aaron made more money, but Tasha pulled it out in the end!
Here are some other details from the day to lap up: (click to enlarge)

Tasha and Aaron: you planned a beautiful ceremony, simple yet beautiful. Poppy was there and the reception of games was ingenious and relaxing for your guests. Now, Aaron, you just need to get better at Mario Game Card. Don't let Tasha take all your bragging rights away. My husband and I regularly play cribbage and we keep tally of who won and when. Maybe that's a tradition you could invoke too. Starting now and lasting for your lifetime-or  until the Lord takes you two home. Congratulations and enjoy the honeymoon to Colorado!

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