So this is love. . .So sang the Cinderella song they first waltzed to at their reception. A beautifully choreographed waltz that was the culmination of a beautiful day. A day that started with an exclamation from Vance unlike any other groom I've photographed. Rachel gracefully approached her groom and as she turned him around, he just about shouted in ecstasy. His bride was here and she was more beautiful than he could have ever imagined. He didn't hold her arms out from her sides to get a full look at her, he didn't whisper sweet nothings to her, he enveloped her in his arms and as he embraced her enthusiastically, she exclaimed too. (Probably because he pushed all the air out of her!) They erupted in laughter and giddiness. No whispering allowed. Their day was finally here. And it was a beautiful day indeed.
Rachel and Vance served in ministry together at least for the past three years-as long as I've known Rachel. Living with her in the two months before my own wedding, she told me she was interested in Vance and that he was going to be deployed soon. She sought other counsel as well, but we agreed that it would be better to let him serve his country first, relationship when he came back. We had no idea that Vance had approached Rachel's father and was counseled to do the same thing. Vance came back from duty and approached Rachel's dad again, this time, dad said to get a J-O-B. Upon finding a job, Dad gave his blessing and Vance asked Rachel's mom the shortest time it would take to plan a wedding: 3 months. And here we are on their beautiful day, 3 months later.
The most pressing need in those 3 months? Wedding clothes! Grandma made them. ALL. Wedding dress? Check. Men's vests and ties? Check. Bridesmaids dresses? Check! For a wedding party of 16 + 8 ushers! I was so impressed and they all looked fabulous. As Grandma was putting the final stitches in, we joked that Vance was going to need scissors to get her out of it as Grandma was literally sewing her in. ;)
Rachel's side of the family cries. It's their worship language as Rachel's Aunt Becky has told me-and here, Mother of the bride is "worshiping" her daughter:
Vance, being military, had his bridal party enacting the military's version of "on time" which really means "early". It made the day run so smoothly! There were several times throughout the day that I forgot I was working-it felt like I was hanging out with friends (which I was) but, it just all happened naturally.
Rachel was truly surrounded by some wonderful women:
This is as silly as the bridesmaids got. . .They do "sweet" much better than silly.
Justin got a bigger reaction out of the boys. They're the champions of Something. . . ?
Every wedding is a clear cut reflection of the couple and their personalities. It was so evident to me that God made boys and girls differently. While the boys were whooping and hollerin', the ladies? They were twirling. What princesses!
You may not be able to tell on the bridal party, but Justin sure was workin' up a sweat: You could have wrung his shirt out and filled up a cup of water!
Now, to the ceremony! Rachel and Vance's vows were self-written and SO touching. It was a well-timed reminder of a God-centered marriage and the roles He has laid out for a husband and wife.
When you get a picture of the bride's uncle/pastor winking at the groom, you KNOW it's a good day!
I think everything at the reception was hand-crafted by the bride and groom's family. They started setting up on Monday for the Friday celebration. Whew! What a job well done!
Some details to enjoy (click to enlarge)
So This Is Love. . .
Congratulations Rachel & Vance! Enjoy Cincinnati and come home safely.
Lots of love and God's blessings,