I've held back on posting this wedding for two reasons. First, I was the second shooter on this wedding providing support for the head shooter. But mainly I don't want this celebration to come to an end! Nathan and my husband Gerard have been the best of friends since middle school and Nathan's family (along with a few others' families) became second homes to Gerard in his adolescence. Gerard has so often quoted members of Nathan's family, I feel like they're celebrities that I've known my whole life. 

But let me introduce you to someone I only heard about just in the past year....

They exchanged a few emails and readily admitted they were done beating around the bush. Hillary approached this guy taking photos of antique instruments. His online profile said he was a band director by day so it must be the person she had arranged to meet. This first date led to a second date where Nathan asked quite prodding questions. Quite serious questions for a second date. They saw each other every day after that for the following weeks until Nathan went on a missions trip and contracted typhoid. (You know, the disease people died of on the Oregon Trail?!) Seriously. Typhoid.

Thankfully, Nathan has a strong immune system, but his heart couldn't hold off Hillary's pull. Nor her curves, nor her edges. As they danced to John Legend's "All of Me", I couldn't help but think it was the perfect song for them, arranged perfectly for them by Nathan's talented ear. 

The day started at the hotel where Hillary was readying among a flurry of her bridesmaids' activity. Hillary was quite content to be pampered in a comfy chair with her signature bag of Nestle chocolate chips. She would only give up that bag for a higher cause: putting on the dress that made her cry when she first put it on:

Nathan & Hillary opted to have a First Look. Nathan has photographed weddings in addition to his band directing duties and knew it'd be hugely beneficial to their wedding day timeline to get photos done prior to the ceremony. Their First Look was even sweeter than Hillary's bag of chocolate chips...

You can see my head shooter for the day, Bree of Brienne Michelle Photography, in one of the photos above. She was a joy to work with, easy-going but knew what she wanted to get throughout the day, laid back, but professional at the same time. After we'd gotten their First Look completed and a few classic portraits, she let me take the reigns for a bit and here's what we did...

I worked with Nathan a bit while Bree took Hillary. Then, I worked to gather the rest of the wedding party and snapped a few quick candids of them all...including all 7 flower girls...all nieces!!

As second shooter, I typically hang in the back to get some candids between the bride and her dad before they walk down, shots of her dress in full from the back (which, Hillary's dress had details on the back that I've never seen before-such elegance!) and a more pulled back shot of her father giving her to Nathan. They also had their fathers approach the stage and pray over them/with them to conclude their ceremony... Such touching moments, I'm honored they asked me to help document for them...

After the ceremony, we had a few minutes for extended family and wedding party photos. I also had a few moments to snap some of the reception details that Hillary planned meticulously. 

Nathan had several members of his high school jazz band performing as their recessional AND reception band. So those 'curves and edges' I mentioned earlier? They were perfectly sung live, serenading the happy couple as they relished their time together on the dance floor. 

Hillary + Nathan--Six years ago to the day of your anniversary, Nathan helped me photograph my very first wedding. While I choked on several occasions out of fear that day trying to play the part of head shooter, I choked up out of an intense gratitude as I photographed you two. It was an incredible honor and compliment that you allowed me to take part in your day. I pray that these and Brienne's photos captured your day the way you envisioned. Gerard & I have wondered what special lady would capture Nathan's heart and we couldn't be happier that you've made Nathan so happy, Hillary.  

Blessings to you both,

Carrie

PS Because I was the second shooter for this wedding, I don't have an online gallery to feature--that's up to Brienne of Brienne Michelle Photography. If you're in the California area, I can highly recommend her!

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