This is what love looks like. It's also what adoration and cuteness and completely into the other person looks like. Normally when it's time to get pictures of the bride and groom there is a lot of directing going on from the photographer (stand here, hug now, smile, maybe even fake laugh?) but there was no direction given to Jamie and AJ for their pictures because they were just so incredibly excited to be married and couldn't stop smiling and laughing and hugging and kissing. No joke. Kathryn (my awesome second shooter) and I were tearing up just seeing how happy they were together and we didn't even want to break up the lovefest for some posed pictures! This couple and wedding was beyond adorable in every way.
This blog post might be overkill with detail pictures from the day because there were just so many beautiful things to photograph. I apologize in advance (and should add that there are a million plus one more pictures so no fear if you were looking for a specific one and didn't see it!) I think I may need to just start listing reasons that this wedding was adorable:
#5: The groom, AJ, has a collection of old National Geographic magazines that he used for the table decor. He STAMPED phrases and reasons he loves Jamie and then found a picture in the magazine that went along with it. He just raised the groom bar to an unreachable height in doing that, ps. My personal favorite was the picture below of this really rich grin on the man's face. AJ and Jamie also have this inside joke about AJ being Jamie's blobster (which was how she said lobster as a kiddo- and "you are my lobster" saying from the show, Friends) so he made a supercute card for their little table at the reception. There's a picture of that, too.
#4: Jamie and AJ wrote each other sweet notes to read before the ceremony. All of Jamie's bridesmaids and special family members watched as Jamie read the card aloud. Then she cried, they cried, and even random photographer cried. AJ wrote a pretty special card- including the part where he has wondered his whole life what his wife would look and then describing how beautiful Jamie is and how he wants to love her so well.
#3: The wedding programs were A-MAZING. Each program was handmade with different pattern papers and SEWN together by Jamie's mom. The cute burlap on the front was the perfect touch. And on the last page of the program was the sweetest quote from E.E. Cummings:
"I love you much (most beautiful darling) more than anyone on the earth and I like you better than everything in the sky."
I should also mention the great CD they made as a wedding favor with fun typography on the cover. Swoonie Tunes for sure.
#2: the quote read during the ceremony. I've never seen a quote or book excerpt read during the ceremony but usually just Bible passages. A friend came up during the ceremony and read an excerpt from Tim Keller's book, The Meaning of Marriage. What stood out the most to me was this part of the reading: "The reason that marriage is so painful and yet wonderful is because it is a reflection of the gospel, which is painful and wonderful at once..." Keller went on to talk about how in the life and death of Jesus we see truth and love, honesty about our flaws and failings and love and acceptance in the midst of those because of the perfection of Christ for us. Marriage is meant to be marked by that same radical truthfulness, commitment, and love for the other person as is seen in the person of Jesus Christ. I can't express how powerfully true those words are as husband and I enter into our 9th year of marriage. 1 house, 2 kids, and endless days later I know that our relationship is deep and rich and beautiful but a lot of that beauty has come from long and hard conversations and nights where we just couldn't put a hopeful tone in our voice or even talk a problem out. It is truly the life through death paradox of the gospel that has been the backdrop of our marriage as we learn that serving the other really is the design for an enduring marriage.
#1: LOVEfest 2012. I have to say that there was so much love in the air of this wedding, between Jamie and AJ, between the parents of the bride and groom, among friends who love this couple, even down to the little nieces and nephews who couldn't stop having fun on the dance floor and hugging those around them! Every part of this day was made with love, even in the details of it. I think I need a t-shirt from their wedding day with LOVEfest written on it.
Last thoughts, really. Some people ask if I get a bunch of pictures of the reception of guests having fun so I thought I'd put together a little stop motion video of guests having fun. I love dancing so the reception is often my favorite part (although I awkwardly dance behind my camera- it's still really fun... and I keep up with all the latest rap music!). So here is a glimpse into the LOVEfest. Thanks AJ and Jamie for asking me to photograph your day- I'm so glad you guys met on a random bus in Atlanta! lots of love.