Their story is one of persistence, patience, and providence. After meeting each other at a church small group 12 years ago, their paths kept crossing and then missing. Fast forward to 2017 when they finally rekindled their friendship, and shortly after, became engaged! Throughout their engagement session, I could sense their utmost love and respect for each other, and their anticipation to finally get married after all these years. I love their down-to-earth feel, and had a blast capturing Christine’s charm and Donald’s genteel nature. So excited to celebrate and capture their big day this weekend!
These two pulled out ALL the stops to celebrate their 10 year anniversary! Not only did they choose a jaw-dropping venue, but Amanda (who I’m convinced should go into event planning - just look at all the details!) made sure their intimate ceremony would take place outside by the water during the dreamiest golden light - oh my photographer heart! As they renewed their vows in front of their family and with their two beautiful children by their side, Brian pulled out the sweetest surprise - a new ring, reminiscent of the rings they had exchanged years before. Not to be outdone, Amanda had her own surprise up her sleeve! For the reception, she rented a white baby grand piano (swoon!) to play and sing “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran for her hubby. I’m pretty sure everyone was a little misty-eyed by the end of her performance :) What a privilege to capture such an amazing milestone celebration for this beautiful family! Serious #couplegoals, #familygoals, #everythinggoals!!
In Amanda’s words: Over the last ten years, we have shared so many wonderful memories together and have undoubtedly grown to love each other even more than ever. Through the many challenges, accomplishments, ups and downs, celebrations and sleepless nights, we managed to build a business together, and more importantly grow our family to include our two most beautiful blessings. We are each other's companion, anchor for when times get rough, and best friend. It's amazing to look back at where we first started and stand where we are today and see just how far we've come. We feel so grateful each and every day for the many blessings God has brought to us.
I spend most of my shooting days photographing couples – usually newly engaged or getting married. I get to witness and capture the exciting transition into a deeper level of commitment, the air full of anticipation as hearts prepare to become one. It’s always an honor to document these new promises and beginnings of family.
Once in a while though, a couple will want to invest in an anniversary session, and it is one the biggest treats. The years of loving, refining, choosing, and celebrating in the trenches of marriage bring a different kind of depth to these sessions. There are knowing smiles- smiles that have endured the greatest joys and deepest battle scars. There are soft embraces that have been perfected by years of refusing to let go through seasons of abundance and favor as well as those that weren’t so rosy and wonderful. Most of all, there are hands firmly held as they choose to fight for, cherish, and honor each other whatever may come.
I love how Kim and Ashlie decided to celebrate their 5 year anniversary by spending a rare date day to capture this crazy, joyful and difficult season. They got dressed in their wedding clothes, and Ashlie even got her hair and make-up done the same way she did on her wedding day! I hope you find their honesty in sharing about their marriage 5 years and 2 kids later encouraging as it was for me. (below)
“After we got married, we entered a rapid chapter where we were demanded by the kids. People kept reminding us to prioritize our marriage before the kids… but that totally went down the drain and had a big toll on us. I feel like a mirror was placed in front of each of our faces that forced us to reflect on the reality of where we are and what we’re going to do with that – am I going to continue focusing on me, me, me? Or am I going to love you as Christ has loved? I thought I had been loving him selflessly, but I realized that I was loving under my own accord. I had become so fixated on doing things for him and then wondering why he wasn’t feeling loved. And I read this quote – “To love someone is not first of all to do things for them, but to reveal to them their beauty and value, to say to them through our attitude, ‘you are beautiful. You are important. I trust you. You can trust yourself.’”
We are grieving the time we lost, grieving the fact that there were times where we hurt each other.. But we know that because of God’s grace, we are still here. Kim is a gift and a promise to me, and I know that my God fulfills his promises. So no matter how hard it is, we’re still here to choose to love, to grow in communication, to bring things into the light, and enjoy our alone time even if it’s just being at home in our PJ’s after the kids have gone to sleep!”