As a crisp, autumn rain falls outside the church, tears of joy descend down the cheeks of a mother watching her daughter take a new last name. On the bride’s bouquet hangs a charm with a picture of her sister who is no longer with them. Just off from the first pew sits a chair in dedication to that same sister. Four bridesmaids and four groomsmen stand proudly with the bride and groom. As I watch from the back of the church, I can’t help but stop and admire the way everyone’s attention is on Carlie and Chris. There is a smile on every face, but none shine brighter than those of the happy couple. This moment is the culmination of a special day filled with memories, last minute preparations, and eager anticipation.
The day began with a light breeze in the air, and brilliant sun rays were shining through the trees as we arrived early in the day to the reception hall. There we found Carlie and all her bridesmaids in matching flannel shirts with freshly done hair and makeup. As Hillary stole the girls away for cute “getting ready” pictures, I did detail shots of the rustic decor that filled the hall, most of which were handmade or repurposed from family farms. I looked at the wooden ladders and wash tubs and thought of the past generations that used these items in daily life, and how if they could see them now filled with framed photos of Carlie and Chris’s engagement, it would warm their hearts.
The wedding started at four p.m. sharp with the father of the groom officiating. The groom and his father stood together in the front of the church as the bridal party made their way in two at a time, first arm in arm, then splitting to stand on their respective sides. The church doors closed, and the bride and her father shared one last moment before he placed her hand in Chris’s. Family and friends rose to their feet. A brief countdown by the ushers and the doors opened wide as Carlie and her father began their walk. Chris smiled as he saw his bride for the first time that day. The ceremony began with a prayer, and many joyful tears were shed as Carlie and Chris exchanged their vows and rings.
And now for the moment everyone has been waiting for! The officiant presents, for the first time, Mr. & Mrs. Chris Harris! The church erupts into loud cheering and praise for the newlyweds. As they walk down the aisle as husband and wife for the first time, they look radiant with joy. The church doors open to the outside revealing rich blue skies, sparse clouds with silver linings, and the most intense double rainbow arching across the whole sky over the church. It’s the end of their most special day, and the beginning of a beautiful life together.
Chris and Carlie, thank you so much for letting us be part of your special day! It was such a beautiful day and we loved capturing those memories for you! We wish you the best in your new life together and hope you’re enjoying your honeymoon! Enjoy your little preview from your day! 🙂