Their very first email to me was 698 words in total. Not letters, words. I didn't know what to do. Read it all now or skip to the end? Was this somebody I knew and had forgotten or just a really friendly stranger? I think some of these questions were still racing around my mind when I stumbled upon this part of the email:
"There are countless strings and fragments of stories that I want to share about meeting Susie and our relationship, each one dodging about in my head. But I haven't time enough to tell you about Susie, at least not properly. Suffice it to say, you will have to meet her to find out what an amazing, lovely, wonderful woman she is. Each day has been better than the last since we started dating."
My heart ached. Was it possible to be any sweeter?? I didn't know who this guy was, or who his amazing, lovely, wonderful fiancee was, but I couldn't WAIT to meet them. 7 months later I had the privilege of photographing their wedding. To say I was excited is a complete understatement. I had been emailing and talking on the phone with Jonathan and Susie for so long I felt like I was already old friends with them and couldn't wait to meet them, meet their friends, and photograph their wedding!
These two have one of my favorite engagement stories to this day. I cried when I first read it and called my best friend Kristen immediately, leaving her a 6 minute message reading off my favorite parts. She cried when she heard it too and promised to come and second-shoot with me when the wedding finally rolled around. Like, I'm not kidding, it's the sweetest thing you'll ever hear. Long story short: Jonathan made a surprise picnic for her on top of a hill/mountain. He hid roses in a thermos, an album he made for her in his backpack, etc. Amazing. But my favorite part is this: "At the last bend/incline of the trail I needed to rest, because I couldn't breathe with my cold. Like a true knight in shining armor before I knew it, he scooped me up in his arms and carried me up the hill to the top of the overlook. Setting me gently down on a rock, all I could see was beautiful fall foliage (reds, oranges, yellows, greens) with two bends of the river weaving their way through the bright hillside. There were rapids at the far bend and a set of train tracks hugging the shore. To make the moment even more enchanted a cluster of lady bugs were dancing in the breeze at the edge of the overlook."
I wanted to yell "SHUT UP" at my screen when I read this. Haha and I probably did something close to that. Jonathan is incredible. Such a soft-hearted, caring partner for Susie. And Susie is one of the most adorable people I've ever met. She's quirky and fun, completely down to earth, and absolutely beautiful inside and out.
Kristen got this great shot of the boooys.
Susie is a real life Disney princess, I swear.
Don't ask me what I love so much about this next photo, I just love it. It reminds me of the kind of girls Mary Cassatt or Edgar Degas painted way back when. So candid and classy.
The weather cleared up just in time for the ceremony. God loves to do that. :)
I loved the details at the reception, captured so loovely by the awesome possum Kristen Leigh.
The ceremony and reception were 2 minutes away from this incredible mill. I ate up the formal photos there like a horse eats oats.
I don't think they get how awesome they are.
Favorite shot of the day.
And I shall end with some words from Jonathan himself about Susie: "There are a myriad of descriptors that come to mind – characteristic traits and foibles that I adore about her…and each facet complements and heightens the next; but the essence of them all is that she exudes true beauty inside and out."
Jonathan and Susie, your wedding day exuded beauty inside and out. Your love for each other and for our Lord Jesus Christ was such a joy and honor to watch. I love you guys so much and wish you the very, very best in your new life together!