I don’t even know where to start with this one.
Three weeks ago I flew to Sacramento, California and had one of the best weekends of my life.
I got in on a Thursday evening and Jackie, Brian and their families welcomed me with open arms. Jackie, Brian and I went to college together and I’ve shot with them several times before, but we weren’t best friends or anything like that. And yet, by the time I left on Sunday afternoon, I felt like they were my family.
On Thursday night I was shyly editing a few photos on my laptop in Jackie’s parents guest room. She walks in and tells me that she’s having a second bachelorette party. And that I’m coming with her. And then she proceeds to lend me a dress. AND a bag. And hands me a cold beer. So begins my weekend. Salsa dancing and hot tubbing and doing donuts in a minivan filled with 6 girls who act like we’ve all known each other for years.
I love my job. I love these people.
Jackie and Brian met in the dorms. In the same dorm that I lived in my freshman year at OSU actually. In fact, Jackie, her maid of honor Stephanie, and I all lived ON THE SAME FLOOR for an entire year and shared a communal bathroom and somehow we never talked or became friends until this wedding. Crazy. The world is crazy.
Crazy beautiful, that is.
You see, this could just be a fun wedding and a fun weekend and yadda yadda yadda. But what made it so much more than just a fun weekend was the deep, crazy love behind it all. I have never seen so many tears of joy at a wedding. I got to see Brian joking with his good friends on the night of the rehearsal. I got to hear Jackie’s innermost thoughts about life while hot tubbing at like 4am. I got to see the stress behind the scenes and the drama and all the crazy that goes into weddings. But through all these moments it was so so so clear how deeply these two love each other. How they are so incredibly perfect for one another.
It was in the way they cried while holding hands with their eyes closed, just 20 minutes before the ceremony. Allowed to touch, but not to see each other.
And the way they cried when they saw each other for the first time while she was walking down the aisle.
And the way they cried when they were saying their beautiful vows they wrote themselves.
And of course, the way they cried when Jackie surprised Brian with his wedding gift – a quote from his favorite childhood movie inscribed into his wedding band…
“To infinity and beyond.”
This is why I am a wedding photographer. This. Is. Why.
I caught Jackie writing her vows with her dog the night before the wedding. So sweet.
All those little last minute preparations… like bicep curls for the bride and booze for the bridesmaids, hehe.
We were definitely low on time and so everyone piled into the limo as fast as they could once Jackie was dressed.
And then they did the cutest thing ever – took a picture with each other without being able to see each other. Everyone was bawling.
I love this series. Brian sees Jackie for the first time with her dad. I get this picture:
Then a photo of Jackie:
And I look back at Brian. This is a real man right here.
This is when Jackie told Brian she wanted to give him his present. She asked him to take off his ring and read what it said on the inside.
Everyone had to work to dry their eyes before we took formal portraits.
Their reception indoors was just beautiffulllllll
Their guestbook was a dictionary! Such a cool idea!
Their parents called their grandparents who couldn’t come to the wedding and recorded what they wanted to say to the married couple. I almost started crying myself.
Once the entire house was in tears, we moved on to lighter moments.
But wait, there is MORE!
The next morning I showed up at their beautiful hotel bright and early and we did a day-after session there and at the state capitol of California! Yay!
Venue: Whitney Oaks Golf Club
Event Manager: Lindsey Qualley
Cake: Shelton’s Wedding Cake Designs
DJ/Emcee: Premier Entertainment
Flowers: Ambience Floral Design
Photography: Katy Weaver Photography
Hair: The Salon @ Ulta
Makeup: Sabrina Dent
Reception Decorator/Coordinator: Brenda Barnes