The last wedding of the season is always bittersweet. On the one hand, I love that my brides are finally having their long-anticipated wedding day, but on the other hand, many of them become like friends and sisters to me--and I cherish our consistent coffee chats and Facebook impromptu meetings to talk about my favorite think in the whole world--weddings. Sandra and I go back a small ways. She plays the cello. She sings beautifully, and has led me in worship many a time. And she's a kindergarten teacher. When she mentioned meeting this red-headed bearded fellow named Brandon because his daughter was her student, and then they fell in love, AND HE PROPOSED IN HER CLASSROOM, I was excited for her. Seriously, how can you go wrong with a red-head with facial hair and the ingenuity to get engaged in her classroom? Turns out, I was right. Brandon is incredibly kind, very, very funny, and shares a love of beards and all things chin-sweater related. So when the wedding day came, I was right to be absolutely stoked.
Flannel, mint and yellow, TOMS, three first looks (one for them, one with their little girl Bella, and one with Sandra's father), a sky that kept playing jokes on us, the most devoted bridesmaids I had ever seen, TMI groomsmen, and more mustaches than you could shake a stick at made up this incredible wedding.
Oh, and I think I cried no less than 3 times at this wedding. Hot mess? That was me.
It was the perfect end to a perfect season, and renewed in me the assurance that I was following my dream, following my path.
And oh, what a journey!
In case you ever need to have a good cry, watch a daughter do a first look with her father. It. Will. Wreck. You.
If the Father/Daughter First Look didn't work, then make sure to look at a handstitched handkerchief with the words from a childhood book Sandra and her mother read together, and cherish to this day.
Can we just throw in the towel here? I love it when families honor the matriarch. Sandra held her cheek, held her close, and you could see the love in her eyes. Tears? Yes.
If that looks like 3 bouquets tied into one, you'd be correct. Sandra, as a kindergarten teacher, thoughtfully had her bouquet divided, and then wrapped together. That way, when she did the bouquet toss, three little girls would walk home winners. One bloom was placed in the bouquet from her fathers garden, giving it an extra sentimental touch.
Least we forget, the Future Mother in Law also got a handkerchief. Sandra aimed to make every person she talked to lose it, and succeeded.
The lettering on all the chalkboards was PHENOMENAL.
Little Bella went up the aisle, realized she hadn't thrown enough petals, and went *back* down to throw more.
Sandra was overflowing with joy and peace. It was the most incredible thing to see, even as heavy clouds hung overhead, threatening to dump rain on everyone there.
TJ got this INCREDIBLE shot of these two having Communion together. Seriously. Round of applause for that man. I don't care how late it is, you clap.
This is the second wedding I've seen this in, and I have to say, it's a trend that should continue--Sandra and Brandon had a special necklace just for Bella, a little ceremony, to promise that they would love and protect her, and be a family together. <3
That moment when you know she's going to hit you in the face with cake.