I thought it only fitting that today, the 4th of July, our nation’s birthday, that I should post images from the most genuine and patriotic wedding I have ever been the privilege to be a part of. Genuine in the couples’ love for family, friends, their country…and each other.
When wedding industry insiders talk about the ‘details’, we’re usually talking about the floral arrangements, the rings, and the party gifts; however, for Josh and Kristen’s wedding, the details were tiny little surprises laid out throughout the day for all of those that they loved and treasured in their life….tiny little emotional gifts that were akin to opening up a present whose inside treasures made each of us present stop, smile, and remind us of why we were all there…tiny little gifts that told the story of two people who in the midst of the beauty of the ‘traditional details,’ also reminded us all that the details in life that we need to remember are each other, our friends, our families, and those that have given their time and lives so that we can live in a country where we freely enjoy these things.
Kristen and Josh, I know you're enjoying the sands of Jamaica right now...but thank you for allowing me to be a part of your wedding day, the joyful celebration of family and friends that it was. Blessings to you both....Kelly
The Story of Josh and Kristen’s Day
The beautiful Ewing Manor in Bloomington, IL, provided a gorgeous setting for the wedding party to get ready. I was ready to pack a bag and move in....oh! the delicious details of older homes.
Kristen and Josh wrote vows for each other….vows for the just the two of them to remember for the rest of their lives. I took a couple of brief images and then stepped out of the room….to give them time alone…and to regain my own composure.
A note about the service….mainly the sermon. One of the blessings of being a wedding photographer is that you get so many chances to hear different pastors’ sermons about marriage. I listen to each one intently and consider it one of God’s gifts that I am reminded so often of the gifts God offers us through marriage. I have to say, the message crafted by their pastor was the best I had ever heard. It was a message of longevity, collaboration as a couple, the blessings that God bestows us on through marriage…that marriage was given to us by God to make us whole, as a mirror of his relationship with us, his church. And just as him, we should never falter.
I adored the cowboy boots with the turquoise that the bridesmaids switched their heels for! Has there ever been a cake that has more accurately described a bride and groom?!! Kristen’s Dad gave a heart-warming speech about the new couple.
It evoked laughter.... ...and tears. Kristen and Josh are passionate supporters of the Center for Wounded Veterans in Champaign, IL At the reception, they let their guests know that a donation had been made to the fund in their honor. They then asked all of the veterans present to stand for acknowledgement. There were so many in attendance....every single one of Josh's groomsmen had served our country. This says so much about the type of people they call friends.
It was also Kristen's grandmother's birthday. She was surprised with a little celebration all her own. When Kristen asked her grandmother if it was ok to have her wedding on her birthday, her grandmother stated that that would be just fine and that they'd dance together in celebration. So they did. While we were outside getting a few more images of Josh and Kristen, these two distinguished gentlemen were on their way out of the reception. They were two World War II veterans that Kristen had escorted on the World War II Honor Flights.