Monday, October 31, 2011

Brad & Katie | 10.31.11

There’s really no other way to begin our post but to tell you that this weekend ... this wedding ... was REALLY about celebrating what God has done in bringing together two extra special people - Brad and Katie.

Funny, I still remember the day Katie and I were sitting on the train bridge (University of the Cumberlands) and she let out the truth of the fact that she had feelings for Brad (a guy we hadn’t seen in almost 2 yrs.) To Katie's surprise, it was no surprise for me! A year earlier, I had felt impressed to begin to pray for my roommate, Katie, and my fellow friend Brad, who was serving as a missionary in Northern Africa. 

So, can’t resist beginning with a picture we took two years ago on the occasion when Brad was stateside for a couple of weeks and asked if Kay and I would get a few of he and Katie before his return trip. This will always be one that makes me smile. The girl was "twitterpated!" - Jill

Our entire family traveled to Grand Rivers, Ky for the celebration! What a beautiful little town (population app. 350) between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. Surrounded by water, it was showing off a spectacular outdoor display of all the yellow, orange, and red colors that an October day brings. Took one look at the sailboats moving in and out along the harbor landing across the glistening water and knew right away that Brad and Katie had been right. We had to have a picture there with the entire wedding party! Could not wait!

In welcoming everyone on Friday, these were Brad’s words:
"We have a large wedding party, because we have chosen to invest in our friendships."

It fit!  And the whole evening proved that statement true. What an invest of time, energy, and love given in the preparation of the weekend!  Couldn't have been a more perfect spot for the rehearsal dinner than on Katie’s family farm with cornstalks and pumpkins lining the driveway, a huge tent with lights that put a sparkle in the cool night, beautiful handmade quilts (by Katie’s grandmother) thrown across hay bales scattered underneath the tent. And Brad’s family ... well, they had assembled a feast fit for a king and queen and their court!  So many details highlighted the evening, from the straws in blue mason jars ... to the napkins wrapped with a "blessings" label.

A 7:30 a.m. getting ready time came early! 

Waiting. Anticipating that first look at Katie. Beautiful morning!  Quiet. Peaceful. It was so neat that Brad chose to have his best man bring Katie to him. 

"The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the one who seeks Him."   
 Lamentations 3:25

This was timeless. No distractions. These moments to focus on just each other began their day.
Emotional? Yes. Amazing!? Yes.

Priceless moments!   Katie was stunning.  She looked like a princess!  And watching Brad take that all in as he twirled her around to get a look at her dress ... wouldn't trade anything for capturing those first moments together! Then in a hilarious move, the groom looks around and exclaims to his best man and photographer (that's me) ... "Would you just look at her! She's gorgeous!" Loved the heightened sound of Brad's voice with that hint of is this real... can this really be happening to me! It was an awesome time for tears, laughter, and great rejoicing.

[In case you are wondering, it’s our personal observation that the bride and groom’s choice to see each other before the wedding ceremony does not in any way take away from the groom watching his bride walk down the aisle. These first look images and moments cannot be caught or experienced during a walk down the aisle amidst a crowd of family and friends.]

These bridesmaids have shared a whole lotta fun during the last five years at UC. I know. (Jill tells me everything!) They even went shopping together - all of them - for Katie’s dress! In addition to the good times together, I also know they have shared some of life's difficult moments together.  So glad they are all here together today!

"Friends give full color to our lives."

While I didn’t know but just a few of the groomsmen, I was fairly confident that if the guys were friends of Brad's then they too would be very personable, warm, easy to work with ... :)

The ceremony.  Chosen with such commitment to honor the Lord - the One who has brought them together for a lifelong journey.

You hold everything together.
Oh Christ, be the center of our lives,
Be the place we fix our eyes,
Be the center of our lives.

It's official.  Mr and Mrs. Brad Bell!

Both Brad and Katie are committed to the small things – the little details that make life rich - like the wedding favors of hand-woven baskets and coasters from Ethiopia brought back especially for their guests. (  And the tables accented with burlap. To us it's material.  In Africa, it makes up feed sacks forming the bags used in famine relief. Then there were the African baobob trees decorating the reception tables.  And around those tables were wonderful relationships with an Ethiopian connection. The highlight of the reception ... the blessing of so many family and friends!   Little details that make life rich ... how about the beautiful barnwood frames made by Howard Bell (Brad's dad) for their engagement pictures. 

Almost forgot ... the bride, groom, and their wedding party wore TOMS.  For every pair of
TOMS purchased, this company gives a free pair to those without shoes.

A new hand to hold, a new heart to love ...
         and a new LIFE to lead!

"Now to Him who is able
to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to His power that is at work within us."   
Ephesians 3:20

We came home with treasured memories from our time with you, Brad and Katie.  Anticipating more in the near future!
- Kay (for Jill, Carole & Butch)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Morgan & Cari | 10.20.11

If you are ever wondering what photographers do for fun well here's the answer...we take pictures!!!  :)  That's just what Kristen and I did on my trip out to California!  I walked right off the plane, ate lunch, and then we started shooting!  It's always a lot of fun to tag along with other photographers to see how they do things.  I so enjoyed meeting this cute couple ... so natural in front of the camera!  We had a blast!  [Sidenote:  You can't tell it from here, but, we were actually in a shopping center! It's amazing all the great photo spots you can find just looking around your own area.]

Showing off their personalities!  Fun-loving, genuinely smiling and laughing! 

Morgan & Cari first met each other at church. Certainly entertaining to hear how each of them have different takes on how the story really goes! The beautiful California evening and desert-like setting provided a great night for us to capture their engagement pictures.

"When we trust our lives to the unseen but ever-present God,
He will write our lives into His story
and every last one of them
will turn out to be a great read.
With a grand ending."
- Beth Moore

A final favorite!

Be sure to check out my friend and fellow photographer Kristen's take on the session! 

    -  Kay