I had the honor of spending the weekend in Michigan to photograph Luke and Shaelyn’s wedding back in May. Although I’ve only known Shaelyn for a short time, I knew I couldn’t miss the chance to spend this special time with Luke and the Petersons as they welcomed this sweet bride into their family. I’ve known Luke literally since he was born. His sister and I were best friends from a young age and we’ve shared in a lot of milestones through the years. The memories are too numerous to list in one short blog post but you get the idea. The Peterson family is dear to me (and the rest of my family). Luke was the last of the Peterson siblings to get married (he is the baby, after all) and I knew that witnessing this step in the growth of their family may be one of the last reasons to drive halfway across the country just to see these people. It was a privilege to see the events of the day through my lens, knowing a lot about (or a lot more than many other couples I photograph) what each moment meant throughout the weekend. For example, the bittersweet feelings of a sister gaining a brother but knowing her baby sister would be moving away from home. The awe of watching a grandchild be old enough (and mature enough) to stand up front in the bridal party the ENTIRE wedding. The joy of friends to stand beside such a sweet, humble and godly couple. The simultaneous feeling of pride and vulnerability of a dad walking his little girl down the aisle. The overwhelming feeling of love when a groom sees his bride for the first time in her gown walking down that aisle knowing that this was his “payday.” The unique privilege the father of the groom had to speak to his son and daughter-in-law at the beginning of their journey together. I don’t often cry as a photographer during the ceremony but this had to be my exception.
It was truly a joy to be with these two families in a beautiful setting – plus the bonus of spending the weekend away with my sister who put a camera around her neck and helped me a ton! Congratulations, Luke & Shaelyn! Thanks for including me!