Weddings are a wild thing in many ways, one of which is that on this one day, there are two very specific people who are the center of everyone’s attention. Everyone in attendance wants to hug them and take a photo with them and tell them congratulations, and I walk alongside them throughout the day as this whirlwind of happy occurs. Claire laughed and told me at one point during their wedding day that she wasn’t used to being the center of attention, and as I went through their photos to put this sneak peek together, I felt as though I could really see the moments when the two of them were fully thriving that day – not when they were front and center, but when they were side by side with their favorite people in the world.
Claire got ready with her friends and her sisters and her nieces and nephew, and she helped her niece adjust her flower crown and ate lunch with her friends and chatted with her mother. Brent got ready for the day in a hotel room a few floors up, and he helped his groomsmen adjust their ties and hung out with his guys and played with his soon-to-be nephew. As I photographed them, I saw them most at ease when surrounded by their loved ones, just talking and having a drink and enjoying each other’s company; while I sometimes see couples overwhelmed with their big wedding parties or flower girls and ring bearers running around, these two were so clearly at home in the midst of it.
I walked with the two of them to a nearby bridge for photos during their cocktail hour and realized that when it’s just the two of them, they are equally at home. There are so many things to love about Claire and Brent, but one of my very favorites is the quiet way they love one another. They held hands and Brent carried Claire’s flowers, and they chatted about how well the day was going and Brent said “I could do this all day” when I had him bring Claire in close for a photo, and I could tell by the look on his face that he meant it.
I watched them spend the rest of their evening surrounded by their favorite people, cheersing and smiling and laughing and singing Backstreet Boys and quietly finding each other on the dance floor in the midst of it all, and I was pretty certain that’s exactly what thriving looks like.
Reception Venue: Lincolnshire Marriott Resort
Church: St. Mary of Vernon
Hair: Michelle Karakas
Makeup: Melanie Welsh
Dress: Martellen’s Bridal
Cake: Lovin Oven Cakery
DJ: Charizma Entertainment, Mars