We wedding professionals have a bad habit of using superlatives on everything we write. See, I even did it there! EVERYTHING we write. Each wedding is the sweetest, the most beautiful, the most perfect, thing we’ve ever seen. Part of that stems from the fact that it’s hard to stop using that language once you start, but largely I think that most photographers and others involved in weddings genuinely love their job and take great joy in each couple’s love story. On my own part, I get so enthusiastic about every wedding that it’s difficult to restrain myself from gushing about all the weddings I have the privilege of shooting. Some weddings have gorgeous details, others take place in beautiful settings, and some celebrate family in joyous perfection. I jump up and down for each of these things and use lots of happy adjectives, but at the end of the day, the one thing about a wedding that will really break me down is seeing vulnerability. Surrounded by stress and chaos and plenty of people they haven’t seen in years, couples often have a hard time letting their hearts open up and shine through at their wedding.
Catherine & Jake had no problem being completely themselves, full of joy and pain and promises and hope. I can’t remember the last time I, along with the guests, wept so openly and laughed so loudly. Having dealt with a horrible and debilitating illness while dating, Catherine and Jake learned quickly what it means to love in sickness and in health. Jake’s humble gratitude to Catherine for encouraging him even while she was so sick, and Catherine’s tearful expression of how much it meant to her when he told her she was beautiful even when her body was ravaged made us all feel like like we were witnessing something precious and intimate. They concluded the ceremony not with a recessional, but with a powerful chorus of a song that proclaims God’s power to make beautiful things out of dust. In fact, while you look through these photos, just put this on in the background. I could tell you a million more things that made the wedding special, like the fact that Catherine’s reception dress was actually her mom’s wedding dress, but I think the song and photos will say more than I could.