I sat down at the Sun 'N Lake Island View Restaurant in Sebring, FL on a sunny day with Kimberly and David to chat about their May wedding and knew instantly it was going to be a fantastic celebration. They are are the perfect mix of sweetness and fun and their ideas and plans for their big day was to wrap all that up into one really good time celebrating their love. Then I got to know them even better as we wandering around Sun 'N Lakes earlier this year for their super sunny, super sweet engagement session. I was pumped for their big day to say the least.
Then came the week before their wedding. And if anyone could change the course of events that week it would be me, a thousand times over. You see, when I compiled my wedding photography contract a few years ago I included a simple clause I wasn't even sure I would ever use...
"In the unlikely event of the photographer is unable to complete the coverage due to unforeseen circumstances, the photographer reserves the right to appoint another photographer to attend on her behalf to undertake the photography."
"Unforeseen Circumstances" dropped into my family's lap on a Tuesday morning in late April like a ton of bricks, or boulders, or… it's hard to find the proper metaphor for the shock and heartbreak that comes from unexpectedly loosing your dad.
That is a whole other post in itself. For another time.
But what I will say is that in a time when the Lord Himself felt a million miles away He kept His promise of "drawing near to the broken hearted" through His children, their presence, their encouragement and their willingness to attempt to carry our burdens for us for a bit.
There is a long list of family and friends that acted as dear angels to my family during those first moments, days, weeks and even now into the months that followed our tragedy. But for myself and Kimberly and David—and the matter of their wedding set for the same date now a my dad's funeral—it was the dear, dear Sarah Sandel, my go-to Second Shooter and mind reader, who before I even had time to make that phone call, was ready and willing to step in for the day (and already had a list of folks who had volunteered to help.)
So while I was celebrating my Dad's life in a packed pavilion listening to the rain hit the roof above us for a few hours on a grey Saturday afternoon Sarah Sandel and Nikki Ogden (a This is the Day Photography Workshop Attendee) were capturing Kimberly and David's wedding celebration in the most beautiful way. Thank you.
And luckily for me Kimberly and David were willing to let me still be a part of their marriage celebration by agreeing to a "day after" session (or rather a "two months after" session) where they got all gussied back up in their wedding day duds. The unpredictable Florida summertime afternoon rain had postponed us on our originally scheduled day so we opted for a try at sunrise. No words can describe the beauty that unfolded that morning and the breathtaking, blindingly beautiful sun that greeted us as the light made it's way up and over the horizon and back into the world again.
Thank you Kimberly and David for being so full of love and life and understanding.
Thank you Sarah and Nikki for being angels to me during one of the hardest of times.
And Thank you God for continuing to draw near through your children and for bringing the breathtaking, blindingly beautiful sun back up over the horizon to greet us again day after day.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24 ESV)
And here is a peek into that glorious morning when Kimberly and David were willing to get up at 4:30 AM to start getting ready for our sunrise session. It was way worth it, I'd say...