Shellie + Kyle have a magical story all their own - and it's one that you can't help but fall in love with. I was lucky enough to capture just a small part of their journey, and to be honest, this post has me smiling from ear to ear.
Because Shellie + Kyle presently live in California - I was not able to spend much time with them prior to their wedding day. After brielfy speaking with Shellie on the phone, I somehow knew that not getting to spend much time in person before hand wouldn't matter much at all.
On the morning of Shellie's wedding day, I walked into her hotel room + laid eyes on a stranger. This sweet bride quickly began to feel like a lifelong friend. She was surrounded by a fleet of kindness, and I was so excited to be a part of it.
I found Kyle in the lobby, and he told me he had a surprise in store. He was going to present to each grand mother a personalized cufflink he had made. Each cufflink had a portrait of each grandfather. Who better to put the cufflinks on for him than each grandmother? These wives were over joyed. It was the sweetest thing I'd ever seen, and I teared up right along with them. Kyle wanted those men to be with him on his wedding day, and what better way to honor their memory. AHHHHH!
At the very last minute, Shellie decided she would like to do a "First Look." Long story short - every wedding is different. Every event coordinator is different. After Shellie's event coordinator encouraged her to have a First Look at a certain location - crowds seeped in, and it didn't feel as intimate as I knew Shellie + Kyle had hoped. My heart hurt a little because, I can control a lot, but I can't control everything. This bride got back in the elevator with me and had a look of - ' that wasn't what I imagined it'd be ' on her face. She smiled, went back into her hotel room and got ready for the ceremony to begin.
After a beautiful, and heartfelt ceremony on site -
Shellie, Kyle, myself, and my hubs piled into our Toyota Highlander. During their cocktail hour, I stole them away for about 30 minutes to a secluded, nature trail and board walk nearby. This was discouraged by Shellie's event coordinator for fear it would be muddy.
I decided we could handle mud, but I couldn't handle Shellie's sweet little face being disappointed by her First Look. She wanted something intimate and we just couldn't get that at her venue!
So off we went - an impromptu journey in the midst of our kiddos carseats, plastic dinosaurs, and remnants of goldfish snacks crushed into the floor mats. (Parent's out there, you know what I'm talking about!)
We were four strangers turned friends headed out to make some memories.
Security ran after us, and we didn't care. We found a beautiful spot, and captured some gorgeous photos that Shellie + Kyle were so happy to be a part of. I was so happy to make them happy.
After that, we were reunited with their fleet. Their reception was filled with laughing and dancing, kind words, and happy tears.
Shellie's daughter ran up to me to tell me her and her sister had a surprise on the horizon. I didn't know much, just that it required an outfit change, and that this little girl was PSYCHED.
What I imagined and what we got were lightyears apart.
These sisters came out and stunned all of us. ( I will link a video below to footage someone captured of these sisters dancing together on their Mom's wedding day.)
Here are some special moments from their day....
If you'd like to see the dance, click here: