Monday, July 2, 2018

Jennifer & David | Beavercreek Wedding | Aley UMC | Hilton Garden Inn Beavercreek

Jennifer & David are having a big year.
They've officially become doctors.
They landed residency spots together near David's hometown.
They moved across the country.
And they got married.

I'm very delighted to tell the story of their wedding day through my photography.  I hope it captures Jennifer's intelligence, refined beauty and the way joy slowly spreads across her face.  I hope it conveys David's heart-on-his-sleeve happiness, kindness and warmth.  I hope that you will see what I did:  two good people who fell in love, their happy families who joyously welcomed their marriage, and all the beautiful moments of their wedding day.

Ceremony:  Aley United Methodist Church
Bridal Suite & Reception/Catering:  Hilton Garden Inn, Beavercreek
Wedding Planner:  Debi Heidrich
Hairstylist:  Becca F
Cake Artist:  The Cakery
Florist:  The Flowerman
DJ:  Ben Boheneck of B&B Audio
Ceremony Music:  Viva La Strings
Reception Decor:  Party Pleasers
Rings: Rock Jewelers

Jennifer's mother, Yuan, is not familiar with American wedding customs.  I don't think she was familiar with my work either.  The three of us quieted away to the master bedroom of the Hilton suite to help Jennifer get dressed.  Maybe she thought it was a little odd that I wanted to photograph it.  As a mother, I know the joy of dressing your baby in teeny clothes.  I also know the way time slips by quickly and how that baby becomes a young woman who wants to dress herself.  There's something about the act of dressing your daughter one more time on her wedding day that is profoundly beautiful. 

Yuan, I hope these images make you remember the journey of dressing her as a baby and on her wedding day.

Jennifer's step-father told me that the first time he met Jennifer, she looked up and took his hand.  Then his eyes got soft, and he said that he was very privileged to be her father and that he is so very proud of her.

Jennifer and David decided to have a First Look well in advance of the date.  I still take the majority of the bride + groom shots after the ceremony (after all, they are officially married then), but it helps minimize the time we spend on photos after the ceremony as we can take family & wedding party shots beforehand.

The groom's mother, Debi, actually reached out to me first about photographing this wedding.  Jennifer and David were in med school out-of-state, Jennifer's family was also out of the area, and Debi graciously stepped up to plan a large portion of the wedding.  I was a bit apprehensive at first as I've experienced overbearing moms on previous weddings, and it's so hard to balance the clients wishes against his/her mother's expectations.  After meeting Debi, I understood that this was about expressing her love and support with an act of service.  David and Jennifer needed to focus on their final year of med school and the residency selection process, so Debi took on the challenge.  Planning a wedding is a major undertaking, especially if the biggest party you've hosted is 25 people in your backyard (true of almost all of my clients).  Her attitude was "how do I best plan the wedding that they want", and she did it beautifully, even though I suspect she was a little nervous about it.  She was very humble about the whole thing. In fact, on wedding day she stepped back to watch, to be present and absorb their wedding.

I'm so thankful that I was able to capture this moment of David's parents before I had to go to the back of the church (photography restrictions).  Debi was crying ever so slightly with dignity and maternal pride.  I think, maybe, that it's that moment when all the work is done, and you look at your beloved child who is good and kind and happy and loved.