I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.  -Mother Teresa

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So much Jesus in this wedding. OK - I'll admit it, super weird way to start a wedding story. But then when I think about it I wish I could start more blog posts with that sentence. Johanna and Rusty have been nothing but joy and love from the very first time I met with them. There’s something wonderful about working with a couple like this. When I have such a deep respect and understanding for their relationship I guess I just find myself really caring more. Of course I care about basically every couple I work with. These days we tend to be a little picky about the couples that we work with just so that we make sure we’re a great fit for them but even with a line up of beautiful couples in love Johanna + Rusty stand out. Rusty is the type of guy who isn’t afraid to have joy. So many guys these days feel like their job in the relationship is to be the sarcastic, quiet, mildly rude end of things and Rusty is the perfect answer to all of those. He’s got a heart for people and an attention to you when you talk that makes you not only feel like he’s really listening by like he cares. In fact I can say I have worked with very few grooms over the years who are confident enough to speak for their fiance at times without overpowering her. There’s times where Rusty was my sole contact throughout the course of their engagement and I loved knowing that it had nothing to do with insecurity but everything to do with Rusty just wanting to be a part of the planning for a big day for him too. The way he holds Johanna is amazing to watch and I can sincerely say he is the only groom I have ever seen literally run to his bride the first time he saw her. Best reaction ever.

Johanna is stunning. Perhaps what is most beautiful about her is her shy smile. You get the impression that Johanna is so much more than smitten with Rusty. She’s comfortable and there’s something about the way she bites her lip, looks away, and grins when he pulls her in that is absolutely magnetic. This entire wedding was wonderfully unique. The girls were dressed and ready ahead of schedule. The groom showed up smiling and excited for whatever we had planned regardless of the 95 degree heat. Even the ceremony started on time. But what really stood out about this day was everybody’s happiness. I’m sure I’m treading water a bit when I put this out into the world but you can always tell when a couple and their families have a deep understanding of Christ’s role in their lives. A wedding day changes so much in a group like this because it’s not just a celebration about love or these two people, it’s quite literally a communion - a commitment - and covenant. A few things really stood out on this day. Of course Rusty running to Jo when he saw her for the first time was at the top of the list but the father/daughter interpretive dance was easily one of my favorite moments in a wedding day ever as well. There wasn’t a dry eye in the building when Johanna walked down the aisle and by the time these two ran through a swarm of paper airplanes and jumped into a car honeymoon bound to Italy every person there had learned a little something new about what the joy of a wedding day could look like. Consider me not long winded tonight for some reason - I know I could go on and one about this story but I’m confident in the images from this one. The story wasn’t in the details. It didn’t hide in the candles or the centerpieces. It wasn’t baked into an extravagant cake or built into a gothic cathedral. The story of this wedding was on the faces of two young, beautiful people committing their lives to each other in front of a whole group full of people who loved them and that was more than enough.

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