Bailey and Thomas, a couple you all have seen on my pages often. It helps having stunning friends when being a photographer. Walking into this day I really wanted to tell their story and their families stories in a fun, emotional, and loving way. High school sweet hearts in todays society is becoming less and less of a thing in my industry. To have found someone you love so fully and so unconditionally during that time of life is rare! These two found just that in the small town of Ozark, MO. I’ve known these two for close to 4 years and have been on vacations all over the US with both of them and will soon call them family. This I could not be more excited for!! 

Let’s move into what this day was like. It was a hot June day in Missouri and yet that didn’t bother anyone. No one complained, no one focused on it, no one let it slow down the fun that was to come. These two allowed themselves to have nothing in their mind but the love they had for each other and what was to come at 5pm. Personally I have several moments that stand out to me, moments that I got to witness dear friends just dive in fully and embrace:

Moment one being Thomas writing his letter to his soon to be bride. He sat alone in his room, quiet, intentional, and calm. As all the groomsman got dressed in the other room he took the time to put into words what Bailey meant to him, what this day meant to him, and what it meant to be the man she was choosing to spend the rest of her life with. I always knew Thomas had a heart and a love for Bailey that most of us wouldn’t understand outside the two of them. As I listened to her read his letter I was allowed into that love for a moment. I watched as he went from being giddy and excited to see her, to just holding her, being present, being the man he’s going to be in the serious moments, being a firm leader to Bailey. I don’t cry at weddings, I can count on one hand how many times moments really hit me with a flood of emotions. Maybe it’s because I see it every week, or maybe because I don’t know the couples on such a deep level that I just don’t feel those emotions. On this day I remember sitting there viewing two people I love and look up to vowing before themselves and God to love each other, no matter if it be the hard times or the good times, and it hit me, the tears. I can remember telling myself to pull it together, I didn’t want to take away any moments from them and put them on myself. Thankfully in Missouri in July the sweat was running so I just wiped my eyes as though I was sweating and sat back and kept shooting. 

Moment two for me was watching as Bailey was getting final touches on her dress from her Mom, Marty, and her sister, Maddie. I watched as Bailey smiled from ear to ear as her moms hands zipped her into her dress. As she glanced between Marty and Maddie, Maddie’s smile growing ever bigger as Bailey got one step closer and closer to seeing her soon to be husband. There are part of the day to me that I just know I will cherish on my own wedding day, and to me it will be the photos of my own bride being helped into her dress by the woman who raised her. The woman who helped her in hard times, and good times, who carried her into this world, and who raised her to be the woman that I love. This for me is the reason I never want to miss a mother helping her daughter into her dress. Not saying this is the last time a mom will help her daughter, not saying they won’t still have a bond so strong that when one hurts the other wont hurt along side them. However, this is a symbol to me, one that say “I have loved you till this moment, I have guarded you, I have bathed you, I have cried with you, I have loved with you, and now I give you with love to the one who will carry this mantel in a more intimate, loving, and unconditional way.” Maybe I think too much into this, but sit back for a moment while you look through these images and tell me that is not what you see as Marty, Maddie and Bailey spend a few moments together away from the hustle of the day. 

Moment three and maybe not that big of a moment but to me it is. Watching these two find each other all night in a crowd of their friends and family. No matter who they have spent their time with over the years, no matter who has shaped them, no matter who grabbed their attention they always came back to each other. They would fight across the dance floor to dance with each other and to share all these moments together. I think it speaks highly into how they live their every day life. They find a way to be with each other, a way to share the moments of every day life with each other. If there is one thing I could tell the both of them is to continue to do just this. No matter who you spend time with, no matter who shapes you, no matter who grabs your attention make sure that you are alway side by side when it happens. To always rest into each other in the moments, and to always look to each other with the smiles you had on this day. 

Now to end this out, to Bailey and to Thomas, I look forward to being your bother in law. I look forward to doing married life with the two of you. I look forward to growing into life with both of you as Brooke and I join our lives together. I look forward to traveling more of the US and maybe even internationally. You both hold a dear, dear place in Brooke and I’s heart. We will always be here for either of you and for both of you. We love you and we pray for your marriage and your lives to only grow and move in ways that uplift you both and those around you!