Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired. - Robert Frost

A LONG TIME COMING. Not just this wedding, but this blog. Stephanie has been on pins and needles waiting to see these photos and I can't blame her because the reality here is that she has seen dozens of my blogs and thousands of my photos working as the right hand to one of my favorite wedding planners in the country for years. This wedding was different because for as hard as it was for her to let go and let us all pamper her for the day she got to wear the white dress. I can say with completely sincerity that this wedding meant just a little bit more to me than just an average Saturday. Of course I look forward to every single wedding day and I'm super blessed to be able to call almost every single client a friend by the time I watch her walk down the aisle but this wedding day was truly for a close friend. 

Stephanie came into my life a few years ago as the kind of shy big smile following around Amanda Reed at wedding after wedding. It didn't take long for her to really embrace a set of talents that in my mind are incredibly rare. She's able to design, direct, and calm down a bride in a way that very few people can and though I've seen her be a huge part of so many weddings to see her in the white dress was pretty special. She's got a huge heart and she wears it on her sleeve all of the time.  The truth is if you've seen my weddings in magazines around Arkansas in the last few years there's a solid chance that this girl was the reason why as she took on the role of going through my thousands and thousands of photos for submission so when I say the pressure was on for this wedding I'm not kidding. The amazing part however is that as I scanned the room about 10:00 the night of the wedding to see all that was going on I was surrounded by friends. Amy Bates, one of the very best planners and coordinators ever and a close friend was there with her whole family who we absolutely adore, Steve from Light Works was up in the balcony smiling and over seeing the party, Amanda Reed (the actual wedding planner for the whole event) was on the dance floor having a blast and basically every person in the room was having the time of their life celebrating a wedding that was so worth celebrating!

I don't want to skip ahead too much. I should say that Collin is also a pretty incredible guy. I hadn't met him prior to the engagement session but as he rolled up in that Red truck months and months ago I instantly could see what Stephanie sees in him. This guy is level headed, calm, happy, and supportive to a girl who is FULL of big dreams and big emotions. The way he wraps her up and gives her something to relax into is amazing and I can 100% tell that they compliment each other in nearly every way! By the end of that session I was convinced that this wedding was going to be special and as Eli and I rolled into the hotel that morning for hair and makeup I knew I was in for a great one!

I lucked out having the one and only Eli Murray join me for this one! We had a pretty busy day with two of my team up in New York shooting another wedding and our newest photographer off in New Zealand with a college project. I had a last minute plan change with another photographer and reached out to Eli as a friend to help out! Best decision ever having this guy along my side as his photos are not only amazing but the way he clicked with Stephanie and Collin was amazing. Turns out that other photographer flaking out was a great thing after all! Anyway, by the time these two saw each other we were in FULL swing and running way behind but nobody was willing to let time stand in the way of important moments. With a few tweaks in our schedule we carved out a perfect chunk of time for Collin to spend with Stephanie and those moments were magic. Before long she was on her way down the aisle in a perfectly lit amphitheatre full of cheering family and friends. The rest of the moments were a blur until sunset when time stopped for another session with these two together.

I couldn't pull off half of the amazing things we try without the people that help us. This wedding was a huge example of how much can happen when you're working along side friends and because of the people at this wedding we all walked away not only happy for Stephanie and Collin but excited about the photos and the moments we were able to be a part of! So grateful for years and year of friendship with this incredible girl and the trust she put in me as her photographer and so happy to call Collin a friend now as well! 

Planning and Design by Amanda Reed ( Bates-Reed Brides )