It really was an absolutely golden day, the wedding of Margaret and Paul. There was warmth and light and love. There was laughing and hugs and truth. There was an overwhelming feeling of the redemption of God, who is the One who promises to give "beauty for ashes". It was a beautiful, beautiful day. Margaret has been my friend for about eighteen years since I met her in Bible college. Though we have only seen each other a handful of times since then, every time we talk we can just pick up immediately. I love and cherish her heart.

And what a pleasure it was to see her wed to a man who quite obviously has covered her with his heart and who adores her. Is there anything more wonderful than seeing someone who feels completely loved and is overflowing on everyone around her?

When we talked a few months ago and Margaret filled me in on all the details and told me that Paul had proposed, I told her that I would be there at her wedding, jumping up and down. Then she asked me to be the photographer and I flailed around a bit, giving excuses about how I wasn't sure I would be a good choice for a wedding. She kindly asked me to just think about it and she'd be okay either way. The next day I was driving around and thinking of ideas for pictures. I said yes.

I was so happy to be there that day, and taking the photos gave me such a lot of time with the couple and their children. My dear friend, Lenore, was there too and saved my bacon several times with running for lenses and gathering people and covering many details for me.

So here we go....

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Margaret's beautiful gown was made by Lenore, who creates couture gowns, designed for each woman's style and personality. Because of their very tight timeline, Margaret's dress was created long distance and she didn't see the completed masterpiece until the day before, when she exclaimed, "I might not take it off!!!" I LOVE my wedding dress that Lenore made for me too. If there is ever a fire in my house it is one of my top five things to grab (you know, after my kids).

I talked with Margaret about having a few moments with Paul and then taking photos before the wedding. That way we could get lots of goodies and then could have some time together. What a grin on his handsome face as he repeated, "Wow!! WOW!!" a few times. What bride doesn't appreciate that reaction?

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On this perfect, golden day, the conditions were optimal for me too. Slightly overcast for the photos but still warm and inviting.

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Divinely happy.

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I loved that they were ready to enjoy a walk around the location and try photos in several different places. They were interactive and warm which created much more engaging portraits.

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LOVE this one.

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I just couldn't resist setting this one up. Margaret's son, Levi, was happy to act like the boy who had enough of the mushiness.

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He actually did pause with Paul to give him some last minute advice.

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Here is Margaret with her beauties.

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This one makes me smile. Such lovely girls.

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When we did some group shots, Levi leaned over and gave his mom a big old kiss on the cheek. A soft hearted guy.

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This was Paul's pretty daughter, Emily, who was fun and warm. She was the best greeter ever, making the guests feel like a million bucks for showing up.

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The violin music from Levi's teacher was wonderful.

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And a few of the ceremony. Sweet Margaret's eyes kept welling up with tears and the pastor was quick to toss in a little joke or funny line so she could pull herself together.

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Kissed his bride and pronounced man and wife.

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Then this was the best part....Margaret had been telling me that she was really feeling like a princess, like Cinderella. And so her prince surprised her with a horse drawn carriage ride. I am SURE he loved that reaction.

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Great job, Paul!!

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Hors d'hoevres, toasts, dancing, cake. The friends and family that had come reached out and embraced them. You could feel them being circled and loved.

And then happily ever after, I believe.

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So one more note about weddings....and me photographing them....

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I have felt very blessed to have had inquiries about me doing more wedding photography this year. I have thought about it and turned the idea around. Being a part of such a special day is a privilege. However, I have decided for this year to not photograph any other weddings. Engagements, yes, I can certainly fit those in, but weddings are going to be a bit too much for me right now. So thank you for any of you who have considered me.