I told them I wouldn't blog their wedding pictures...but I changed my mind :) . I do that sometimes. The reason I wasn't going to share them on my blog, I carefully explained, was because I'm a family photographer and though I have been asked to do weddings by some reaaaaaalllly nice people and been terrrrrrrribly tempted at times, I have made the decision to stick with families, couples, children, seniors and babies. But this was an exception. Naomi is family to me. Her dad is my cousin and when they kindly asked if I would photograph this day, I pretty much talked myself into it....and I am really glad that I did. When we did their engagement photos a couple months ago, I knew that their wedding would be pure fun. Naomi is radiant, gentle, thoughtful and has a smile that lights up the room. Jonathan is funny, caring, personable and so easy to talk to.
Their wedding was truly a golden day, filled with warmth and joy, laughing and celebration. There were also a few tears. We Kasteels are known for shedding a few. My Opa used to stand on the front porch and have tears fill his eyes as the family drove away after family dinners. My dad cries over newspaper articles. Kevin, Naomi's dad, had tears running down his face during the ceremony. And I was alternately laughing and crying as I was editing these photos. While I was working on one and wiping away a tear at seeing how perfectly happy Jono and Naomi looked, my five year old Jasper walked in. I said, "Oh Jas, this will be you one day! You'll wear a nice suit and marry a really beautiful bride! I'll be sitting there with a big smile on my face and I'll hug you and I might even cry happy tears!" He looked at me and said, "Maybe...or maybe you'll be dead by then." Ha! Maybe this is the last generation of those of us who are overly sentimental!
I arrived at the bride's parent's home where Kevin was pounding away on his laptop, furiously working on his speech, the cousins were milling around and the bridesmaids were munching down scones and fruit. There was some skyping going on with loved ones in England and though it was busy, and Corinne was making sure everything was on schedule, everyone was happy and relaxed.
Naomi's brother's made their final preparations for the day. After all, nothing says wedding like the groomsmen carrying guns around.
We drove up to the gorgeous wedding location, nestled in the mountains, overlooking the water. Jono and his guys were getting shuttled up to the wedding location on golf carts. He was one happy guy.
Meanwhile, Naomi and the girls (and ring bearer) were hanging out laughing and talking and waiting for the fun to begin. She said she was a tiny bit nervous but you'd never have known. Radiant doesn't even begin to describe the beauty and happiness of this bride.
I believe these little lovelies could be rented out as professional flower girls. They were so charming and fun and good. When we were taking their portraits, Grace asked in a perfect British accent, "Should we say sausages??" Maybe it's the equivalent to "cheese" in England?
That was one proud dad.
Their ceremony was one of my favorites I've even been too. Naomi's uncle had everyone laughing good and hard and then truly shared from his heart what God's desire for marriage is. As he described God's intent and plan, it was so obvious that Jono and Naomi have walked this out so well and truly honor each other and the Lord with how they have cared for each other and by the pledges they have made to honor Him first. It was fun and sweet and meaningful. When the wedding co-ordinator (who was amazing!) told us that she and the golf cart drivers had tears in their eyes, it reminded me of what a privilege it was to witness such a special day.
One crashed on her daddy and one perched on her mama's feet. These flower girls were darling.
A moment of celebrating with her dear friend as the papers were signed.
Happy? I think so.
Then while the wedding party and guests took a break, we took portraits of the bride and groom.
They were so elated and happy and clearly in love.
Then we ran off to take pictures with the rest of the wedding party. Jono asked if they could drive with me and I bemoaned that if I'd had any idea I'd be driving around the bride and groom, I would have at least washed my car!! (However, I don't think they cared at all :) ).The wedding party was such a great group. They were easygoing and fun and lovely to work with.
Not knowing all these relationships beforehand, it was so neat for me to see how deep the love and friendship ran between them.
These girls were too fun and held on while I shot and shot and shot.
When Naomi requested a picture with her brothers, I said that this is what things would look like for my kids one day, the big sister and little brothers. They argued that they're not so little. (They are right). Kevin and Corinne told me that they are all friends as well as siblings and I love that.
Jono and Naomi, being with you and having this special role on your wedding day was such an incredible experience for me. You are so full of life and love for each other and all the people around you and I am so excited to see what the Lord does in your lives together.