Dustin and Morgan: The Bride of Christ

We the people that love Jesus. We are his bride. Whenever i photograph a wedding i watch the day from beginning to the end and i get a picture of how we are the bride preparing for our bridegroom ( Jesus) . 

First we come to him and recognize him as our savior , we confess our sins and turn from our old self. Because he was the sacrifice on the cross for our sins we can be forgiven and clean. he remembers our sin no more. We exchange our dirty clothes stained with sin for our pure white ones. WE PUT ON OUR WEDDING DRESS. The old has passed and the new has come. We are saved and new right away but we need to train ourselves to walk away from our old habits and claim what God has given us through Jesus. We read the word he speaks to us and our identity is revealed. We Forgive everyone because he forgave us and he tells us too! he's our dad. he knows best so we just do it! No matter what we are holding on too. OUR MAKEUP IS APPLIED. We learn to surrender all to him. All fear , all worry, our kids, our anger, we let go and trust him. He is trustworthy. He loves us more then anyone . WE PUT ON A BEAUTIFUL NECKLACE. We read that his greatest commandment is love. We want to follow him but oh my to love others? mean people? our enemys? We pray for his help because this is too big. We let go of jealousy and envy. it comes back but we keep pressing into him. He helps us. He is our rock, our fortress. our deliver. It starts to get easier then one day you are sending your enemy flowers telling them how much God loves them and love is overflowing from your heart. A supernatural love. WE PUT ON OUR PERFUME. One day you are listing to christian radio and a sermon comes on you relate to it. You never thought you had pride but you do. You so desire to be all he has called you to be. you start praying for help and reading in his word. until one day you just stop trying to cover up who you really are and realize you can just be who God made you to be. You get baptized in front of others. You Pray in public for the sick for the lost. you may be shaking and scared but he is with you so you do it. He helps and you continue for weeks, months years until you are not afraid. You tell many people of your past because you want then to see how he set you free. Pride is gone. WE PUT ON OUR EARRINGS. We are looking more and more like Jesus. People notice our life. we bring life to them . we are his hands and feet. We become mature christians. our hearts never want to sin because we are so in love with him. We dont want to hurt the one we love the most. WE PUT ON OUR WEDDING SHOES. We pray, we go deeper. He sends us here and there and there is no end because he is endless. He has so much for us. we can't wait to see him. to kiss his feet. To be in our true home. WE PUT ON OUR VEIL. We are his bride ,we are getting more and more beautiful as we wait for our bridegroom. when he returns for us and reveals himself to all the world. Then the world will know. WE KISS OUR GROOM. WE HAVE A RECEPTION. A NEVER-ENDING HONEYMOON . WE DANCE. 

           Will you follow Jesus with me? Do you want to exchange your dirty rags for your white dress? He has one in your size. Just perfect for you. 

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St Thomas Wedding Photographer : Villa Botanica; Gardens

Cristina and bill were married at my favorite venue in the world. Villa Botanica . I was extremely excited to photograph them because i have not gotten a groom with a beard in a long time... actually I'm not sure if i have photographed a groom with a beard ever!? These two can really muster up some intense photos as well as bringing their true feelings out in the open to be photographed. I have been thinking much more about photographing emotions lately rather then thinking of poses. To be able to capture ones true self is what my hearts desire. To capture love so raw and so real is so much fun and beautiful. 

To sum up this wedding i want you to read what Bill said to Cristina while doing a speech at dinner. 

My wife Christina: You are my best friend and my biggest supporter. I cannot imagine life in which we are not together. Its corny but i genuinely believe you are my soul mate. I cannot even begin to express what this day means to me. Ill spare you the embarrassing stories and get to the heart of what i really want to say about my wife. YOUNG LADIES TAKE NOTE: i believe that this women here before you is a shining example of what it means to be a woman in this modern world. I believe that she is a role model for all of us but especially for her peers and the next generation of women to come. Cristina you are driven, fiercely intelligent, hilarious, and of course stunningly beautiful. I am simultaneously proud, and humbled to be able to call you my wife today, and for the rest of our lives. 

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Amelia

I titled this post Amelia because it's mostly Amelia,  but there is a little bit of Miller too. Its just Amelia has this thing about her that you want to just  capture more and more.... These are my cousins kids. They live far away so you could say I had one of the most special days throwing rocks, begging for hugs, tickling bellies and having some great conversation with some people i love so much. heres to a perfect day!! 

Sally and Steve: St John Wedding Photographer

Sally and Steve were married at the historic Annaberg ruins in St John by one of St Johns favorite captians , I have done weddings with him before and my favorite part about this man is his rustic old looking bible he reads from. Someday i need to sit down with this man and hear his story because i think he may have one.

A note from inside my mind: People are so interesting. I stare at people so much i have often feared that someone might tell me to stop staring one day. but really i will still keep on staring. I really think it would be so fun to see in someones innermost heart and thoughts. Somedays i see people and i get a glimpse of who they are. I have really started to appreciate the uniqueness of how everyone is made. Even the things years ago i may have thought as something i didn't like I am finding i like the most. I always ask God to show me who they are so i can see the beauty he sees.  Even if people our mean and nasty i believe if i can find the specialness they were meant to be then I could tell them and they would somehow start to become that. Maybe not right away but it would get them on the right path. I really love people and the times where i need to love them and i feel like i cant I ask God to give me more love for them and he is always faithful. anyways this has nothing to do with Sally and Steve other then the fact they are both beautiful people and i love them. Im just rambling and thinking and will probably wonder why I'm writing this later . maybe someone is suppose to read this. If you do. Know this ... You are special. God thought of you when you were made and his thoughts for you out number the sands of Grain. Tell yourself that everyday until you believe it. Its true you know!! You have a purpose. You have people around you that need you to bless them. 

... Sally and Steves wedding was filled with the most beautiful light . After the ceremony it started to rain and then the sun came out at the same time. I have always wanted to shoot in this area on the road where its covered with jungle trees and the road bends. Well once i saw the light that was falling on the place, i knew that today was the day. Thank you God for your splendor!! Steve said he loves Sally so much because she takes care of him so good! Sally is one of the most happiest people i have ever met. She smile even when she is not smiling. Confusing i know, but true. I really enjoyed every moment i had with them and if i could shrink sally to desktop size i would just so i could see her encouraging smile! Blessings, Elisha 

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Mrs Amelia Patsy Marries Kermit the Frog

Amelia Patsy, 

Five and a half years ago, sitting up in my old Hyundai ( door handles still intact) on Mount Washington, I told you that i loved you. Not because i just wanted to take our relationship to the next level, but because of who i am inspired to be when i am with you. Early in our relationship, I felt so much value in the way that you came to me for support or refuge, encouragement or inspiration. 

We have been through so much together and have gone in so many different directions, but in all of our travels and trials there has been one unshakable constant: you have never ever failed to bring me complete joy, direction, and motivation. Sure, we disagree, we compromise, we argue, and we secretly throw gravel in each others purses ( ok maybe thats just me) out of spite, but through it all, I always find myself more in love with you each day than in the day before.

And on this beautiful day, in this beautiful place, i am ready to spend the rest of my life with you. I love you so much. , Pat

Ps: I hired a 5th grader to write this note while i dictated his handwriting is much better

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Ryan and Stephanie : Baraka Point, Virgin Gorda

Ryan asked Stephanie's dad Roger if he could marry her on a family trip to Bora Bora. They were both sitting in a bar called The Sunset Bar. Many couples coming to watch the sunset were around them. When he asked him they both were hugging ( holding)  and crying. Caring on a scene of affection in front of many couples. It looked more like they were a couples instead.  Ryan was going to ask her on the trip but he never did because the airlines lost his luggage with the ring in it and it never showed up. He actually had to wear Rogers clothes to the bar. Can you imagine... this scene is a movie! 

So ..time goes on and they are on a bike trail with friends. Ryan has a bottle of champagne in his camo backpack that he rides with for most of the trail. He's so nervous. he cant find the right words.  The friends disappear for a bit .. and finally he asked her. And she  says.......YES!!!!!!

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Marty and Vanessa: Warren PA Wedding Photography

Vanessa and Marty were married a few weeks ago. They picked the date because they wanted peonies for the bridal bouquet and since it was the last week they would be in bloom it was the perfect time to get married. They were married at  Warren Pa Conewango Country Club because 1. it is a beautiful venue and 2. Vanessa's family have been long time members of the club. I have been eagerly awaiting this wedding as i had so much fun photographing their engagement session. Vanessa is so beautiful and happy and Marty has this really cool classic look about him. I always think of those old photographs of young men before they went into the military. Do you know what i am talking about? Classic. At one point in the reception i took them for a few magic light photos and Marty said to Vanessa. " this is exactly how we imagined it" I even caught him checking out Vanessa as she was dancing. He was having an awe moment of " wow" thats my wife" . I have to say i am so in love with the way they love. 

Another moment so dear is right before the first look between father and daughter the father had a first look with the mother of the bride. It was the cutest little moment on earth. She kept her dress a secret and the father of the bride was just as excited and in awe of his wife. Where are the tissues around this office?

On a personal note the  night before the wedding i took my daughter rolling blading and did an epic fail and fell . Right after i fell they played the song i requested. bummer.  My wrist looked like it had a golf ball on it. Turned out to only be a sprain but thank the Lord it was my left hand. I had to have a few people turn my lens off the camera for me as squeezing anything was not good. It turned out to be way better then i thought the night before and i am so excited about all these beautiful photos taken in downtown Jamestown NY and  the country club. 

Since the wedding there has been a great loss in the Baker family ( Martys dad) and I'm asking anyone who reads this to say a prayer of comfort and peace for them.  Im praying the jesus wraps them tighter in his arms then ever before. 

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Logan and Doug: St John Wedding Photographer

Logan ,AKA Exotic beauty,  married her Prince, Doug on St John,  US Virgin Islands just a few weeks ago. Doug told us that for the engagment his dad dresses like Santa every year and he had him put the ring in his Santa sack and she took it out and he asked her to marry him.

ps.I believe in Santa

Thank you Kodaline for your sweet weirds that sums up this couple :

'Cause you brought out the best of me
A part of me I'd never seen
You took my soul wiped it clean
Our love was made for movie screens

Blessings and Joy to this beautiful couple! Make babies and smile everyday. Always stay together. Play tag where you tickle each other and fall down and kiss. 

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Trina and Hunter: St John Wedding

Trina and Hunter had a sign at their wedding that said ...Best Day Ever. Everybody's  wedding should be the "Best Day Ever" but i have to say it was everybody who came to that wedding's "Best Day Ever" I really haven't seen so many smiles in one day ever. Maybe there should have been a sign that said " Most Smiles Ever" This wedding was a celebration of not just a bride and groom but of all the people there . There was such a unity and happiness and everyone simply enjoyed each others company. It was my favorite part of the day. It was special and beautiful. 

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Ginny and Brian : St Thomas Wedding Photographer

Ginny and Brian first met on a bus. Brian said  Ginny sat down beside him and said " Hi Im Ginny" . They were both going to medical school at the time and they started studying together. Im guessing there was more flirting then studying happening since they are now MARRIED!!!!  

Ginny went to visit Brian while he was doing his rotations in Milwaukee . Brian brought Ginny to a caricature  artist  and the artist was taking a really long time to draw them. When he showed them the drawing the picture showed Brian down on one knee asking Ginny to marry him. At first glance Ginny thought.. wait a min.. thats not how we are sitting. At closer look she knew that Brian was asking her to marry him. 

It was such a beautiful day at the Frenchmans Marriot in St Thomas. The sky was completely clear and wonderful. It was a day before the Sahara dust swept in and fogged up the sky. It was absolutely beautiful to spend another day looking upon Gods Goodness. He truly loves us to give us the gift of marriage. Ginny and Brian i pray many blessings and Gods double portion over your marriage in the mighty name of Jesus! 

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Emily and Daniel : Erie PA Engagement Photographer

Emily and Daniel met after high-school at Ohio State , but that didn't stop Daniel from asking her to the prom.  He bought he a big bouquet of pink balloons and asked her to "prom" then the couple made plans to get all dressed up and go out to dinner. Their "prom" story was printed in the Columbus News. A few years later that "prom" Date turned into a proposal and now an upcoming marriage. Id like to say i was the one who made these images full of expression but it was them. They just really like each other a whole bunch and seem to make electricity when together . 

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We Love Because He First Loved Us : Chautauqua NY Wedding Photographer

From Mayra: I remember your confident feet bringing the good news of the gospel  7 months ago along with a mesmerizing smile from almost 3000 miles away to California when you decided to meet this little Colombian girl for the first time. How Brave!

You came to me in a season when the tears of hopelesness were running through my eyes.. In intimate conversations with my savior I questioned multiple times if i would ever be worthy of one request: a godly husband. I almost picture God in those times looking down from heaven and telling me in a gentle voice: a little longer my child, just a little longer....and then you came. 

I remember our first conversation; the freshness of your hope, your admiration and passion for your savior and your zealousness for truth captivated my heart .

Receiving a gift like you is something i regarded with doubt and fear. I never saw this day coming...and once again God proved me wrong. Tomorrow April 22nd we will be united as one flesh in marriage with the whole world as a witness... not because i deserve it but so he can get the Glory. 

My love,  God wrote our story before the foundation of the world. He knew you before you were in your moms womb. He knew my name before i was born; he even gazed his eyes on me while i was the worst of sinners. In the darkest of my days my sweet Jesus rescued me from the pit of hell and dressed me clean with his precious love. 

I see him now in every memory, every photograph, he has been in my life all along....and i see him in you

My love .. I give you my heart......lead me!

My love...lets see our amazing God continue to uphold our lives together, lets make our story to praise Him. 

  I love You 

"we love because He first loved us " 1 john 4 :19 

 

From Ryan : Good Morning baby girl.. I guess you really are real :) so real that i am about to get married to you. I have spent quite sometime praying about you before i met you; In a closet, in my car, in churches.... I had spent quite sometime looking for you... and you know what? God simply answered my prayer. "God give me a wife" and the Lord our Savior did just that, He this day is giving me a wife. 

The emails online , the sky-ping for like 6 hrs, the red eye flight to california... getting to the airport at midnight your time and 3 am my time. laying my eyes on my bride. I would be lying to you if i told you i didn't know yet. I had confidence in my heart that you were the one that i would marry this day. The sovereign hand of God has and is continuing to do his work for his children. I have never felt such excitement in my life as when i met you at the terminal in the middle of Sanfrancisco at midnight with no one else around but you and me and your little red car, and Jesus. I don't know what to say but that i love you so much. Te amo , Te Amo . And i want to be your best friend behind Jesus. I want to run this race with you till death comes between us. I want to exemplify Christ and his church through our life. and i can promise you right now that i choose no one else to do that with but you, till we finish this race together. May God be the Glory and Praise forever and ever. Mayra you are beautiful to me, every part of you. Te Casarias Conmigo....?

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Ryan and Mayra: Chautauqua NY engagement photography

Looking at these photos reminds me God is so Good. I have known Ryan for many years and it was him who helped me learn to pray out loud. God lead me to a prayer group and listening to him pray in such a relaxed real way gave me the courage to try it myself. Now i pray for strangers. sometimes i shake because its a little scary but i do it anyways. It is so cool how the body of Christ works to encourage each other and build each other up. Its like having a weight lifting couch telling you that you have the strength to do more and then you cant believe what you can actually do! Add some of the holy spirit to that and BOOM!!!!!  Ryan met Mayra last october and he was so certain that she was the one God has for him that they are getting married this month. I have been with Mayra 3 times now and i know forsure she will be one of my God given friends. She has a quiet and gentle spirit and is so passionate about Jesus. She has already encouraged me in so many ways and i feel so blessed to know her. God is good all the time!!!!! 

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