It was February. There was a letter in my mailbox from the “Municipality of Lakewood.”
Odd, I thought. I’ve never heard of Lakewood. I tore it open (I’m NOT the most graceful letter-opener; my envelopes look like they’ve been chewed open by a large mouse).
Lo and behold, it was a speeding ticket, a photo of a license plate captured by a speed camera captured in grainy black and white. HA, I laughed; they clearly got something wrong because I’ve never been to Lakewood, Ohio (turns out it was in Ohio), and that’s not my car, so clearly this is a mistake. I was about to chalk it up to a mistake and shred the letter, but figured it best to not mess around with the Municipality of Lakewood. I searched for the phone number for the courthouse of Lakewood, Ohio, and when the Googled pulled up the map, I couldn’t have been more surprised. Wait a sec. That’s totally part of Cleveland. I haven’t been to Cleveland since (checks date on letter, gulps:) December 20.
You’ve gathered by now that this ticket was indeed intended for me, the photo was of my rental car plate, and it was I exceeding the posted limit in the presence of a speed camera at 7:05 AM on December 20 in Lakewood (aka Cleveland), Ohio.
On my way to Anna Grace’s wedding.
This day was memorable in more than one way: not only my first ticket (EVER), but also the marriage of one of the most amazing humans alive on the planet today: Anna Grace. And, of course, Abran – the man who’d been turning her head since before I met her our freshman year.
We’ve laughed too much, taken way too many pictures, eaten a billion bagels, walked barefoot in the sand, cried, performed recitals, and used more silly accents than I can count. She ate nutella and oreos with me. She prayed with and for me. She surprised me by showing up at my parent’s farm the morning before my wedding.
Then this beautiful girl became a Mrs. and I was there to see it happen.
If you think you’re the most laid-back bride, you’re totally wrong, because that award already went to Anna Grace. She was so calm, so chill, and so happy that morning.
She did her hair, her makeup — she made her dress and her bouquet… really, I can’t think of a more creative or adorable person.
HOLD THE PHONE, FRIENDS.
If this isn’t the most classy, beautiful bride you’ll ever see.
I tried to cut down on the bridal portraits for this post, but I unapologetically failed. There’s like fifty more.
F. A. V. O. R. I. T. E.
JK, this is my favorite.
Talk about bridesmaid style.
I don’t know Abran very well, personally — but I know enough about him to know that a better, sweeter, or more Jesus-loving man doesn’t exist for my dear friend.
Her world revolves around him, and I wish you could see the way she lights up when she looks at his face. I wish everyone knew this kind of love at least once in their lifetime.
I also think that having been recently married myself made me into a MUCH more introspective, ball-of-tears wedding photographer. Because I KNOW how that feels – I know what it’s like to have someone light up your world the way Abran does for Anna Grace and the way Mason does for me. Before I grow even more eloquent I’ll just say that there’s no feeling on earth like it.
Also: these guys get the nicest groomsmen ever photographed award: they only teased me a little.
Let’s take a second and talk about this location.
It’s a warehouse. Basically.
Part of this old screw factory was turned into a venue. The other houses art studios, distribution centers, and a crossfit gym, to name a few of the random assortment.
The way that morning light shone through that old glass was simply magical. She couldn’t have picked a better place to get married – unique, original, beautiful, vintage… it was everything she is. Except for vintage.
The look on his face. KILLS ME. I swear.
And look at the size of her smile.
Let’s also take a sec to appreciate that wedding party coordination – gorgeous, wintery pastels in the morning light. AHHHH SIGH.
That’s the look of a man who’s very ready to get married.
“Give Me Jesus” — Austin and Marissa’s voices are absolutely angelic (talk about a power couple), and the way Joy’s violin filled that big hall was heavenly.
So many of their friends and family couldn’t make the big day, so Abran and Anna Grace had a friend live-stream the wedding. It was the cutest thing ever!
I definitely lied before: NEW FAVORITE.
Parents: his and hers. <3
Yes, those are just her siblings.
I mean… look at all those brothers! That Abran got through to Anna Grace definitely says something about what kind of guy he is (aka: patient and clearly very cool).
Can anybody say squad goals?
Or does anyone even say that anymore??
HOLY CATS, my model friends.
“Whisper something that will make her laugh,” I told him.
THAT’S the kind of laugh I’m talking about!
RIGHT ON THE MONEY.
Not only are these two
(a) ridiculously in love and
(b) insanely adorable…
They’re also VERY talented stage actors. You could basically say that photographing them was the easiest thing I’ve ever done.
Plus, Anna Grace is a super-amazing wedding photographer herself!
That little nephew, though. <3
MOST amazing wedding reception ever: BRUNCH.
If you know me, you know how much I love breakfast food and coffee and chocolate — and this wedding was ALL THAT. Talk about wedding photographer heaven. I think I died a little from all the creativity and wonderful food.
Decor on point: Kristie, the maid of honor, is an elementary school teacher with flawless handwriting. And the flowers were all done by the girls the night before.
Marriage tips on elephants.
Date ideas on globes.
This amazing couple will *hopefully* be serving as missionaries in the Ivory Coast (Africa) someday. I love how they incorporated their love for that place and the people/culture into their wedding.
If anyone ever tells you that you can’t do pineapples/jungle/travel for wedding decor AND, first of all, make it classy; or, second of all, do it in December: don’t listen. They did it. And gave out chocolate covered espresso beans in elephant sacks as favors. So there.
The food. The coffee. The cannoli.
This is why we’re friends.
Any couple that loves breakfast this much are friends of mine.
Cupcakes before noon? UHM YES.
Not going to lie, this was one of my favorite parts: a paper airplane sendoff.
It was just as flawlessly adorable as it sounds. Check it out.
This couple’s heart for adventure is just so big. I know their life together will NEVER be boring.
Photographically speaking, yes, this is terrible. But LOOK AT THE FACES.
She didn’t know the honeymoon destination.
He told her to bring a passport.
They left the wedding.
Backstory: she was born to an Air Force family stationed in England, and had never been back. It was always a dream of hers, definitely something on her bucket list.
GUESS WHERE HE TOOK HER.
For reference on how much Anna Grace loved the idea of London: check out her bag (that he’s carrying) in the shot below. She had no idea she was headed for a London honeymoon… and that’s the bag she carried all her stuff in on her wedding day.
Once again: they are perfect together.
here’s to many more adventures,