I have to admit. My top weddings (you know, Fave5 type thing) have always been destination weddings. I had a feeling this wedding would change all that.
If you listened to conversations going on from the beginning of the day to the end of the reception you heard a common thread about this Bride. “She has always loved to twirl.” Family had gotten to see Sarah growing up spinning around in her princess dresses, so it was only fitting that her wedding gown have the ultimate “twirl factor”. And did it ever.
But the bride’s dress wasn’t the only piece of this wedding that had an emotional string to pull. Brides and grooms often give gifts to each other on the day of the wedding, which is a tradition that was observed up to and during the Middle Ages *(yep, just Googled that!) but was typically ranging from piece of fruit (ummm, thanks?) to a ring. Not only did this bride and groom exchange rings with their vows, they each surprised each other at different points of the day with incredibly unique gifts that took more than just popping in to the store and throwing something in a bag. With her stylist putting on the finishing touches and the videographers ready, we gave the “ok” to come in with Danny’s gift. I am glad instinct kicked in to start snapping photos, because man was it easy to almost get wrapped up in the emotion of seeing the reveal. Danny had found a Belle doll (which would be adorable enough) and had it signed by Paige O’Hara
, the actress who is the well known voice in Disney
’s Beauty and the Beast
. If that wasn’t adorable enough, a beautifully framed clip from Sleeping Beauty
(from the Once Upon a Dream scene, too!) waited behind it, signed by Mary Costa
, who gave voice to Aurora.
I might have asked next what the groom’s gift was and if I should go shoot it. But I wanted to be taken along for the journey that day. I had already snuck a peek at the dessert table. Yes. An entire table dedicated to sweets.The grooms cake is what I spotted, and Sarah had it made up with inside jokes, his college, UTSA
‘s mascot and Danny’s Marine medals. Sweet enough, but that wasn’t the full gift either… that was coming later.
During the ceremony, I am usually too focused on squinting through my lens and *trying* to be a ninja to hear much detail of what’s being said. I had already chuckled through the song they picked to walk down to, which talks of every amazing thing in our great state of Texas (you’re missing out if you don’t click on this link-
and listen for the remainder of this blog) Even in my ninja stealth state, I couldn’t help listen to their vows that they wrote for each other and yes, I got a little misty eyed along with Danny as he found out that it was the anniversary of their first kiss. Man! This gal is good. They said I do and then, instead of getting permission for their kiss, the bridesmaids each held up a sign to say “are you going to kiss Sarah or not?” which is their song! Gah. More emotions. Keep shooting, keep clicking. They kissed, prayed and got the full Marine
send off with swords and even a tap on the backside to welcome Sarah into the family of the few and the proud. I snuck the newlyweds off to enjoy a few minutes alone in the golden hour as I took a few portraits of my magazine worthy couple at their magazine worthy venue
Things were far from over. The reception had just a few more surprises. A few speeches by some of the cutest kids I’ve ever met (and polite, too!) which I wasn’t ready for, because- who trusts kids with a microphone?! These two had the whole crowd laughing and contributed amazing stories about adding in this new fellow to their already tight clan. The adult speeches weren’t lacking, either, and they gave a special gift to their amazing coordinator who got all this magic happening, but I need to get back to that aforementioned dessert table. After they cut their cake with a sword (I know what you’re thinking, but yes, it still gets better!) they sauntered over to that dessert table and it had miraculously morphed into a completely new array of heaven! The grooms cake was the same, but gone were the personalized “locker” cookies and mini treats.. and IN were munchkin
donut towers!!! And gone were my sugar levels. Pan over to the side of the table after they cut into their oreo filled groom’s cake and there is a covered tripod where Sarah reveals her final surprise for her new hubby: a San Antonio Spurs
5 Time Championship Memorabilia Collection. The reaction to each of their gifts for each other was priceless. On to the dancing. The rest of the night flew by as they spun around to their song
(ok now click on that song to play while you look through the photos.. I’m almost done!) and other great requests to keep the dance floor full. I was thankful for all the action, so I could sneak them out for a few night shots in the romantic lights of the ceremony site
, now completely empty except for us. We headed back in and the guests kept things going til the very end when they gave another send off, this time with rose petals. I think these two will stay happy. I think the story they have been writing is off to a wonderful start.