I truly don't even know where to begin. I know I say that a lot.. but I really don't. Is it best to first explain how I know Naomi? Or how one wedding soon turned into the crazy (and absolutely amazing) idea to have a triple wedding? Should I talk about all the amazing details, incredible vendors, and the breathtaking venue? (It literally took my breath away). Or what about the amazing love these girls have for God, their husbands, and their families? I just don't know where to start. I have been looking forward to writing this blog post for almost three weeks and yet I've been worried at the same time. I knew I was going to have so much to say and it was going to take me some time to really get it all out in words. So here is goes.
Id like to think of Naomi, her sisters, and all of her family... as my family too! Its a bit of a stretch but who cares. My second cousin Erica, married Naomi's brother Zach. So Id say Naomi and I are second cousin in laws to each other ... I just made that up but lets go with it. I remember attending Erica and Zach's wedding back in 2008, seeing all of Zach's sisters, and thinking.. wow they are ALL stunning. Naomi is one of 8 siblings! 5 girls and 3 boys. BIG props to mom and dad, not only do you two look incredible after raising 8 children but you really know how to make kind, humble, and genuinely beauitful (inside and out) human beings. Even after having just one child myself, thats only one year old... I have so much more appreciation for parents. And after spending the day with Naomi's mom and dad, they really are something special.
Naomi and her family are from upstate New York so I had only seen them a handful of times over the years. But shortly after Naomi got engaged last year, she reached out to me about being her wedding photographer. I was so excited to be documenting her big day and couldn't wait to hear about everything she had planned. Thanks to social media, I noticed that over the next couple of months, two of Naomi's sisters, Hannah and Elisabeth, had also gotten engaged! Other than thinking about how excited they all must be and liking their photos on Facebook, I went along my day. Well after a couple weeks had gone by, I received a call from Naomi to talk about their idea of having a TRIPLE wedding. Although I knew there would be some obstacles to sort out... I could not have said yes any faster. The next couple of weeks, the sisters had come up with a game plan and I was so excited to hear that "The Triple Wedding" was a go!
Ok, Im not going to lie, I was NERVOUS. and anxious and worried ... So many things could have gone wrong that day... With three brides, three ceremonies, a jam packed wedding day timeline with not a minute to spare... The chances of everything happening on schedule, with no dress malfunctions, or hair disasters... The odds were absolutely against us. Oh, and then you start thinking about the weather. My mind was going a mile a minute on that drive to New York. But guess what. I have nothing else to say because this day was perfect. The sun was shining bright, a cool breeze was blowing, and we SLAYED that wedding day timeline. (yes I just used the word slayed) I honestly don't think anything could have gone smoother. No problems and no stress. The only thing I can think of, is that my shoe kept falling off, so I ended up running around the field bare foot.. and is that even a bad thing people?!
So now that you know how I know Naomi and how this day turned into "The Triple Wedding" as the girls titled it.. now I can start talking about September 2nd and why it was a day I will always be grateful to have been a part of.
The girls all got ready together in the same suite. I loved this because there was an overload of pre wedding jitters between the three of them. One part of this day that seemed impossible yet beauitful, was that they were all in each others weddings as bridesmaids. Yes, that meant, switching out of wedding dresses, getting into bridesmaid dresses, and then jumping back into their wedding dress. Can you see why I was a little nervous? But it all went smooth and it was all just so lovely. That morning, I was especially excited to see all three sisters wedding dresses. All of them were so unique and equally as beautiful. I loved the beading and back on Naomi's dress. The way it wrapped around and tied was so different. Along with the girls wedding dresses, the bridesmaid dresses were something right out of Anthropologie... oh wait, they were from Anthropologie! Talk about a dream wedding for me to document. Everything these girls had planned for this day had ME written all over it!
Speaking of all the details from this day, I definitely cant go without giving a huge shout out to the wedding planner and design team at SWANK. Although the Hayloft on the Arch could have been empty and still looked amazing, Erika and her team turned this barn into the most ethereal wedding. It was dream like and I could't take two steps without finding another detail I HAD to photograph. It just could't have been any more beautiful.
I have always been a huge fan of tented receptions, but when Naomi told me they were getting married under a tent, I was a little confused. Why? Unless its raining, why would you do that? When I arrived to the venue that day and saw this canvas tent out in the middle of the field, with its flag blowing in the wind, I thought, "Oh, thats why!" Again, it was something out of a dream. Something I had never envisioned before or thought to be a good place for a ceremony, suddenly turned into the most timeless storybook setting. Each ceremony took place under this tent and Naomi and Caleb went last. Just as their nerves grew more and more with each ceremony passing, so did mine! Finally their time came, and as Naomi and her father came into view over the hill, Caleb's eyes welled up. The love that Naomi and Caleb share is undeniable. Sometimes it can be hard to capture the true nature of love in a photograph but not with these two. It was pouring out of them. You could tell that they had been waiting for this day for so long and it was finally here. Caleb and Naomi had chosen to write their own vows. Caleb went first.. out of no where the piano starts playing and Caleb breaks out into song. He SANG his vows to Naomi. Ok, game over. Sorry to all my past and future grooms, Caleb wins.
But not so fast, just when you think it cant get any more adorable... I haven't talked about Naomi's dad yet! I talk about the relationships I see between my brides and their dads a lot. And this one is something special. I don't know too much about Naomi's dad but one thing I am certain of is that he LOVES his girls. He adores them. They are his whole world and having to give away three of them in the same day is putting this poor guy on one long emotional rollercoaster! Where do I start? Not only did he bake and decorate their wedding cake for them... but he also had a choreographed dance with his three daughters for their Father Daughter dance during the reception. I loved watching them rehearse that morning before the ceremonies. The way he looked at each of them with so much love was priceless. He cried when he saw them for the first time that morning (before they were even in their dresses), he cried again when he saw them in their dresses, and he almost held it together during their ceremonies. And to top it all off, he wrote a poem for them and had their younger sister Grace read it during the reception. I imagine, because he probably would have cried through it : ) What an amazing and rare love this family shares. After that weekend, I went home and told my husband he will survive if we have all girls.
I still have so much to say... dang it.
Let me end with this. I document weddings every weekend and at the end of the night I always feel blessed. Blessed that I do this for a living and blessed that these people, sometimes strangers, let me into their lives on such a intimate day. But there are only a few weddings that I leave feeling different, like I learned something or took away a moment from that day that I will always be grateful for. Well this was one of those nights. And I cant pin point a specific time or exactly why but I am sure that it had to do with the amount of love that surrounded me that day. The love between Naomi and Caleb. The love and bond that these three sisters share. The love that their parents have for their children. All the love from their friends and family that were their to share in this day. But mostly the love they have for God. Its easy to say that you love God and you put God first but it is not the easiest task. This family loves God and I think its safe to say He was definitely there for the entire celebration.
Naomi and Caleb, I cant thank you enough. I had so much fun documenting this day for you and I know the future is bright for you both as husband and wife. Hope to see you at the beach next year!