joshua and eastlyn. friends for twelve years, lovers for two. they're the kind of people that were truly made just for each other.
this is the moment at which i wish i was a writer. their wedding deserves a book written about it, and i am the most inadequate person to even begin something that resembles an introduction. you can take that information and either be a) glad that i can't write a book and you'll see more pictures, which is what you came here for, or b) be sad that i can't write and give you the story and details that this wedding deserves.
this wedding was eight months ago, in all its summertime glory. it started with weather reports that turned to prayers. prayers that turned to desperate prayers. desperate prayers that turned to laughter. laughter that turned into memories for a lifetime.
eastlyn lives an hour away from me, so i spent the night before the wedding with her and her family. we made 40-some gallons of iced tea and lemonade before falling asleep that night, with only fleeting thoughts of the forecasted rain. we proclaimed there would be sunshine, and that was that. no worries. i watched eastlyn's sweet mother lean over to pray with and kiss her unmarried daughter for the last time, and we fell asleep.
when the first glimpses of light began to show at around five o' clock in the morning, i had my camera in hand. there were few clouds, and few worries. the wedding day of joshua and eastlyn tolle had begun, and rain just wasn't going to happen.
and so it went. the tying of strings, writing of signs, moving and setting up of decorations, assembly of backdrops and chairs and tables, welcoming of friends and family, cleaning and prepping of tiki lamps and lanterns, spilling of rainwater from the tent roofs, watching of adorable babies, driving of gators and vans, drying of tables and seats, moving of flowers, assembly of bouquets, and taping of tablecloths to tables. you know, all of the things that you normally do before the wedding of a close friend.
so far, no rain. so far, the forecast still said rain. so far, we were still praying. the girls got ready. we went outside to take photos.
it started sprinkling. very gently, but enough to make the girls with
hair and makeup freshly done run back inside. so i instead went over to
photograph the guys. all eighteen of them.
it stopped sprinkling. ceremony was to start in approximately fifteen minutes. we were good, right? guests were arriving and being both seated and entertained. old friends were found and lively conversation ensued. josh and eastlyn were getting married. finally. and there was no rain.
so i wouldn't exactly be telling you this story if that's how it ended. i wish that was how it ended. buuuut nope.
literally at the very moment eastlyn stepped outside the house to walk towards the ceremony, the heavens opened and it poured. eastlyn stepped back inside. the guests opened their umbrellas and laughed and finished arriving. the ushers wished they would've worn undershirts. all females wished they wouldn't have spent that hour on their hair. the guys held the umbrellas over their girls. the children we scolded when they tried to run out and catch the rain on their tongues. the bride and her maids prayed in the sufficient covering of indoors. the groom and his guys prayed under the scant covering of a tree. i grabbed a random girl with the biggest black umbrella i could find (thank you, kelsey!) and took photos.
we waited it out for around twenty minutes, until the pouring had tapered off to a bearable drizzle and we could wait no longer. a wedding was going to take place, rain or no rain. the ceremony music started, and grandparents were seated. the mothers walked down the aisle and lit tiki lamps for family candles and gave each other a fistbump. guests talked and laughed and watched. the music changed and the men arrived to stand in place, while the maids followed them. eastlyn waited behind a white sheet at the top of the hill. the rain stopped, and for a instant as the flowergirls danced down the hill, the sun shone.
then the music swelled. all guests arose to see the most beautiful bride whose name was eastlyn walking towards her ever-smiling and so very patient groom. joshua could barely see her, but the thought of this precious girl in a white dress about to become his forever kept him watching. and waiting. and smiling.
after what seemed like an eternity of trying to keep the tears from my eyes so i could continue to take photos, eastlyn finally began her walk down the aisle, and into the arms of her beloved. thus began the promising of one heart to another.
josh and eastlyn, i am so thankful and honored to be your friend, and i love how perfect you are for, to, and with each other. you inspire me, and i know that God has such amazing things for your future together.
love you both :)
((ps. a HUGE thanks to my second shooter, sarah zylka. she showed up for the ceremony and i stuck my extra camera in her hand with a single memory card and a lens. i couldn't have done this without her.))
because it rained, we lost light too quickly after the ceremony to get many portraits. instead, we met on a separate day and got back in all the wedding pretties to take more photos. it was probably about 40 degrees, and we were freezing. but of course, it was so worth it.
location // the stanifer home in west alexandria, ohio (personal property)
bride's dress // david's bridal
bride's hair // jennifer robertson
bridesmaid's dresses // wonderxue on etsy
groom + groomsmen attire // white shirts: h&m, pants: american eagle, vests: dillards, ties: ebay
succulents for bouquet // succulentlyurban on etsy
cake // tracy wright
music // the roberts family