Summer Wedding at the Barn- Hannah & Azariah

Hannah and Azariah's day was one I'll never forget! It was truly such a beautiful day from start to finish.

Not only do these two have an inevitable, undeniable, unconditional love for one another, but the love in their lives over flow into every other relationship they have. This bride and groom are some of the most genuine, sweet, and loving people I've ever met. They're just the type that, if you know them, you love them. I mean, you just can't NOT fall in love with them. It's people like them on days like theirs that make me really fall in love with what I do all over again. Frankly, in a sense,  it was easy for me to tell the story of their day because they're love and lives really were/are a great love story. You see, this day was apart of their long journey to becoming one flesh that wasn't always an easy one to walk through. Hannah and Azariah were long distance dating for a good majority of their relationship- and we're not talking a few hours away long distance. We're talking, different countries for most of them knowing each other type of long distance. This alone speaks how committed their love has always been, and that is such a beautiful thing. In a world of constant change, they have found their constant in each other. Weddings are so awesome, but marriage is just a lot cooler. And Hannah and Azariah's BEST moments of their day by far were, in my opinion, the ones that were fully centered around the worship of their God who was forever joining their lives as ONE. The moments of being totally overwhelmed with joy that not only was the much anticipated wedding day finally happening, but a marriage was beginning. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have real, actual tears in my eyes for a good portion of the times they were crying too. IT WAS JUST SO BEAUTIFUL AND REAL. (Also, how can you not get emotional and so full of joy when you see Azariah's face seeing Hannah walk down the isle. THAT IS SOME REAL NICOLAS SPARKS NOVEL TYPE OF STUFF.)

Thank you for being such a dream bride and groom to work with, Hannah and Azariah! You two are so inspiring and such a joy. I feel like I have gained two wonderful friends since you decided to pick me as your photographer- and I am forever thankful that you trusted me to capture this beautiful day!  

Winter Wedding in the Snow- Rachel & Michael

Rachel and Michael's day was so sweet. 

I remember months leading up to the wedding day, the only thing Rachel wanted was snow for snow pictures. Every time we spoke prior, she always mentioned how hard she was praying for snow! And of course, it went the whole day without snowing... until the most perfect time! It started to snow right after their ceremony, and before we even got to family pictures, we both saw that it was snowing out and ran for the front doors with such child-like joy to go be in the snow! We had a blast taking those snow pictures- it was like the whole wedding day process had just froze (no pun intended) and we were able to genuinely just have fun and take Rachel's dream photos for her winter wedding. I'll never forget that moment of Rachel and Michael's wedding!

Personally, this wedding was really special for me to be apart of and photographing. I actually took Rachel's maternity photos 4 years ago when she was pregnant with her beautiful daughter Renee and I was just getting started with photography. It was so special for me to now see her little girl as one of the flower girls!

Michael and his little girl came together with Rachel and her daughter to make one beautiful, very happy family. What a love story! This day was so emotional and wonderful to be apart of. Thank you Rachel and Michael, for letting me tell your story!

 

xx

Toni

Rachel's mother's wedding dress & Rachel's wedding dress.

Rachel's mother's wedding dress & Rachel's wedding dress.

Kauai

The trip that was so much more than just a trip.

October of 2017, I was on the same flight as Julia. I've had my share in flying, and I can say with full confidence that it's not everyday that you meet a life long friend on an airplane. Fun Fact: I didn't even sit next to Julia. My mom did. I sat in front of her. And unlike any other flight I've ever had (sadly) I was actually sleeping the majority of the time. But luckily, my mom and Julia were not. And they got to chatting, my mom realized that we were basically the same person- both being the same age, being wedding photographers, and loved Jesus- and by the end of the flight we were introduced and swapped Instagram accounts. Then we realized we had mutual friends. WHAT.

Now for a million reasons, this whole story was such a God story. Never in a million years could we have planned to meet. But I never could have imagined 5 months ago how that flight to Phenix would really change my coming year. 

Julia was brave enough to invite a stranger she barely met on a plane to her cute little house in Kauai. I was brave enough to go to a strangers house 12 hours of flights away. And there wasn't one single doubt in either of our minds. And when I got there, it was like we had known each other our whole lives. I really hope we can live in a world more like this.

This is such a sweet, unique part of my life I am so lucky to call mine. This trip was so much more than just going to a destination island to vacation. This was about more than just laying on a beach. This trip gave me the opportunity to experience for myself a beautiful way the body of Christ works- in hospitality, in love, in courage, in trust, in genuine connection. Not only did I get to see another BEAUTIFUL sliver of this profoundly big world, but I made a best friend. A true sister. And NONE of it had anything to do with me. This trip spoke volumes to me about how our Father wants GOOD things for us. He likes to bless us. He calls us to co-create with Him- the creator of every rock and waterfall and ocean that terrifies me to fly over. He has planned, plans, and will continue to plan blessings for His children. He is giving, and he is so creative in the way he does it.

Also, can I just take a moment to say HOW MUCH FUN IT WAS TO TRAVEL WITH ANOTHER PHOTOGRAPHER? Usually at some point in every trip I take with people, someone gets annoyed with me for wanting to stop everywhere and take a picture or video. But here, we both had FULL FREEDOM to shoot as much as our little hearts desired and it was so life-giving. We both had several moments where we just had a giddy smile on our faces while we were shooting and said "THIS GIVES ME SO MUCH LIFE". In a way, this trip was so refreshing for me as a photographer- to be in God's pure creation of ocean and rock and cliffs and trees and jungles and photograph new things in a new environment. To get away from the normal things and places of life and shoot something completely different gave me inspiration and made me love photography even more- in a deeper way. Even to be around another young photographer and just feed off each other's creativity and thoughts  was so refreshing. Reason 500 why I am oh so thankful for Julia (Check out her work, she is AMAZING. Go elope in Kauai and hire her. Now.) 

One of my favorite moments I won't ever forget was when Julia looked over at me and said "it makes sense why we would be adventure buddies since we met on an airplane".

I can't wait to tell my kids one day about this trip.