I was incredibly honored to photograph Crystal & Wendi’s wedding at their church, Foothills Christian Church, a LGBT friendly Christian supporter of marriage equality and the organization Why Marriage Matters in Arizona, a marriage equality and LGBT activist group. Their story is a powerful and deeply inspiring story and one that I am honored to help tell in a small way. Both Wendi & Crystal are much better writers than I, so I will quote them throughout this blog post because their words are so beautiful and powerful.
Wendi & Crystal both had a strong connection with God early on in their lives. Slowly, they begun to suspect that their attractions were different- that they might be gay. They met in college living in the same hall through roommates and slowly over a year and a half, fell in love. They knew this was not the sort of love taught to them in Sunday school and worried what their families and church would think. In their words, ” …we also knew what we had together was incredibly raw and gentle and bursting with color and life and that truly made us want to strive to be better people for each other and the world around us.” So through the fires of inner conflict, they forged their own beautiful diamond of a relationship together, a fusion of love and a new kind of faith, one that is radiant and open and accepting, shining through them and filling them with joy. I hope that shows in the photos, because it was an amazing thing to witness, two people so in love and so radiant with inner light and joy. They kept their relationship a secret for nine years. Nine years, guys. After watching their loved ones marry and start families, they realized how unfair they were being to themselves, so they began the process of coming out. I can only imagine how difficult that was, and I admire their strength. All of that love and joy kept in silence and hiding burst forth at this wedding, and the outpouring of love was as tangible as Crystal & Wendi’s joy. That joy and love, no matter who or where it originates from, is why I shoot weddings, to witness and be a part of that, and to document it for people to relive over and over again. Love is love and love is what we live for.
And let’s not forget to mention that Crystal & Wendi were pretty much a dream team of wedding planners & decorators. Crystal is a graphics designer and designed all of the invitaitons, programs & everything. Wendi is the master crafter of this fantastic glitter-fest and crafted all of the details. from the gold glitter dipped feathers to the string covered monogram to the amazing cake & cupcake table- though I’m sure Crystal got roped into doing some things! And can we talk about the AWESOME loom they had? In addition to their awesome globe guestbook, they had guests weave in strips of fabric into a loom along with notes, well wishes and trinkets. I am totally stealing that for my wedding, sorry girls! I’m predicting a new wedding trend…
Crystal & Wendi, thank you so much for having me be a part of your heartfelt, sacred, joyful ceremony, it was an honor. I hope you spread your light to the world. I was humbled to be a part of this experience.
The brides each walked down the aisle three times with loved ones signifying their past and present. The final time they walked down, they walked down together, signifying their future.
How adorable & awesome are those monogram initials??
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