June 15, 2016
I had yet to meet Ryan before the moment when I walked in to the little house that she was getting ready in. She was having her makeup done, her eyes were closed and she was unable to open them. And I said something like, "I'm Leah and I'm so happy to be here" and she reached her hand out and said something like, "I'm Ryan and I'm so happy to have you here" and we connected. From that moment on, sincerely, I felt 100% at ease.
Ryan is calm, beautiful, fun, and sincere. Jeff is her perfect match. They met when they became neighbors (how perfect, right?) and merged their two families together.
Their ceremony was one of the most personal things that I've ever seen. When Ryan and Jeff's parents got up to join them at the altar, and each took turns giving their blessings that they wrote, I don't think that there was a dry eye in the crowd. Then, Ryan got down on bended knee and invited Jeff's daughter, Jade, up so that she could read vows that she'd written for her.
Oh. My. Gosh. I'm surprised I could still shoot in those moments. It was so , so special. I felt lucky to be there. At the end of the ceremony, after they were pronounced husband and wife, they had a close friend play a cover of, "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan while they just hugged and listened. I know. I know.
The rest of the day- the ambience, the food, the toasts, the dancing- it was all full of so much life and so much love. It was so genuine that it still makes me smile, reflecting.