Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The most beautiful Princess you will ever see


Before I begin, I know this is a long post, but I AM GOING TO ASK THAT YOU READ THIS STORY---YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY!! Today was probably one of the most special bridal session I will ever photograph, and it was fun to help play fairy godmother. Before I tell you about today (and the INCREDIBLE people who helped to make it happen), I need to give you a little back story.
Heidi, along with her parents, Carole and Lou, are our neighbors. We met them right after we all moved into the neighborhood almost nine years ago. Heidi has Down's Syndrome, and the love of her life, Michael, does as well. Over the years I have taken hundreds of photos of these two and they are two extremely special people! In the first few years that we knew them, Ali and Katie spent a lot of time with Heidi and Michael because they were both involved as volunteers with Special Olympics. Michael is from Tennessee, and Heidi lives here in Lincoln (they met each other in the early '80s when they both lived in the bay area and were athletes with Special Olympics). Several times a year
they fly back and forth to each other's homes and spend a month or so together. Both of them are Type 1 Diabetics, so they are really lucky that each family knows how to handle this disease and how to take care of one another's "kids". I hope this isn't too much info, but I have to tell you how extraordinary Heidi's parents are. When Heidi was a baby, her parents were told that she would never do so many things that the average person does; she'd never walk on her own, never be a potty trained child, never be able to read or write. Carole and Lou refused to believe this and treated their daughter as they did their son. Heidi has dozens and dozens of medals for skiing, golfing, swimming and just about any other sport she trys. She is an incredible woman who makes the rest of us look "lazy" ;) She is also quite a reader and when she first got engaged, she poured over bridal magazines!



Six years ago Michael talked to his parents and said he wanted to propose to Heidi. Michael's parents talked to Heidi's parents and agreed that it was the right time. Heidi and Michael met each other in 1984, and got engaged in 2004. Heidi knew she wanted a June wedding, so for obvious reasons the parents suggested to this couple that since they got engaged after they knew each other for 20 years, they should set the wedding date 20 years out. SO, I now have June 30, 2024 on my calendar to photograph their wedding...sorry, if you were thinking about that date, but I'm booked with a very special wedding :-)


In the last couple of years Heidi has been wanting to try on wedding dresses, but for reasons I cannot understand, no bridal shop would allow it because her wedding was too far out. After meeting this couple, can you believe people didn't want to help her live every part of her fairytale? Carole had told me about a day where they stumbled on an incredible bridal store in Vegas where Heidi was able to try on some dresses. The problem was that Michael wasn't there to see it, and Carole wasn't really prepared to take photos. So, here is the rest of the story...

When I heard about this I knew I could do the photography, but we needed a place for her to try on dresses. I immediately called my friend Jennifer Baker at Enchanted Bridal Shoppe and told her about this heartwarming story, and asked her if she would help me to make another of Heidi's dreams come true. SHE DID NOT HESITATE!!!!! Today, Heidi, Michael, Carole and I arrived at Enchanted Bridal Shoppe and were they ever ready for us!!! I had told them that Heidi LOVES, LOVES, LOVES Disney, so we KNEW that this bride had to try on Disney dresses. In addition to her modeling for us, Michael brought his tuxedo. As I am writing this I am crying just thinking about how magical this day was. If you could have seen the look on Carole's face when she saw her only daughter try on wedding dresses that Heidi could only dream of, it just melted me! Nothing that Heidi wanted to try on was off limits...Tiffany tiaras, crystal bracelets, and any dress she wanted. An added bonus was that Ali had purchased a dress from the bridal shoppe and she was with us to pick it up. We couldn't help but get some "wedding party" photos with her, Heidi and Michael. I tried to do detail photos for them as well, and when I found out that the cufflinks that Michael had belonged to his late grandfather, I could not take a chance on missing those; Heidi's special engagement ring was Michael's great aunt's. As you'll be able to tell from the photos, Michael is quite the ham, while Heidi is the sophisticated one of the two ;)

I have three daughters and there are so many things that I take for granted...knowing that I'll probably be with them on their wedding day is one. However, when I looked at Carole today, knowing that this was quite possibly one of the most important days in her life as Heidi's mom, I can't even begin to tell you the emotions that overwhelmed me. The only thing that could have made this more emotional was if Heidi's dad, Lou, was there. He is THE MOST emotional guy I have ever known ;)

Heidi and Michael, I will never ever meet another couple like the two of you, and you make me so happy that I could share this with you!!

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, look at this slideshow with the emotions and heart that this couple deserves. Whether or not you know this Princess and Prince Charming, it would be tremendously special if you could leave them a comment to tell them how much they touched your heart. Obviously, a Disney song was in order for this slideshow. It seems like "thank you" is not enough to Enchanted Bridal for what you did today. You made your motto "You are a princess, and so shall you be treated", come to life today for what you did for this family. I know they will NEVER forget you!!!!!!

34 comments:

Kate said...

I wish I could have been there for this fun-filled trip! And with the brown dress I have waiting there, I would have fit right in with Ali! Heidi and Michael, you guys are so great and I am happy to know you both!!

-Kate

Anonymous said...

OMG, what a truly heartwarming moment. I have never seen anything so touching. What a wonderful couple and they are so lucky to have you for a friend. Beautiful!!

Katie Dickson said...

I cried and cried. What an amazing love story to witness. I whitnessed this lovely couples's love a few weeks ago at a lovely graduation party. It warms my heart that there are people in our world that care so deeply for people to set up a day such as this. Debbie you and everyone at The Enchanted Bridal Shop are truly amazing. Our world is blessed to have angles walking among us like you. Thank you for giving this special couple such a dream come true.

Kim Ingram said...

Oh Debbie, thank you so much for sharing this story with us. It is such a wonderful fairy tale story about a prince and his princess. It was a pleasure meeting Michael and Heidi through your story and amazing pictures. May Michael and Heidi live happily ever after.....

Anonymous said...

This is such a touching story. You can really see the love they have for one another. So sweet!! What a beautiful couple they are!! Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer M. Baker said...

We will never forget them. Heidi, you brought us all to tears today with the love that you and Michael share. I myself am newly engaged and can only hope for the love and friendship that you and your fiance share. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to be a part of your life today, and for bringing your beautiful story in my bridal shoppe. You, my dear Princess Heidi, are welcome back anytime!

Mia said...

As I sit here and think of how beautiful this story is and it's because of people like this. The love that these two share is beyond words......

May there love continue to be as stong as the fairytale love they truly live.

To there parents...... congratulations!

Mia :)

Jill Lance said...

Love means so many things - sometimes just a pat on the back, sometimes a kiss - but most of all, when people give with their hearts, expecting nothing back. Jennifer and Debbie gave of their hearts and have allowed all of us to share in a love story that comes straight from innocent hearts. Thank you for the moments!

Kristina Wolter said...

Dear Michael and Heidi, Today is my 21 year wedding anniversary, and I could not have had a greater gift than to have read your BEAUTIFUL story. Though I don't know either one of you, judging by the lovely pictures that Debbie took one can tell that your love is nothing but a happily ever ending story. I wish you all the best! and sincere thank you to Debbie for sharing a truly beautiful LOVE story!

AB said...

I was smiling the whole time...those two are as cute in a slideshow as they are in person.

Anonymous said...

This is an amazing story and I want to thank Debbie for sharing it with everyone. Heidi and Micheal, I wish you a lifetime of love and happiness!!!

Anonymous said...

What a truly wonderful story and I want to thank Debbie for sharing it with all of us. Heidi and Michael, I wish you a lifetime of love and happiness!!

Pamela said...

Dreams do come true. Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Heidi and Michael,
It was wonderfully inspiring and touching to see the love you have for one another. May you honor that relationship by making every day that you have together special.

Marlene Nichols said...

"When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are--Anything your heart's desire will come true! What an exquisite rendering of sweet and tender love. I hope they don't wait 20 years to get married! But the moment for now was captured beautifully! Marlene Nichols (Kristina's Mom and Katie's "Mom")

jo said...

Heidi, how very beautiful you looked in all the gowns! What a lovely bride you will be! Mike looked handsome in his tux, also. You can see how much you and Mike adore each other. And how very proud your mother was. Special angels in our lives, like Enchanted Bridal and Debbie, make life even sweeter.

Pat Klena said...

How beautiful!! I could barely hold back the tears. You two are truly a special couple and I wish you all the best. Thanks Debbie and Enchanted Bridal for making this day so wonderful, and for sharing it with all of us.

Carole Pope said...

Debbie did a wonderful job capturing this enchanting day for Heidi and Michael. It was a dream come true and now we will watch for the "happily ever after". Thank you Debbie for making our special Princess and her Prince Charming have such a wonderful day... Heidi's Mom

Anonymous said...

Heidi and Michael, there are no words to express how touching this video was to me. As your Godmother, I am so happy you found another fairy godmother to make this dream come true! And she captured your love perfectly. You truly are the most loving, precious, couple I have ever met. I am so proud to be a part of your lives.
I love you!!! Nancy

Deni Pavlakis said...

Heidi & Michael - what a truly beautiful couple you are in every sense. I have always thought Michael must be a very lucky man to have Heidi but now that I had the opportunity to meet him last Saturday I see how lucky they are to have each other. Heidi - you are one of the most beautiful brides I have seen and what a lucky girl you are to have such loving, caring family and friends. We are so happy for you both Love Tommy & Deni Pavlakis

Sally said...

To Heidi and Michael -

What a wonderful love story! Your love and devotion shine through in every beautiful picture that Debbie shared with us!

Thank you all for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Heidi and Michael: You are absolutely the most beautiful princess and handsome prince I have ever seen. Tracy and I are so blessed to know you personally and thank God for providing this wonderful day. We also think you have the most loving parents in the world.

Thank you Debbie for making all of this possible.

Love,
Connie

Kapper said...

I started crying at the first picture and bawled the whole way through! What a special day and a real life fairytale. Carole, you are the epitome of a proud mom and I loved every single picture!! Thanks for sharing....touching and beautiful!!

Ann Stoermer said...

Heidi and Michael,

You don't know me, but I find your story truly inspirational and heartwarming. You are an adorable couple and I hope you have the wedding of your dreams. What a beautiful bride you are Heidi.

Take Care,

Ann Stoermer

Myrna said...

It has been a privilege to have Carole as one of my life long friends. I was in her wedding and I know how special this day was for her as well as for Heidi. This story is truly amazing and Jennifer and Debbie will be given extra sparkles on their angel wings. Heidi and Michael are truly an inspiration. True love knows no boundries and they are proof. I know I have 6/30/24 marked on my calendar....Myrna, GFL

Myrna said...

I have had the privilege of having Carole as one of my life long friends. I was in her wedding and I know this day was as special for Carole as it was for Heidi. Jennifer and Debbie will have some extra sparkle on their angel wings for providing all involved a beautiful day. Heidi and Michael are an amazing couple. Love has no boundries and they are living proof. A true prince with his beautiful princess...a never ending love story. Debbie thank you for sharing this story.

Carole and Lou you are amazing parents!

Myrna, GFL

Anonymous said...

Debbie - I am Mike's sister and I can only thank you and your friends at Enchanted for all you have done for Mike and Heidi. They came back to TN beaming and are telling everyone. I wish my mom and I had come out for this special day. At least we have incredible pictures!!!

Thank you again, Maggie

Genny said...

I write this with goose bumps on my arms and tears in my eyes...

I know Carole and Heidi personally and actually wrote about their trip to the bridal shop in Las Vegas after Carole told me the story; it tugged at my heart so much! (Here's the link: http://www.mycup2yours.com/2009/11/mom-her-daughter-and-story-about-what.html )

These photos are just beautiful; what a gift you gave this amazing couple. Such a blessing to stop by and read!

Best,
Genny

Cindy said...

Such beautiful pictures of such a beautiful couple-having known Michael and Heidi for years, I know that this must have been so incredible for them...Heidi looking and feeling like the true princess she is and Mike being the charming prince only he can be...Thank you so much for creating the moment and sharing it with us all!!!

~Cin

Colleen said...

What a wonderful love story. I enjoyed reading about Heidi and Michael. It truly is a beautiful love story. What a gracious thing for Enchanted Bridal to do. The slide show brought happy tears to my eyes. Just beautiful!!!! I wish them much love and happiness!!!!

Colleen U.

Debbie's L'Bri said...

I found you on Genny's blog. You did a very nice job on giving them a great day. Your pictures are beautiful.

~Jenn said...

Congratulations Heidi and Michael on your engagement! They both looked absolutely beautiful. You could see the love lighting up the room.

Cindy said...

Congratulations Heidi and Michael! What a precious story! Thank you for sharing! Heidi, you make a beautiful princess and your princess charming...what a doll! LOVED IT!

Rita McBride said...

What a special day! I can just hear Michael giggling. I have heard him laugh before. Both of you look amazing. Glad to see you so happy.

Search This Blog

Labels