Thursday, June 09, 2011

All in the Family

I think one of the things a bride dreads most on her wedding day is rain; especially when all the festivities are outside. Everyone tries to tell her that rain is supposed to be good luck--don't know too many brides who would agree with that, smack in the middle of a rain stormm when everyone is trying to retreat to shelter and tear down a beautifully set up outdoor reception. With everyone running about trying to come up with a dry alternative, I don't know that Madison and Ray's wedding could have been any more perfect! The outdoor ceremony (in her grandparent's yard) took place around 4:00, and with the skies teasing us with rain all day, the clouds finally gave way about half way through the ceremony. By the time the first kiss took place, and the ecstatic couple made their way back down the aisle, things were really beginning to come down. While we came up with a dry location to do the post ceremony formals, all the friends and family retreated to the backyard, stacked the wet glassware and plates, and whisked the linens from the tables. Since there was no wedding coordinator, I always try to step up my game and offer as much assistance as possible to help make the day perfect. I suggested we put the dj on the large from porch, open the double french front doors and have the first dance at the front entryway. It worked better than anyone would have imagined. Madison told me that she spent so much time growing up in this house, and it was actually quite fitting that everyone was gathered around on the furniture, floor and fireplace hearth of the living room when the reception fun started. It was so cozy and intimate (both physically and emotionally). I have to say, that it was one of the best receptions I've ever attended. By about 7:30 the rain stopped, the sun came out, the guests re-set the reception tables and the day ended up being better than anyone had ever dreamt!

Now, to explain why I titled this post "All in the Family". Anytime I do a Lincoln wedding, I always feel like it's a family wedding. Lincoln is a relatively smal community, and with the social nucleus it has, we all seem to know one another through a six degrees of separation theory. Madison's wedding took that one step further. Two years ago I photographed Madison's cousin's, Katrina, wedding. Katrina happened to marry my third cousin, Chris! I remember one of the first times I had an opportunity to really talk to Katrina, and when she told me her last name I thought it sounded familiar. We talked a little further and I figured out that Madison went to high school with my daughter, Katie (they also saw the same endocrynologist for their type 1 diabetes). What a small world, and I think it's so awesome that our families are now forever connected!

Madison and Ray have been dating off and on since their freshman year in high school. The broke up several times, they graduated high school, and then Ray went off and joined the Navy. As Madison tells it, "he grew up in the Navy" ;), and realized the love of his life was still in Lincoln. When she went back east to see him graduate from boot camp, the did some sightseeing in Chicago. They went to the top of the Sear's Tower, and went out on the lookout perch. At the top of the world. Ray told Madison how much he loved her and he proposed to her right then and there. I love when I hear how romantic men can be! This couple is so spectacular and have already been through so many "tests" to their relationship. There is no doubt in my mind that this union will live on forever!! There is one photo in the slideshow that shows Ray looking at Madison as she's coming up the aisle. His eyes are closed-not because of an inopportune photo moment, but because there are tears streaming down his face...oh my, it just melted my heart when I saw that.

So, without further ado, here is their wedding story. From rain in the beginning of the day, to pure sunshine just before I left, the wedding was stupendous!!!!

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