Christina and Wendi’s Unforgettable Wedding at The Stanley Event Space

Every wedding is different and special. No doubt about it. Every time two people make such a simultaneously heavy and joyful promise to one another, it’s a pretty epic thing.

But some weddings are… more.

More groundbreaking. More exciting. More emotional. More unique in the fact that, not too long ago, they couldn’t have taken place. Christina and Wendi are my first brides to tie the knot, and I will never forget their incredible wedding. It will be with me forever as one of the most beautiful celebrations I’ve had the honor of documenting. It was so full of love, not just from the brides, but from their wonderful families and friends. You could feel it. Really feel it. I literally got chills when they read their vows to each other. Their words reminded me very much of the truths I’ve learned in my own marriage, probably because they’ve been together for fourteen years – about the same length of time that my husband and I have. The vows were incredibly accurate descriptions of what love and marriage really are and really should be. I wish I would have written down their vows so I could read them when I need a little reminder about what my role as a wife is (but I was kinda busy at the moment with a couple cameras in my hands). The one part I didn’t need to write down, because I’ll remember it forever, was when Christina ended her vows to Wendi by saying “I’ve seen the best of you. I’ve seen the worst of you. And I choose both.”

That’s love.

Love is a choice to put someone else – and all of their dreams and needs – ahead of yourself. Love is a promise to never give up. Love is forgiveness and grace, and recognizing that they’re needed most when they seem to be deserved the least. Love is creating and celebrating joy daily. Love is building a life full of incredible experiences with your best friend and soul mate. Love exists abundantly beyond boundaries and expectations. It’s that simple, and that complex. And on this perfect summer evening at The Stanley Event Space, Christina and Wendi embraced all of that simplicity and complexity, said “I do” to forever, and wrapped a big old party around it.

Congratulations to these beautiful women – my new friends – as their love story continues to be written and celebrated.

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Tanya and Tracy | The Aspen Room at The Historic Stanley Event Space Wedding

My time with Tanya and Tracy actually began the day before their wedding. I spent Friday with Tanya, her bridesmaids, and many members of her family to document the haldi and henna ceremonies. It was colorful, exciting, and joyful. Full of life. Full of various textures, intricate details, and vibrant hues. Full of wonderful photo opportunities. My favorite part of the day was the application of the haldi. Each friend and family member spent a minute or two with Tanya and a tray of rice, flower petals, and haldi (specially prepared by Tanya’s mother and aunt). It was beautiful to see each person with Tanya as they prepared her for her wedding with this wonderfully fragrant tradition. So many smiles. So much laughter. And a few happy tears.

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The day continued with the henna ceremony. What an amazing talent the henna artists have!

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Now, the big wedding day!

As anyone who lives in Kansas City can tell you, the weather can be a bit temperamental. Tanya and Tracy’s wedding day was no exception. We had a cloudy day. A humid day. Some sprinkles. Some downpours. Some sunshine. All within a few hours. Going from Plan A to Plan B, back to Plan A, and “waiting it out” for group formals can be a little crazy, but the wedding party rolled with the changes quite nicely and we ended up being able to accomplish everything we wanted — and more!

Altogether, the wedding day was a beautiful blend to two different cultures. A day where tradition was honored, yet met with modern twists.  The result was a day full of colorful clothing, great music, delicious food, and one of the most beautiful cakes I’ve ever seen. It was a fantastic celebration made possible by the friends and family who came together (many of whom traveled hundreds or thousands of miles) to witness Tanya and Tracy’s vows, shower them with blessings, and dance the night away!

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Church – St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Reception – The Aspen Room at The Stanley Event Space
Hair and Makeup – Colby and Lauren, Salon Allure
String Quartet – Jill Brock, Christina Dyer, Laurie Schwab, Justin Cowart
Cake – Raspberry Rose
Florist – Maple Lane Designs
Caterer – Michael Forbes Grill & Bar
DJ – The DJ Zone
Second photographer – The One and Only, Incredibly Awesome Mike Tsai (a million thanks for rocking this day with me, friend!)

Show some love (or a “like” at least) on Facebook. And see more of my work at www.anthem-photo.com.

Angie and Chris are Married!

I have absolutely loved getting to know Angie and Chris over the past year: from our initial meeting to our engagement photo session, planning the schedule for their day, and even the calls and emails along the way. Every encounter I’ve had with them has left me with a renewed sense of joy. They are not simply happy to be together — they are elated and fulfilled in each other’s presence. They have been made for one another. They are a beautiful couple; a stunning example of destiny.

One of the many things that I loved about their wedding day is that it wasn’t work for me. Instead, it was like hanging out with good friends on their wedding day with a camera in my hands. It was delightful. And that feeling is what energizes me. But I won’t make this about me. This is about them. This is about their happiness in experiencing a day that they’ve awaited for so long. This is about drinking Guinness. This is about close friends and family, a promise, a beautiful dress and some rings, a happy young lady named Bre, and a fantastic celebration. This is the day that Angie and Chris said “I do.”

Image by Matthew TaylorImage by Matthew TaylorImage by Matthew TaylorImage by Matthew TaylorImage by Matthew TaylorImage by Matthew TaylorImage by Matthew TaylorImage by Matthew TaylorImage by Matthew TaylorImage by Matthew TaylorImage by Matthew TaylorImage by Matthew Taylor

This day was made possible for me because of Jennifer from The Stanley Event Space. Major thanks to her and all of The Stanley staff for everything that they do.

I must also thank my good friend and very talented photographer sidekick, Matthew Taylor, for creating many of the images in this post. We always have fun shooting weddings together, and this was without a doubt one of our best. Go team!