Summer months are the most popular months for weddings, but there really is something special about a winter wedding. This past winter I was blessed and honored to photograph the wedding of an amazing young couple ... Allisen (Montana) and Kyle Franck. Winter in Wisconsin had a late start, and we had to actually seek out picturesque places with snow on the ground, but the couple knew of the perfect spot ... not far from the church where they were getting married and along the river where the ice was forming and snow had collected on the banks. Between the path leading to the river and the images by the river itself, it was an amazing photo opp for their romantic wedding images!
But the most amazing part of photographing this couple's wedding, for me, was their obvious and sincere love for each other ... and for Christ. While being married in a church with a beautiful wedding dress that suggested a "traditional" church wedding, this couple stepped out of the box right from the very beginning. They opted not to have attendants ... i.e., bridesmaids and groomsmen ... for their wedding, and instead, to focus their ceremony on the bond they would share with Christ as they become one with Him in marriage.
During their worship service, which was every bit that as well as a wedding ceremony, the couple freely sang along with the worship songs, eyes lifted heavenward, along with the entire assembly.
The minister spoke of Christ's love, this love that they should emulate in their marriage. And he read letters written by the couple's parents to them on this blessed occasion. It truly was a beautiful thing to behold. There were tears in many eyes, mine included.
Everything was held at Highland Community Church at the Weston Campus. No dance was planned, but with Christian music in the background, apparently many of the female family members and friends of the bride had a little something up their sleeves. The bride helps lead a Christian dance exercise class, and at the end of the dinner, one of the songs from the class suddenly began to play and the volume to rise. It was a good thing I had my camera in my hands, because I turned to see the bride sashaying up the aisle between the tables toward a group of women from her class gathered in an open space, already dancing to the song just as she had taught them in class. It was a wonderful uplifting sight to behold, and the music and spirit was positively contagious! Some of the images captured during that single dance are among my favorites from that day!
From the first look in front of a Christmas tree to the unusual menu items lovingly prepared by family and church members ... all healthy, guilt-free, and delicious I might add ... to the gorgeous decor, a combination of wedding and Christmas beautifully combined ... to the Christian music in the background, this wedding will always stand out to me. Whether this couple knows it or not, they raised the bar by deviating from "traditional" twenty-first century wedding customs and creating a ceremony and celebration that was entirely about family, faith, and the beginning of a married life together that truly puts both of those things first.
The wedding wrapped up early in the evening with a bubble blowing sendoff and the couple driving away in the car their friends had decorated. Shorter, perhaps, than many weddings I have photographed. But infinitely memorable.
I hope all of you enjoy peeking at some of the pages from this couple's beautiful wedding album, including an image of them holding the album in their hands and seeing it for the first time. All of these images really help tell the story of their love on their beautiful and blessed winter wedding day.
Blessings to you both, Mr. and Mrs. Kyle and Allisen Franck!