I've shot hundreds of weddings. Hundreds. And, I've never seen a man build a cross to marry his wife next to and pray their first prayer as a family underneath. It was, quite simply, beautiful - a real life symbol of this couple's faith in God and faith in each other.
It is incredibly refreshing to work with couples who focus not on the wedding details, but also give deep thought to how they can honor the actual marriage. Once you've photographed as many weddings as I have, you realize that diamonds are just shiny rocks. Flowers wilt. Dresses get dirty. But promises remain.
Adrian's brother and sister-in-law are long time friends of mine. And, they are one of only 4 or 5 couples that I know personally who make marriage look really, really good. For years, I've quietly watched them hoping to learn their secret - they still seem crazy in love almost a decade and two kids later. But, recently I've come to realize there is no secret. It's really quite simple. And, I think Ashley & Adrian have it figured out, too.
Before the ceremony, they exchanged letters. Adrian's letter brought Ashley (and most of the room) to tears as she read it first to herself, then out loud. This is one of my favorite traditions. Just when the craziness of schedules and make-up and boutonnieres reaches a fever pitch, the exchange of letters is like a calming hand that refocuses everyone and gently reminds them why we have all gathered. Two people. One life. Commitment.