September 10, 2017
Alright, well this is the story of the century…(for my mostly-boring life, anyway!)
Thursday night – literally 10 o’clock at night watching Big Brother (yes I have a serious trash-tv-watching problem) – I was doing my usual Facebook browsing because I’m always multitasking. I am a part of this “creatives community” called the Rising Tide Society: an online forum for photographers, wedding planners, artists, etc post their work for criticism or reach out for recommendations. Occasionally on this forum, people reach out for help: help with a tough client, help with editing a photo, or help covering an event they can’t. On Friday night, a photographer posted a plea for help.
Jill was desperate to find a wedding photographer to cover the wedding she had coming up that Saturday…one day away. She was a back-up photographer for her friend battling cancer, only to find that because of Hurricane Irma, she wouldn’t be available to shoot the wedding either. She was freaking out to say the least. I mean, I would be too! A wedding is the biggest day of many couple’s lives and capturing it is a great privilege, but also a great responsibility. The original photographer was a close friend to one of the bride’s mothers and she gifted her services to them. Sadly, because of her progressive, aggressive illness, a week or so before the wedding, Jill decided she would take over for her to ensure that these brides had a photographer for their big day. She also graciously gifted her photography services as a way to help her suffering friend. But come Thursday, she learned she could no longer cover the Saturday ceremony and had no choice but to reach out. Reach out to this creative community, asking for someone to again, gift their services to this couple.
For the past two years I have been absolutely blessed with amazing clients and a wonderful community who has helped my business flourish enormously. I have been toying with the idea of offering a free wedding to someone with a compelling story. Reaching out into the Facebook void to find someone worthy of such a gift. When I saw this post, I felt called to respond. I wanted to help. Not because I knew anything about this couple, but because a woman was suffering immensely, and all her friend wanted was to help in any way she could. I wanted to be that way. And then I noticed on her post that it was a same-sex couple. That immediately saddened me; obviously there was a reason she needed to clarify that. That made me want to help even more. I know if my girlfriend and I were getting married and one of our vendors needed a replacement, I would hate to think that someone wouldn’t step up because we are a same-sex couple. I reached out to Jill, said I would be happy to do it and she soon messaged me to finalize details.
This is where it gets really crazy…..THE WEDDING WAS IN CINCINNATI, OHIO. Ohio, a state I’ve never been to, thousands of miles from where I was. Friday night at 11 pm, Jill booked me a flight for the next morning to Cincinnati, and thus began my adventure. Phoenix – Cincinnati – Phoenix in 36 hours!
OH MY GOSH, I LOVE OHIO. I LOVE CINCINNATI. I LOVE THE STEWARTS. I could not have been blessed with a more beautiful day to work with. Or a more wonderful family to work with. They were inviting, overly thankful, insanely accommodating (chauffeuring me everywhere I needed to go), and even giving me a spot at the head table during the reception. It was the best party I’ve been to in a long time and I truly think I have made friends I will keep in contact with for years to come! Mackenzie and Melanie, thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your day. You two are incredible people surrounded by so much love and support – I could not be happier for the two of you! Congrats Mrs. and Mrs. Stewart! Two brides are most definitely better than one!!! 🙂
These two started out as sorority sisters (hence the pin!) and I just think that is the cutest thing ever.
The gold ring is Melanie’s – an heirloom handed down by Mackenzie’s family. Swooning!
Bride Mackenzie did almost everyone’s makeup, and HER OWN!! What a pro!
ARE YOU READY FOR THE MOST ADORABLE FIRST LOOK EVER?!?!?!?
These ladies had a very special guest who attended their wedding and read during their ceremony. Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the historic Supreme Court case for marriage equality, flew out from Washington D.C. to attend and read part of the Supreme Court decision. LIKE HOW COOL.
Photographer: Molly McElenney Photography
Venue: Pinecroft at Crosley Estate
Florist: Ford-Ellington Floral and Wedding Design
Band: Jack Garrett and The Syndicate
Hair: Robyn Kenney, Ashley Carroll
Caterer: Funky’s Catering
Cake: Cocoa Bites and Macaron Bar
Videographer: Little Brown Dog Productions
Officiant: Lee Tyson
Bridal Gowns: BHLDN Chicago
Invitations & stationery: Poeme
Man of Honor & Bridesman attire and accessories: Suits by J Crew, Ties by The Tie Bar