When my friend Natalie phoned me, I knew something was up. We never talk on the phone – we email, we text, we email some more… talking on the phone? That is so 1999. But she called. And after two minutes of talking, I told her I was game. Her cousins needed a photographer on short notice. I was happy to be their photographer.
In only two weeks, the family pulled together a celebration of marriage. A vow renewal. A reunion. And many laughs to be had. I couldn’t believe they did it all so fast, but they did. With everything moving fast, I felt confused along the way, not knowing exactly who was who at first, but in the end I felt like I was with my own family.
Ashley and Jeff were renewing their vows to one another. Ashley’s brother and sister inlaw were in town to officiate. Family and friends were present to honor and support them. It was simple, sweet and special.
Ashley before the ceremony.
On her chariot with her dad. It was fun to hear and see them ride up together. Everyone got a kick out of it.
The ceremony was short but you could tell how happy everyone was. The bride and groom smiled and wiped away tears. Big brother Jeremy and his wife Teresa did the same.
Ashley and Jeff with their son, Jase.
He wanted nothing to do with me. Would not smile one bit.
Jeff and Ashley. Teresa and Jeremy.
With Jeremy in the military, everyone was excited to have him in town. So many hugs passed back and forth.
Jase finally opened up. He was such a cutie once he started to smile.
It only took a hug from his mom to do it.
And Jase with his dad. Again, big smile from the little man.
A dance with her father.
And Jeremy danced with his mother.
And then they danced as a family.
I have to admit, I don’t like shooting weddings. The pressure and stress of it all gets to me. With more experience, that will probably dissipate. But I had no feelings of uncertainty with the Overstreet family. Confused – yes. It was a whirl-wind beforehand as the radar had a huge storm blowing in. (It thankfully passed right over us.) But no uncertainty. I felt like I belonged with them. They reminded me of my own family, of my own brood of cousins, and any nerves I had disappeared. I thank them for being so kind and welcoming – I couldn’t have thought of a better way to spend that Friday night.