Bernard and I graduated together in the same class at the same school. We were both on the advisory board for the university investment association. Now he works at a bank with a promising career, and here I am taking his wedding pictures. Well well well, how the turntables.
This wedding was not just a wedding of a friend; in fact, exactly a year ago, I shot a wedding at this venue, Southern Bleachery. Some of my best friends, Evan and Clari, were married at this venue, and at today’s wedding, Clari was my assistant. I think this is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a wedding photographer; you never know how the relationships you build at a wedding might turn into something awesome!
Kenzie worked at High Point Camp in Pennsylvania for many years, so many of her bridesmaids were friends made while working there. I also have many friends who have worked at High Point Camp, so I recognized many familiar faces among the bridesmaids.
Meanwhile on the other side of the venue, Bernard was having the time of his life with his groomsmen. As you can see, he was pretty excited to see Kenzie!
Once Kenzie was ready, we set up for the first look with the father of the bride. Kenzie had a special gift to giver her father during their first look. Promising to always be his little girl, Kenzie gave him a beautiful personalized frame that he could later put a picture in of them together on the wedding day.
Now it’s Bernards turn to see the bride in her wedding dress for the first time. He was pumped, man! As a wedding photographer, I get asked a lot if I would choose to do a first look with my bride before she walks down the aisle at our wedding. It’s true that doing the first look before the ceremony will save a lot of time and make for a smoother schedule. On the other hand, I think there’s something truly special about seeing your bride for the very first time as she’s walking down the aisle towards you. However, Bernard and Kenzie chose to have the best of both worlds. They set up their first look so Bernard could see Kenzie for the first time as she walked down the aisle towards him, but without the presence of family and friends. This moment was just for them. And it was beautiful.
So what am I going to do for my wedding? I’ll leave it to the bride.
Now, we are on to the wedding party!
While some couples prefer stunning settings in nature for the backdrop of their pictures, I think there’s something bold and beautiful about the rustic urban buildings surrounding this elegant wedding party. Let’s just say this is a good looking crew! Due to the 95 degree South Carolina heat, though, we decided to head inside to take more pictures.
Southern Bleachery is a ideal venue with bright white walls and plenty of natural light. Even an unskilled photographer like me can take amazing pictures! Except that I’m actually not that unskilled. After all, it’s not skill that makes a good pictures; it’s about the genuine love shared by the bride and groom. And I’m just a messenger, sharing their love through my pictures.
As you can see, the bridesmaids are always more creative than the groomsmen when it comes to taking funny individual portraits with the bride.
There aren’t many more minutes left in Bernard’s life as a bachelor, and he couldn’t be happier about that.
It was my privilege to be a part of this wedding. Right before the ceremony began, I caught Bernard and Kenzie praying together. I find these moments to be extremely noble, important, and worth cherishing. But I didn’t take many pictures. In moments like these, I try not to distract at all from what’s going on.
And now the guests began to arrive.
Since we had a lot of mutual friends, many of the Bernard’s and Kenzie’s guests were my friends as well. I hadn’t seen some of them since graduation, so it was great getting to catch up!
And that’s it, Fowlkes!
The wedding party entered the reception right away to the cheers of hundreds of family members and friends. Brandon and Kenzie began their first dance as soon as they came in. Shortly after the first dance, they did a combined dance with the bride and her father and the groom and his mother.
Dinner was served, people began to eat, and toasts were shared by the wedding party. Because Bernard is from Minnesota, many guests had to travel great distances to celebrate with him. This sacrifice shows just how loved Bernard is by those who know him.
The bride and groom also took advantage of the photo booth at the reception!
All the family and friends from Minnesota, Greenville, and everywhere else congratulated Bernard and Kenzie and enjoyed every minute of the reception. It was full of laughter, joy, and great food. But the most memorable moment of this wedding was during the ceremony when Danny and Miranda Herr sang “Two Becoming One” by Johna and Emily Martin.
I’ve never heard a song before at a wedding or anywhere else that so powerfully and poetically expresses what a couple’s heart should be on their wedding day.
“We are two becoming one.
May what He’s joined not be undone.
May our love put Christ on display...
O God, we want Your love on display.”
After all, that’s what a wedding is about: the celebration of two becoming one under Christ.