Miki + Kristel emailed me earlier this summer, asking about my availability, wondering if I was able to document their intimate little wedding in Minneapolis. They were set to get married on the rooftop of their apartment building in Uptown, and then head to dinner at Bar Lurcat. The event would be small, they said, sixty people total, and was all about family. Love. Joy. The instant I met them I knew theirs was a story I was destined to tell. They love Mexico and graffiti and the smell of old books. They celebrate the tedium of every day and take nothing for granted. They are two of the most authentic and amazing individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. They are kindred souls, to me, to each other, to each beautiful person they come in contact with. You can feel it in their presence. It’s remarkable, honestly. Moving. Humbling.
Miki’s best man (and grandfather) Merlin was unable to attend the wedding due to his ongoing battle with cancer, so Miki decided to have the bus, already slated to transport the entire guest list from the ceremony to the reception, take the guests to visit him. When we arrived, everyone spent a few moments with Mick, laughing, crying, and celebrating the joy of the day as well as his role in each and every life standing before him. To see him, surrounded by his family and those he loves most in the world, filled with such immense joy and love was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever photographed. To watch as Miki reveled in every ounce of Merlin’s overwhelming response to the literal outpouring of people surrounding him was like nothing I’ve ever seen.
It was profound. There isn’t any other word for it.
I have said over and over again – sometimes probably too much – that I’m honored to be invited in so many beautiful stories, and I mean it. To have borne witness to Miki + Kristel on their wedding day – in the throes of over-the-top emotion and wonder and joy – was already more than enough. But then, to witness such a miracle that is the love they have for Merlin put me over the edge. It was all I could do not to sob. So I swallowed hard and stepped back onto that bus, and headed for the reception with an ache in my heart – a heavy remembrance of my own grandfather, the man who walked me down the aisle a decade ago and handed me over to DRL – and a smile – for the love I just encountered – so unbelievably wide, on my lips.
Here are a few of my favorite images from their perfect and vastly indescribable wedding day:
I’m not really sure if I can describe Breanna + Michael’s wedding day in words. The typical and overused adjectives certainly apply; it was beautiful and love-filled and stylish and full of so much love and joy and laughter and tears. But it was so much more than that. Spending the day with Bre + Michael was like living in a novel. Rich and detailed and poetic and overflowing with words and emotion. They truly are best friends and it’s evident in every touch, every smile, every stolen sideways glance. They feed off each other, revel in one another, and are their best selves together. If ever there were two people destined to spend an eternity growing and loving and exploring and being, it is absolutely and without a doubt these two incredible souls.
There is magic between them, and if you’re ever near them, you can feel it.
Here are a few too many of my favorite images from their amazing wedding day. I wish we could do it all over again and again and again.
Melanie emailed me this winter and after corresponding for a month or more, we finally decided to get off the computers and get into the real world and meet face to face. It was the first snow of the season, and we had wine and tator tots and talked about Bob Goff and Donald Miller and connected instantly. I left dinner unsure if Melanie was going to choose me to document her wedding day, but certain that I had made a new friend for life. So when she emailed me to let me know that she wanted me to tell her story, I was elated. Though I barely knew her, and had yet to meet her love, I knew her heart as if it were my own, and that her love story was one that I was destined to tell.
Melanie and Kevin’s story isn’t an easy one. They’ve sailed their share of rocky shores, waves crashing over them like boulders. Despite turbulent seas, they push ever onward with no destination but the horizon. These two aren’t trying to get anywhere. Instead, they’re merely trying to endure the storm as one, enjoying every breath of warm air and smooth seas that come their way. They are the living, breathing, being embodiment of a don’t give up story, and they committed to one another knowing that love isn’t a fairytale, it’s a fist fight, and it’s worth every single drop of blood, sweat, and tears.
Watching them together is otherworldly. They dance as if no one is there to watch them, and walk together, fingers always intertwined, bodies teetering ever closer, eyes alight. Their love is magic.