Thursday, August 2, 2012

Monique & Aric ♥ MARRIED !! July 21, 2012 - Maple Valley, Washington wedding photographer

They may of done things the unconventional way... but to them, and all those who know them, Monique and Aric were destined to be together forever .... A couple for over four years, with two beautiful children, this day was a long time coming.... Meet Monique and Aric, married at the gorgeous Shooting Star Gardens, on Saturday Jul 21, 2012!!

My day started off traveling to this little hidden gem of a garden, tucked away in the Maple Valley area of Washington....

Being an avid gardener during my "not so busy" times, this place is a new personal favorite of mine for weddings. Centered on several acres, the main house is used primarily as a backdrop for weddings only, with no use of the inside permitted. To me, that's okay, because the entire grounds are flawless in flowing beauty.

 One garden leads to the other, connected by adorable out buildings and different pieces of art. There is one main tent that is part of the main property, and if by chance you need more tents, they can easily be added, there is plenty o' room! Ok, back to the fun wedding details :)

The bride made her own bouquet of star-gazer lilies... I couldn't help but borrow them for a few quick "bling" images .... Ahhhh how we love our bling ♥

Monique... you are seriously GORGEOUS! You were brave enough to style your own hair and apply your own make up... loved it ! I have to give you kudos not only for that, but right as things really started moving along, the air conditioning went out in your dressing area, on the first 80 degree day in Washington this year! You handled it like a pro, finally it started working again... just in time for you to step into your stunning dress ...

Our bride chose a strapless, rich hued-ivory gown, that flowed into the most gorgeous train, kissing the ground as she walked. Mid way thru the reception she bustled it, which I have to say, was even more jaw dropping... paired with her chapel length veil, she was everything a bride is meant to be and more.

If I were to choose an image, that helps to give an idea why I decided to move into wedding photography, this next one would be it... Monique wanted her mom with her, to help with her dress ... what a special moment this was. Being one of three daughters, the "last" to be married, their bond was evident as they talked and giggled together..... Being there, alone with them during their special moment, it's hard to put into words, but I absolutely love it. Documenting this special moment for them to reflect on in years to come.... And yes, that's Monique's mom! She is just as beautiful as her daughters are!

One of the hardest parts for me sharing these images with you all, is choosing WHICH photos to share! I have so many that capture the essence of the days, that are filled with love, laughter, tears and utter JOY... Now, let's move onto the ceremony ..... taking place in the much needed shade of several mature evergreen trees....

Aric.... our tall, handsome, (and hilarious) groom.... waited ever so sweetly for his ADORABLE 2 year old daughter to make her way to him... with a pocket full of tootsie rolls (just in case !), she spied her daddy and ran into his arms .... Isn't she a doll baby ??!!!!

The bride and grooms son was also a part of the special moment.... let's just say that tootsie rolls were a good thing to have on hand :)

Finally, the long awaited moment was here... Aric was so excited to see his soon to be wife.... on the arm of her father, together they strolled the garden path towards forever.... the last of his three daughters to be married, it was evident on his face just how proud he was of his own....

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me...Unknown

One of my favorite images from the day ... Honestly, the soon to be father in law was BEAMING with joy... One couldn't help but get swept up in the moment ♥

"Perfect love sometimes does not come... until the first grandchild..."  Welsh Proverb

I can't help but smile when I see the above photo... tootsie rolls have been around for a very LONG time.. and yet they are still soooo classic, we all love them !

The vows were short, super sweet perfection .... the love between Monique and Aric is so inspiring.. thru thick and thin, they have been thru so very much.. and today was their day to stand as best friends, soul mates and soon to be husband and wife, in front of all their close family and friends ... dedicating their lives to one and another, and their two little ones....

"Today and always, beyond tomorrow, I need you beside me, always as my best friend, lover and forever soul mate" ... author unknown

Another personal fav' of mine from the day ♥ It's official !!!!! Married :)

" Two souls with but a single thought, Two hearts that beat as one"    ~ Friedrich Halm ~

Before we knew it, the ceremony was over, and it was time for some "staged" wedding images ... I had about an hour to get thru all that was requested... I honestly think I laughed the whole time, these two love birds were so funny, and yet so loving with each other at the same time. It made my job that much easier!

The beautiful family !!!!

This was about as "calm" as these boys were the entire day  :)

Once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.  ~ Anonymous ~

Before each wedding, I get to know the bride and groom via phone calls, emails and lots of paperwork :) I enjoy learning all I can about them, their beginnings, their families, what style of photography they like, what colors, poses they prefer... all of it helps me know them, even if just a little bit, prior to their big day....

Here is the trio of sisters ♥

Going into Monique and Aric's wedding, I knew one thing for certain... these two were made for each other... from the sweet words they whispered to each other, to the way they danced like no one else was around... they were a complete joy to capture with my lens ♥

As I was talking to the bridal party (more or less laughing w/them), I checked over my shoulder to see if by chance, I was missing anything... and that's when this moment came into view... Monique and her grandmother, who she described as her "rock" ... they spent a few moments together and next thing I knew, Monique was crying sweet tears... seriously, I need to start carrying my own tissues !!!! I was so glad I decided to look over my shoulder !

Shortly after the above photo was taken ... Grandma paid us another visit ..... It was becoming quite clear where Monique gets her fun personality ! lol !!!

So here we are now.. moving onto the reception part of the sunny, summer day ! Monique and Aric chose a natural theme to their special day... tables were draped with crisp white table covers, centered with candles and cactus plants in pots filled with roasted coffee beans ! I loved this look, and will be remembering it for this fall as decor in my own home ;)

Each bridesmaid, as well as two of the groomsmen gave touching speeches ... followed by father of the bride. I don't believe there was a dry eye in the entire tent after dad got done talking, including my own! Seriously, I have only just met these people, and yet it feels like I am part of their family! Each family member sought me out to show their complete gratitude, and thanks for capturing the entire day... There was lots of hugs and smiles as I left for home....

As I listened to the speeches, I also continued to scan the room from a far distance to see what I could zoom in on.... It's probably one of the best parts of my days spent with these families... never knowing what I will see, hear or be able to document for them and their memories of the day.... Here I captured mother of the bride w/her one and only grandson ♥

Still staying close to the tent, watching the dance floor, I caught a glimpse of Aric and his precious daughter, sharing a moment that I'm sure he wont ever forget... I love images that capture the "movement" of the moment it was taken ... happily out of focus, yet still giving you the ability to see what was there  ♥

Finally it was time for the groom to take his beautiful bride to the dance floor..... Another one of my personal favorites from the day ... with the glorious sun beaming through the tent window!! Love !

"Oh, how we danced on the night we were wed ...We vowed our true love though a word wasn't said ..The world was in bloom, there were stars in the skies ..Except for the few that were there in your eyes...The night seemed to fade into blossoming dawn ...The sun shone anew but the dance lingered on..." lyrics to "The Anniversary Waltz" ♥

It's moments like this next image that make my heart swoon.... such a sweet image of their daughter looking on, as her parents dance on their wedding day .....

From one sweet daughter ... to another..... father of the bride (and the bride herself!) couldn't help but shed many, many tears as he held his not so little girl .....

From tears .... to cake ! Thou I didn't get a chance to sample this tasty looking dessert, I'm sure it was good !

After the cake ... came the games shall we say ... more dancing, laughing, singing and flash mobbing. Yes, I said flash mobbing! Several members of the wedding attendees had gotten together to plan a surprise flash mob for the bride and groom... it was hilarious ! Right after the flash mob, we moved into the garter toss.... seriously you two, you made me laugh till my stomach hurt ♥ In a good way!

As my time with this beautiful couple came to a close.... I said my goodbyes, gave many hugs and started the journey to my car..... when I happen to come upon this little cutie again, who decided it was time to show me how SHE can blow bubbles .... it was incredibly sweet to sit and "talk" with her for a few moments... and thou she "blew" more spit, then bubbles, its a memory that will stay on my heart for many years to come....

Dearest Monique and Aric .... how do I express all that there is in gratitude, from me, for being chosen to capture your wedding day in images? It was truly an honor for me, one that I won't soon forget. You two are the essence of that which is love, unity and forever. I wish you all the best in the years to come... I look forward to keeping in touch with you and laughing with you once again ♥

♥ Amy Dawson Photography - Camano Island, Washington ♥

Find me/Like me on Facebook "Amy Dawson Photography"

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