Miriam and I were invited to the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner and we went over to the venue a few hours early to help set up. I wasn't the hired photographer, but Matt and Kerin told me to go ahead and take as many pictures as I wanted, so I did! The venue was a photographer's dream: inside a refurbished barn full of string lights and rustic decorations. When I arrived with Miriam on Friday afternoon, I walked in to see a large group of people running around carrying ladders, strands of lights, table decorations, and enormous Edison bulbs. Miriam got to work helping Christin hang globe lights and I snapped a few pictures.
I've never shot at a wedding before, but the photos of the bridal party getting ready are always my favorite, so I was really excited to be able to get behind the camera this time.
Kerin's sister Mary Ann was the junior bridesmaid. This girl is a riot and a total sweetheart. She's chatty, enthusiastic about everything, wants to help whenever she can, and gives out hugs like candy.
Kerin was absolutely stunning. I may be a tad biased, but she was the most beautiful bride ever. Her dress suited her perfectly. She looked classy, elegant, regal...I couldn't take my eyes off her the entire day.
Right before we were about to head out the door, Kerin said, "Oh, shoot! I forgot to brush my teeth!!!" Everyone in the room chuckled at that because about twenty minutes prior, Colleen (Matt's cousin) made a PSA to everyone in the room and hollered, "Everyone remember to brush your teeth and put on deodorant!"
Immediately after the ceremony, a few of us headed straight back to the Barn to help put the last finishing touches on the tables before the reception began. The night before, it was freezing cold and pouring down rain and when we popped by the Barn around 10 to see how things were going, we discovered that everything had been moved to places where water wasn't dripping from the ceiling. The tables just had tablecloths on them and most of the decorations were still sitting in boxes on and under the tables. But lots of people had been working very hard all morning the day of the wedding and when we arrived after the wedding, the place had been completely transformed.
Oh, this couple.
I'm going to gush for a minute.
These two are such a gift. Ever since I met them, their schedules have been insane. Kerin's major required a lot of complex science classes that took up a lot of her time and energy. Matt's an English major, so he's done everything that comes along with that, as well as a lot of work for campus media - video, photography, running accounts on social media platforms, etc. And of course, once spring semester rolled around, they were...you know, planning a wedding and sorting out their lives on top of everything else they already had to juggle.
And somehow, no matter how crazy their lives may have been at any given time, they are always loving and selfless toward others around them. So many times, especially last school year, I'd drop by Kerin's apartment to talk to one of her roommates and end up staying twice as long to chat or vent with Kerin about whatever was going on in life at that moment. Oftentimes, Kerin would be bogged down working on a PowerPoint or a demonstration or a paper, but would always make time to hang out and catch up for a bit.
And of course, Matt would almost always swing by the apartment - or already be there - and I would stay even later, talking to him about photography or crazy things people had done...or just stand at the counter laughing at his antics and all the ridiculous things he'd say.
Or they'd be in the middle of making dinner or about to watch a movie and would invite me to stay and hang out. Sometimes Matt's sister would come by with a friend or two and we'd all just sit at the little 4-person table and talk about life.
Someone at the wedding said something along the lines of, "You two bring so much peace. Even if I just see one of you from across campus, I feel like everything's okay." I agree 100% with that statement. They are so rooted in who they are in Christ and that just shone through in every aspect of their relationship since day one. Not long after they started dating, I was talking to Kerin about something relationship-related - can't remember what it was specifically - and she said, "We want our relationship to be about others. We want anyone who hangs out with us to feel included and important and to feel that God loves them."
And let me tell y'all, they nailed it. There aren't a ton of times that I can pinpoint a specific person and say, "You showed me how God loves." Kerin and Matt are two of those people. Their relationship with each other and those around them is so loving and gentle, so patient, so selfless, so pure and sincere. They're the kind of people who make you want to better know His heart, because if a person can love the way they do, how does God love? They're the kind of people the world needs. And now they're married and the world is a better place because of it.