zack + emily :: intertwined

The beautiful tension that led to this ceremony was breathtaking. With every moment that passed, there was a growing anticipation for the lifelong commitment Zack and Emily would make to each other. The air was cool, yet saturated with careful prayer. The sun was gently shining through the leaves of each tree, cascading warm rays of light that fell on each soul.

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As a photographer, I couldn’t think of a more intimate encounter with a person than capturing a wedding ceremony. Each wedding day is a manifestation of the most vulnerable moments of a life. As the time passed in preparation, a longing to speak with Zack welled up inside Emily’s heart. Tears rolled down her makeup as his soft voice spoke through the phone. Each word quieted her spirit and brought peace to the chaos of the moment.

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For Emily, slipping into a gorgeous wedding gown was filled with overwhelming emotions of shame. Her journey to this place was marred with dreadful self-hatred. In an attempt to overcome the false image she had of herself, she was overwhelmed with bulimia. Bearing the image of her own body brought with it a burden that fell down her face in tears too heavy to hide. Each button of her gown was a reminder of the past pain she endured.

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These negative thoughts have built a wall around her heart for years. However, one person could speak into the darkness and call forth her beauty. His name was Zack and he was greatly anticipating the first moment he would see his beloved bride take the first step down the aisle.

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After much needed time with these sweet women who supported her journey through recovery, she found the courage to embrace this day. Each friend paused with her and prayed for peace to surpass all of our flawed understanding. And in this shaded yard, joy was embraced as they celebrated a Father’s ever-present love.

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Broken bread and spilled wine sat at the center of this ceremony. Patiently waiting to be consumed. And every step of the processional was an anticipation of the beauty that comes from partaking in this feast. Her wait for this moment was not in vain. It was fulfilled. Her roots were holding deeply to its foundation. The love of God, their community, and her recovery were unshakable.

Planted in this moment was a companion whose roots would forever be intertwined with hers. Gentle and still they swayed in the breeze. It was quiet as everyone embraced the same movement of wind.

As the ceremony ended, together we danced with smiles and laughter—deep belly laughs that rang through the wooden pews. Their separate lives have been eternally joined together.

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For in all the areas they lack, they now lack together.

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In all the moments they conquer, they now conquer together.

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In all the seasons they grieve, they now grieve together.

And in all the places they grow, they now grow together. At the end of the night, each person celebrated these deep roots with an air full of effervescent bubbles. They walked together, hand-in-hand embracing the full healing, humanity, relationship, and future that is now forever part of their story.