I was so excited to be back with Dustin & Sara, I think we figured out it had been around a year since we shot their amazing engagement session! Such a long time! Sara was BEAMING with excitement when I saw her! Their day was here! Dustin was making his way to The Barn at the Meadows in Orrville, such a unique and beautiful venue!
Sara’s two piece dress was incredible!!!! Fit her perfectly and the detail on the top were absolutely stunning!! The bridesmaids wore dusty blue dresses from davids bridal. I swear dusty blue is the color of the year and I am here for it!! The guys wore amazing gray suits from Men’s Warehouse!
We had an incredible day of sunshine and warm weather. Not a cloud in the sky! I’ve been so grateful for couples who step out of the box, Sara & Dustin wanted to read letters and pray together so we incorporated those moments by putting them back to back for their first look. Allowed them to read each other’s letters where they would simultaneously laugh and acknowledge where the other was in the letter based off their expressions. They held hands and Dustin began to pray for them. His voice quivering at times as emotions were strong.
As they stepped apart to get their first look, it was like her beauty stopped him. His excitement quickly picked up pace and he just couldn’t believe it! Sara is a natural beauty- she doesn’t need to be all dolled up nor does she wear much makeup usually. She chose to go all out for her bridal look and it. was. amazing and blew Dustin’s mind! He had some of the best facial expressions i’ve seen to date!
As we were taking some bridal portraits I had arranged for their friends to sneak surprise them and it was perfect!! Such a good group to be surrounded by! You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with and so seeing all of my couples with their friends makes perfect sense! Your friends are the greatest compliment to who you are– choose wisely! Dustin & Sara most certainly did!
Their ceremony was the greatest representation of who Sara & Dustin are. It was inspiring, different, and most importantly purposeful. I’ve been thinking of how to explain this to you all since I drove away from that beautiful property. At the center of their lives is Christ. They do all things for him. They live every day trying best to serve him and I can tell you they did just that. I couldn’t help but chuckle at how many times Sara & Dustin would look out towards their family and friends almost in disbelief that they were their, they were getting married! They both were like two kids in a candy store- excitement oozing from them both, puddled at their feet.
A day that we so often say, “This is your day.” “It’s your wedding day” “It’s all about you”. Its essentially industry standard. I’ve said it, I probably say it every wedding. But that’s not even close to how Sara & Dustin viewed their day. It was never about them. It was always about Christ, and serving. This wasn’t your standard church wedding. There were no stain-glass windows, no echoing songs high into the ceilings. But he was present. He was present through these two. They brought all the things about church and praising, remembering Christ and brought it to the country side. I honestly think it worked in their favor. I’ve heard in other ceremonies, Father’s say- They make churches so pretty so that you have something to look at when you tune me out. But everyone was so focused on Sara & Dustin’s ceremony, no one was tuned out. Their Pastor said something along the lines that Dustin and Sara wanted to make sure this was expressed during their ceremony.
They wanted everyone in attendance that day to know that God desires a relationship with them. That Dustin & Sara wanted to help you start your walk with Christ. They devoted their ceremony to serve God in a way I had never experienced. The question was how can I best serve him? They vowed to be together, but more importantly they vowed to Keep God at the forefront, keep focusing on how to serve him best, but serve together as husband and wife. That was to spend their wedding encouraging others to being a journey with Christ, to be opened to sit down with their guest vs dancing if it meant helping someone to see God’s love. I walked away from their day knowing I need to be more purposeful in my daily life.
Sara told me what she loved most about her venue was the lush greens all around and wanted to do all of their portraits with them! So dreamy with the sun constantly poking through the trees!
As I listened to people toast’s about Sara & Dustin- it was obvious that they are inspirations to so many people. Sara’s sister was in tears most of the day, overwhelmed with love for her sister, her best friend. Sara’s hard working mindset, driven to a career of caring and helping people, it’s only natural she found Dustin who very much shares that same aspiration.
Dustin’s best man, Israel spoke about Dustin. He spoke about funny stories they shared, his undying love for the Cleveland Browns (bless his heart haha!). Israel spoke about Dustin, in a way that I have never heard a friend do. He talked about Dustin’s ability to overcome. I have spent less than 24 hours total in person with Dustin & Sara yet when Israel spoke those words, Overcomer- I thought, what a perfect description of him. And as Israel spoke, groomsmen nodded in agreement. You see, for those of you who don’t know Dustin- He now has a prosthetic leg due to an accident when he was younger. He’s in school for prosthetics and will one day soon help others facing the same challenges. Like Israel said- he is an overcomer. I began thinking about how God knows our life, our journey before we even enter the world. How God selects not only the person we want, the person we need, the person to compliment us. The person to push us, challenge us. The person who will stand beside you, hold your hand as you face trials in your life, so that you no longer face those alone. Someone to overcome with you. What an incredible gift.
I was thankful for the long drive home, a perfect time for reflection.
Glorifying God. It’s what he calls us to do, Glorify him to the best of our abilities in all that we do. That’s who Sara & Dustin are. Their love for Christ was evident, their love for people, “love thy neighbor” coveted those surrounding them that day, and i’m sure every day. They are purposeful in all they do and they do it for him. Thank you Sara & Dustin- for reminding me of so much and encouraging me to be better for him.