I want to paint a picture for you of the morning of March 2nd, 2013, the day of Christen + Andrew’s wedding:

I walked out to my car at 9am to start loading up my equipment, and I had 3 layers of clothes on.  And gloves.  And a hat.  And a scarf.  And another scarf because somehow the wind was still finding it’s way into the back of my neck.  It was about 29 degrees, but with the wind chill it was closer to -12 degrees.  It was snowing, but the snow was moving sideways because of the wind, so it wasn’t sticking.  I spent about 5 minutes scraping the ice off my windshield.  I drove over to Southaven, MS, to the church Christen + Andrew were getting married in, with my heater on full blast.  I got out of the car and I immediately wanted to crawl back into it and cover myself up under my dog’s blanket in the back seat.  It was bitterly, bitterly cold.

Then I walked into the church, and in the first room I walked into I met Christen’s grandmother.  She introduced herself and gave me a little tour of the reception area, which she and other friends & family members had been decorating for a few days, and I immediately felt warmer – I promise, if you ever meet Christen’s grandmother you’ll feel like you’ve known her for years, she’s a very sweet lady.  Then I met Christen’s mom, who was just as kind and welcoming, and I felt a little warmer still.  After a quick walk around the grounds to get rid of any background cars, I went into the bridal room and met the bridal party, all of whom were friendly and sweet.  That bitter cold from just an hour before was already a distant memory.  We went outside several times during the course of the day for portraits, and although it was still freezing outside, I couldn’t feel it anymore – everyone had been so friendly and welcoming that the warmth of the wedding, the feeling of love that was almost tangible, made the cold wind an afterthought.  It was an incredible day, and I was thrilled to share it with Christen + Andrew, who are equally incredible people!

Yeah, see the snow?  Christen was a trooper all day!

These guys were a lot of fun – a lot!

Christen and her dad had a first look too, and it was really sweet.

Christen has been keeping a journal about her relationship with Andrew for a long, long time – she got to share it with him for the first time on their wedding day.  How flippin sweet is that?!

My favorite part of any wedding day, the moment they see each other for the first time.  There’s really nothing like it.

Weddings are fun for photographers when the bridesmaids and groomsmen are fun too – they all made this wedding a lot of fun for me, thanks!

Christen’s “something old” was her great-grandfather’s pocket watch, which she had wrapped around her flowers – adorable.

Christen’s bridesmaids praying with her just a few minutes before she walked down the aisle.

Whew… there weren’t many dry eyes in the room when Christen finally came down the aisle, it was such a sweet, sweet moment.

They’d all braved the cold so often during the day, and never once complained – I thought they’d earned a shot in coats and comfy shoes!

Christen + Andrew, thanks for letting me share your day and document it for you.  It was such a thrill to be there, you two are an amazing couple, and I can’t wait to see how you change the world!