Vanessa is one of the most faithful, loyal, supportive friends I have. We’ve been friends for years now (can’t even remember when or how we met)… the kind of friends that live in different States and don’t really do phone calls, but whenever there’s a chance to see each other face-to-face, it’s a deep, really, heart-to-heart, chocolate-eating, side-aching-laugh kind of friendship.
We shared a lot together— joys, pains, counsel, awkward boy moments, hopes, disappointments. Vanessa was one of those women that I thought, “For crying out loud, why is she still single???” I knew she wanted to be married, to make a home, to provide support and stability for a good husband, and she’s the kind of woman that anyone would want to spend life with (just saying). But… she was single.
I visited Vanessa a couple of years ago, and as we sat on the floor of her room eating chocolate and talking about life, she mentioned a name to me. “Tim Collins. We have a few mutual friends on Facebook, and we somehow ended up friends, and started talking. It’s just… interesting.” I started to hope… and so did she… and so did he. And then they met. And I got excited. Friendship turned into dating, dating turned into love, love turned into an engagement ring. And I cried, because for the first time ever, Vanessa had someone to care for her and love her, and the waiting was worth it. When they asked me to shoot their wedding, I cried again, because I couldn’t imagine a greater privilege. When I shared their vows and their first kiss last October, I cried again— I’ve never before stood in a wedding ceremony and so clearly felt the weight of this is good, this is right, this is as God meant it to be. I was happy beyond words.
Aaaaaand I cried again, just this week, while sorting through their pictures for this blog post. It still holds that sweetness and joy for me.
Tim & Vanessa waited for each other. It was hard, but they chose to hold off for the right person instead of settling for something less. They were each others’ firsts, in every way. After the ceremony, after the reception, after the goodbyes, Tim, Vanessa, & I found a park nearby to take a few sunset / goldenhour portraits of the two of them. Towards the end of that session, Tim took Vanessa in his arms and looked her straight in the eye and said, “I waited 29 years to kiss a girl. It was worth every moment of waiting. I couldn’t be happier. It was worth it.”
Tim & Vanessa, I’m so grateful for the two of you. So grateful for your faithfulness, for the way you chose to make hard decisions, and to love God more than your own wants or desires. I’m grateful for your story, and grateful for the way that you continue to encourage me to live well. Thanks for your friendship. Love you SO MUCH.
Vanessa, surrounded by little girls, as usual.
Vanessa is known for her love for shoes. So of course she had two pair of wedding shoes!!
Vanessa is an avid journaler. One of my favorite moments of the day is this image on the right— where she stole away by herself for a few minutes to journal about her wedding day, that day that she waited and prayed for for so long.
Not every guy pulls off a tux well. Tim Collins? He should give lessons on tuxedo-wearing. Just saying .
Prepping for the “First Look.”
Doing a First Look allowed us time for good Bride & Groom shots, as well as family and bridal party shots before the ceremony. Vanessa is a photographer herself, and was crazy about the First Look idea, even before I mentioned it. She did a great job planning the wedding day schedule to include appropriate time for pictures, but keeping plenty of time for visiting with friends, family, and guests, as well.
I was honored to have Maria Davey along as a second shooter. Thanks for snapping this picture of me, friend! Crazy bridal party posing, here.
Pre-ceremony time with bride & flowergirls!
Vanessa’s dad married them. How sweet is that??
FAVORITE PICTURE OF THEM!!!!
Love you, friends!!!