East Port Marina, Peoria, IL- Krista and Josh, November 5, 2016

This is a wedding that I will always remember- in spite of all the weddings I shoot!


I’ve known Krista the bride for just a little bit.  She is a stylist with the salon that is housed in the first floor of my studio.  So I’ve seen her here or there- but never really gotten to know her too well as we’re both busy with our schedules!  Now when I think of her, I’m reminded of the phrase ‘be nice to everyone you meet because they may be fighting a harder battle than you.’ or something like that.  I’ve known Krista all this time and had no clue her dad was fighting a serious brain illness.


Krista texted me one Friday that she wanted some pricing on engagement photos.  I was at a wedding and had another wedding the next day- so told her I’d get back to her after the crazy weekend and she was great with that.  That was Friday morning.  Sunday, I texted a local makeup artist (Leiana of B.Loved…amazing!!) to see if I could schedule some makeup for my family pictures scheduled less than two weeks away on November 5.  Leiana replied with ‘well, I’m not sure because I’ll be doing Krista’s wedding that day.’  I was like, ‘wait…what?’  She just messaged me for engagement photos Friday!  That’s when Leiana told me that her dad has been battling this brain disease, and had just found out that he needed another surgery quickly- and surgery had been scheduled for November 7- so Krista had decided to get married November 5 so that her dad could be there before the surgery and the recovery.  13 days.  This girl was planning a wedding in 13 days.  Most of my couples plan for well over 13 months.  My heart broke for her.


My first question to Leiana was rather or not she had a photographer.  Leiana didn’t know.  I knew in my head the answer was probably no because we book out so far in advance.  But I knew that this girl and this family deserved to have their day and these precious moments with each other documented- and I wanted to be the one to do it.  I FULLY believe that God blesses us with gifts and talents to use FOR THE GOOD OF OTHERS.  Sure, this business brings in an income that supports my family.  But if there is ever a time where I feel God puts a situation in front of me where the gifts he has blessed me with can be used for someone else- um…yeah, I’m on that.  I texted Krista and told her that Leiana had told me of her upcoming wedding, and if she needed a photographer, I’d be there in a heartbeat, no monies exchanged.  Her text back was precious.  She called a few hours later and we both bawled on the phone.  I can’t imagine what this family is going through and I’m so, so happy I could be there to help.  A call to my photographer to postpone our family session and some childcare arrangements- and November 5 was officially open for me.


How does one plan a wedding in 13 days?  With the help of family and friends.  The week leading up to the wedding- the groomsmen were busy building flower boxes for the centerpieces.  The bridesmaids were making bouquets.   Krista and her mom and sister were buying wedding dresses and shoes and jewelry.  13 days.  Just think about all that goes into a wedding.  And the weekend before- their family hosted a huge benefit for their dad.  So- a benefit AND a wedding.  It’s amazing.


The day was perfect- from the people to the weather to the vows- just perfect.  Krista’s attitude led to that- she just kept saying ‘It’ll be fine.’  You have no idea how refreshing that is to hear.  We hear a lot of people FREAKING OUT the day of because the color of the flowers on the cake is slightly pink orange when it was supposed to salmon (or whatever).  Sometimes the attention to detail distracts from the meaning of the day to begin with.  Not Krista, and not this wedding.  Priorities were absolutely aligned and it was so incredible to be a part of.  We had all of the fun wedding moments as well.  Josh’s ring didn’t fit.  During bridal party pictures, an intoxicated (or just complete jerkface) man drove his boat out of the water and literally sped it at our bridal party and drove straight through the road where we were standing without stopping- causing the bridal party to scatter, wine glasses to shatter, and beer cans to go flying (see below).  Krista’s reveal to her dad was absolutely precious and ended with us all sobbing (see bridesmaids below!)  A beautiful ceremony, a few moments of couple pictures by the water, and then back to a reception where the parent dances have never felt quite so emotional.  And let’s be honest- Krista could have showed up rolling out of bed and she’d be stunning.  What a naturally beautiful girl!!!!!  AGH!


And can, for just one second, reflect on what kind of guy Josh is.  To watch a guy be by the side of a girl whose family is in so much pain and be there for her- yeah, definitely a keeper.  He’s funny too.  And he thinks I’m funny (I think).  Which makes him extra special:)


I continue to pray for this family and am just so, so thankful that God played his cards right and allowed me to be there for Krista and Josh and their families on this day!  I’m SO happy their gorgeous wedding full of family and love is documented for them.  It is WHY I do what I do.  Thank you for having me be a part:)


Love, Kara
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