From start to finish this day was filled with moments that make you stop and have to wipe away tears, catch your breath, or just smile. Whether these moments were planned or a surprise, there was so much thought put into every detail. We photographed this day at the beautiful Overlook in Kent, Ohio, however there were times throughout the day when we felt we could be in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and these two were a real life Jim and Pam…only better.
Without fail, while photographing weddings, Erin tends to shed a few more tears than Brit, but this particular wedding was a little closer to Brit’s heart. Over the years Brit’s family has been intertwined with Sam’s, and Brit has been able to watch Sam grow into the remarkable woman that she is. There are moments in every wedding we shoot, whether we’ve known you for a lifetime or have come to love you during your wedding process, that touch our hearts. As parents of young children, it’s often moments between a father and his daughter or a mom and her son that really give us all the feels. But on this particular day, it seemed every 15 minutes there was a new reason for us to be quickly wiping tears from our eyes as we captured these images.
While we could sit and write out their blog like a modern day fairytale novel, we thought it best to present it like a picture book. Be sure to read along as you fall in love with their images.
The sweet momma of the bride was a busy bee all morning long, and getting her to sit still long enough for Sam to surprise her with this gift was a chore. So what better time to do so than when she finally sat down to get her hair done.
Many of you will recognize the quote from the book, Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. A household favorite of many parents, but to these two it’s extra special. The book is now worn after many years of use, complete with teeth marks from their dog who has passed. This book will always be a treasure to them and continues to be read even still to the flower girl, Sammi’s niece!
Sammi waited patiently to put her jewelry on while her mom ‘appeared’ to be busy. What she didn’t know was that her Momma, Vicki had collected pieces she wanted to surprise Sammi with; pieces that were gifts to Vicki from loved ones who are gone from this life. They live on through the legacies they left, memories held dear, and cherished heirlooms passed down.
On this wedding day of October 2nd, 2020 Sammi became Sammi Taylor. But before her husband, Jacob Taylor was part of her story, a different chapter of her fairytale unfolded. A fairytale about a man who chose not only to love her mom, but Sammi as well. On February 23, 2015, Matt became her dad by name, even though he had filled that role long before, and Sammi became Sammi Reed.
A gift of the most unique kind was given by Sam’s mom, Vicki to Jacob. Her father carried this lighter while in the navy. He proposed to Anita Gauthier née Sparks the night of her senior prom and had to leave for service soon after. You can see his initials “RJG” carved into the top of the lighter. Anita is in the photo below, and not present is Sammi’s grandfather who passed away in late 2019. This lighter was found by Vicki and Anita one day after he passed, and while the initials are easily seen, it wasn’t until that day that they noticed her name “Anita Sparks” was also carved onto it. While he may have been present in body on this day, there were many moments that were a nod to the man he was.
Vicki wrote to Jacob, “I believe with all my heart that he treasured his bride, just as you treasure Sam.”
“You just need a little glitter.”
Sammi’s dear friend Katherine passed away of cancer in 2007. She was only 13, but her impact on Sammi’s life will resonate forever. Katherine’s motto, “You just need a little glitter” was conducted as Sammi made sure to add a little glitter before walking down the aisle.
“My grandpa brought me a yellow rose when I was 13. He did it for all the girls. I remember he brought one to me when we were living at our old house. It’s such a vivid memory. I can see the warm lights on his jacket; it was snowy because I’m a January baby. His jacket was cold against my face when he hugged me. I still have that yellow rose and a yellow rose from his funeral flowers.”
Sammi wanted to have a yellow rose in her bouquet for the wedding day, but when her flowers arrived she was sad to see the rose was not included. A little later in the day her grandma arrived, yellow rose in hand, to give to Sammi. Jacob’s father carefully placed the yellow rose in the bouquet for her. It was a meaningful addition that couldn’t have been more perfect.
The care Sammi and Jacob have towards those around them are testaments to the way they were raised. Their families both shared their joy and excitement for their union with us. Jacob and Sammi are both kind and genuine people. All these sentiments made for a picture-perfect day, however, nothing can compare to way they look at one another.
You can see the safety they feel in each other’s arms, and the deep love and admiration they have for one other. They share the kinds of looks you think can only be staged in movies, with the perfect song playing in the background, and the lighting just right to catch the twinkle. But for them, it just happens naturally.