Danielle + Natalie
Where to start.
The beginning of any good story, most times starts with a lesson.. but this story is about friends and love.
I received a message from Danielle in late June about her wedding in August. She mentioned it was going to be at her home in Goodells. Have I ever mentioned that I am a sucker for back yard weddings? They are probably my absolute favorite, probably because I get to be outside all day. I can't help wanting to be around or in the woods. Summer and Fall come and go way too fast in Michigan and they are my favorite times of the year.. so it's just natural I want to feel every moment of them.
Danielle and I set up the consultation, in which I was invited to her home. I asked what her fiance's name was, I would need to know his name when meeting. " Her name is Natalie". " I forgot to mention, I am marrying a woman, I hope that is ok? " was Danielle's reply. First off, my heart did a back flip and pounded in my chest. This would be my first same sex wedding! Second, I felt like a total jerk because I had assumed her fiancé was a man. We laughed it off, thank God Danielle and Natalie are incredibly laid back. I won't ever make that mistake again.
The next week we had the consultation, and the three of us ended up talking for hours, I wanted to know all about their love story. They met at a private Christian school and this February will be 6 years together. Danielle proposed to Natalie in the middle of winter at Boyne Resort on the balcony of their hotel with a Pandora charm, a ring in a box. She said she wanted to give Natalie the freedom to choose her own ring. We talked so much that I ended up staying for dinner, made my Danielle's sister. I'm not even sure what the chicken dish was called but it's one of my new favorites. I felt like I had reconnected with two long lost best friends.
Wedding Day was nothing short of incredible. We watched the weather forecast which was calling for rain, like it had already for 90% of my weddings already this year. We were prepared, with the love of the universe, nothing was stopping this unity. Danielle and Natalie were surrounded by those that love them most. Every single friend and family member that was present was helping and all of the details were coming together. I found myself staring off into the tree scape behind the ceremony set up. Though the forecast was calling for rain, there was nothing but blue skies and a comfortable breeze.
A few last touches with make up and wedding dresses, because it was time to begin. I felt like part of the family, and ready to capture the magic. I can't explain the emotions I started to feel through the ceremony besides the many tears I was trying to hold in. Natalie's vows to Danielle were some of the most beautifully written words I have ever heard, and that is an understatement. They weren't just uniting into a family of two, but a family of three. Natalie's daughter Destiny was gaining another mother.
The day was more than I could have imagined. We played in the woods and fields, ate the most delicious food by Jessica Phillips of Creme Fraiche Catering. Her simple and beautiful almond pound cake with honey cream cheese frosting and layered peach and tripled berry preserves was the cake of the season. I was in love with everything happening around me. The organic feel was mesmerizing and the love was overwhelming. I couldn't have asked for a better couple to share this experience with.