I got a text message from my high school friend Joanne a little over a week ago “Things took a turn for the worse.” Joanne’s mom has been battling lung cancer. Some of you might know Suzanne but for those of you that don’t I’ll try to sum her up for you. She is the kind of person you want to sit and talk to over coffee when you’ve had a bad day, you want her to take care of you when you aren’t feeling well, when you just really need a hug she’s the one you want to give it to you. She has one of the most warm, calming, loving, generous spirits you’ll ever encounter. And you can feel it right when she walks in the room.
When I got Joanne’s text my heart broke a little bit for her and her family. But then my heart was soaring too. I have never met a group of people who have dealt with something like this with such grace and love and gratitude. Plus the rest of the message was to tell me that her and her fiancé Adam were getting married on the 21st. Super intimate. Low key. Spur of the moment. Just a celebration of love between two people and their families.
Because a wedding doesn’t need to be about the floral arrangements or the invitations or how big the guest list is. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying those things are always bad. But what’s most important is that two people are committing to starting a life together. What’s most important is that the people who love them are there to witness it.
I got to Joanne’s parents’ house Saturday morning. It was perfectly foggy and still outside and Joanne and her family were calm and laid back while they got ready. Joanne was putting the finishing touches on her vows, her sister Katie was running to pick up flowers, Suzanne showed me the mantle and shelves Joe had built, and Joe put on a tie. Everyone was stress free and relaxed.
Once Joanne had decided that her and Adam would be getting married, she and Katie went on a hunt for a dress. They found one on a sale rack. Perfect style, perfect fit and hella gorgeous.
Can we all take a moment to appreciate this freaking ring? Have mercy!
Joanne and Adam had their ceremony at The Alexander House in Port Edwards. It's an art gallery and local history museum in our home town. It's an old house with tons of character, lots of cool little rooms, and some of the most rad wallpaper you've ever seen.
Any wedding that starts with snacks is pretty great in my book.
That wallpaper though!!! Be still my heart.
One of the coolest things about being friends with someone from adolescence into adulthood is that you know them. I mean you really know them. And you watch them grow up and become confident in who they are and they pursue their passion and they start building a life. And then they find their soul mate. And it’s the most amazing thing ever. You see them find someone who compliments them so well it’s hard to imagine that they ever existed without each other.
Joanne and Adam met and right away they eased into each other. They’ve fallen in love in the small, quiet, in-between moments over the past three years. They fell in love over the sushi dinners (sometimes multiple times a week), the netflix binges, listening to records, and taking their dog Yoko for walks. And that’s the way it’s supposed to happen. There are big moments in love, yes. But if you truly love someone, I think you really feel it in the little moments.
There are three states in the US where you can marry yourselves. Wisconsin is one of them. So you better believe Joanne and Adam did just that. And their ceremony was beautiful and personal and heartfelt and unique.
I trampled through the snow for this shot and had wet socks the rest of the day #worthit
And then Adam humored us and let us shoot the crap out of some portraits.
Can you say babe couple?? You ain't lookin too bad either Alexander House!
I don't even care that this photo isn't "technically" good. emotion > perfection