Thursday, October 8, 2015

John-Clay and Sarah: wedding! :D {jacksonville, il wedding photographer}



John-Clay and Sarah's wonderful, happy, not-hot (what a blessing!! Haha) August wedding is here for y'all to enjoy :D.


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I had never met John-Clay, Sarah, or any of their friends and family before, but we had mutual friends and I knew they were going to be great (talking on the phone with sweet Sarah before the big day convinced me of that!). And what could be more fun then the day starting out with one of his sisters sketching her brother and soon-to-be-sister-in-law on the marker board?! :D

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The wedding took place at Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church in Jacksonville, IL. Aren't their chairs pretty? Not your typical :).

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Their decorations were so simple and lovely :).
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This is how John-Clay and Sarah's wedding rings were going to be carried down the aisle :D.

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So, as to not disturb them, I just set her engagement ring with them :).

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I loved her purple colors with the green accents :D.

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And her wedding dress was just so sweet; perfect for her :D.

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And so it began :).

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John-Clay's mother is an excellent seamstress and did some last minute adjustments for Sarah's dress :D.

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John-Clay and Sarah's wedding
 Her bridesmaids were sisters of hers and his and they all got along really well :D.

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Then the bride herself arrived and her Mom did her makeup; sweet! :D

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I love their faces here. Haha :D

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And there's my faithful, introvert-who-did-amazing-amongst-complete-strangers Amanda friend helping one of the girls :). You seriously were such a help; thank you dearest <3 :).

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:D

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Adorable :)

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Happy bride eating her lunch. Hehe :D.

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Loved their bridesmaid dresses :D
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This is one of Sarah's brothers, Josiah, working on his speech :).

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Her two other brothers were ring bearers :).

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Gorgeous, Sarah :D. She was one happy bride :).

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And John-Clay was one happy groom! :D

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Precious moment :D.

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The guys finished getting ready down the hall from the girls :).

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The waiting, almost here... :D

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His closest guys kept him laughing. Haha :D.

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Sister visit :D.

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Anticipation building. Hehe :D.

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John-Clay: "Sarah wanted someone to check my hair." Haha. It got approved :).

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As we waited for everyone to gather to head out for portraits, this cute little nephew of John-Clay's toddled amongst us, then plopped down for this adorable picture opportunity. Hehe :D.

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We drove down the road to Community Park for the portraits :D. It was the perfect location!

John-Clay and his family :D. Don't they look great?

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First son to get married! :D

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Loved seeing how close these siblings were and how much fun they had :D. They really love their brother :).

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Then it was time for just the guys. Super cool, John-Clay!

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One of John-Clay's brothers and his best man: Caleb Burnett :).

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His other brother: Benjamin Burnett :D.

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Had to get him and his dad :D.

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One of Sarah's brothers y'all met earlier: Josiah Ferraro :).

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John-Clay's brother in law and father of the adorable nephew: Dustin Dornink :).

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John-Clay's good friend: Wayne Fagala :).

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And lastly, another one of John-Clay's good friends: Alex Lerma :).

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They were a great group :D.

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Happy, well dressed guys :D.

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Me: "Is there anything else you'd like to do?"
John-Clay: "Could..we do like a band picture?"

Haha, of course :D.

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Then the guys headed back and the sweet, little bride and her ladies arrived for their turn :D.

Radiant! :D

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Lovely :D.

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Sarah and her family! :D Great picture, y'all :D.

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First daughter to get married! :D

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Sarah and her siblings :D. They look up to her and love her so much :D.

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One of Sarah's sisters and maid of honor: Anna Ferraro :D.
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Another sweet sister: Bethany Ferraro :D

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Another dear sister: Grace Ferraro :D

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Then another precious sister: Maria Ferraro :D

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And the last of her sisters and her adorable flower girl: Elena Ferraro! :D

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Then one of John-Clay's sisters (Dustin's wife): Hannah Dornink :D
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And lastly, John-Clay's other sister: Abbie Burnett :D
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They looked stunning! :D

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Such beautiful, joyful ladies :D.

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:D

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Love it :D

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Then it was time to hurry back and get ready for the ceremony!! :D

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John-Clay and Sarah's wedding18

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And hey!! For those who saw "War Room", the usher to the left, Andrew Hurt, played one of the soldiers in the first scene!! Too cool!!

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Their musicians did a fantastic job :).

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Sweet :D

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The sword is for something in a minute :D

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He sees his darling :).

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:D :D

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:) :)

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Sarah's dad gave a special charge to John-Clay encouraging him to continue to fight the good fight of faith :).

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:)

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:D

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<3

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Love this one <3 :)

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:D

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Sarah surprised John-Clay with their wedding party and the rest of their siblings singing a blessing song to them before they were pronounced man and wife :D.

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"You may now kiss the bride!" :D

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Cuuuute :D

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They had a sweet and joyous receiving line afterwards :D

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:D :D

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Mr. Burnett. Haha.

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The stories shared. Hahaha :D.

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:)

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Look at them :D. They're married :D :D.

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Haha :D

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:)

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They can finally join them in this. Haha :D

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We headed back to the park for the rest of the portraits and my lovely friend was my light testing model :).

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Wedding party! :D

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Love it. Hahaha :D

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Happy happy friends :D

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Haha :D

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:D

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Best friends :D

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So beautiful and hilarious at the same time. Hahaha.

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Time for the new Mr. and Mrs. Burnett and their love story :D.

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(as told by Sarah)

"Growing up, my dream was to marry a man who deeply loved God and had a vision to proclaim Christ to a watching world. In 2012, I started volunteering for an international missions organization, running their communications department from home. In 2014, I travelled on a ministry film project and then recommended John-Clay Burnett (who I had met briefly four years earlier) as an editing supervisor. He came to our house in July to run the post-production week. I enjoyed working with him and knew that we had a lot in common.
In October, I finished the films and a new website for the ministry. I realized that ever since John-Clay had been on the project, he had supported and helped in a lot of little ways.

At the beginning of November, we went to visit the Burnett family for what I thought was a casual family visit. We played games, sang songs, and had family devotions. I pulled myself away from the group multiple times that weekend to pray.
'Lord, I won’t be distracted by him.'

For the next five months, I prayed that prayer again and again. A few times, I almost accidentally discovered that we shared a favorite song, interest, or belief. At those moments, I sat at my desk and almost cried.
'God, what are You doing?'
  
John-Clay was a member of our media team for summer 2015. I spent hours on the phone planning with him. His help in leading the project was a huge encouragement to me. In February he came to a project planning meeting at our house. During that visit I realized, 'John-Clay fits really well with our family.' I was definitely distracted!
 


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In March, my sisters and I attended a film festival where John-Clay was teaching. I ended up attending most of his sessions and spending some time with his family. On our way home, we stopped at the Burnett’s house. After that trip, I wrote in my journal, 'To one who has been an encouragement. I want to say thank you to God for [him]. I don’t know what the future holds. I just wanted to say I am grateful.' I asked the Lord to either take away my interest in him, or allow something to happen.
At the beginning of April, my parents talked with me and Daddy said, 'John-Clay asked to court you with the intention of marriage.' I laid my head on Mom’s shoulder and cried. God is so good! I said yes. A few days later, John-Clay and I talked for three hours, discussing our beliefs. I spent a lot of time in prayer over the next two days, and the Lord directed me to Proverbs 20:6, 'Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness, but a faithful man, who can find?' I had observed the testimony of John-Clay’s life, and knew he was a faithful man.
 

Tuesday came, and we talked about the relationship so far. I said that there were only a few major things I wanted to discuss before I was ready to move forward. We discussed those things. After that, John-Clay asked, 'Just to clarify, have you finished your list?' I said I had.

We had a few more Skype calls that week. The next Monday, he was supposed to be attending a conference. However, I was sitting in my office at home when John-Clay walked down the stairs! We spent the week talking face-to-face. After he left, I wanted one more confirmation that it was God’s will to say yes when he asked me to marry him. I begged the Lord to show me. I wouldn’t move forward without God’s presence.

As I sought His direction, I realized that the Lord wanted John-Clay and I to face the rest of life together. God was calling me to stand by his side for the rest of our days.
 

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For my birthday, I told John-Clay not to come because I had rehearsal and a symphony concert for most of the day. However, on Friday evening, my mom and sister returned from a trip to Texas and John-Clay walked in the door with them! After the concert, I went to Oklahoma to visit his family. He was supposed to drive me halfway home and then friends were going to pick me up. As we passed the exit, he said, 'I’m coming back to Illinois with you.' I was so overwhelmed and surprised. The verse came to mind- 'Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father….' In that moment, I accepted this 'gift' named John-Clay as 'good and perfect' and from the Father. 


We drove into town and John-Clay wanted to take a walk before we went home. I didn’t think he had a ring, but wondered when he opened the trunk before he came and opened my door. For twenty minutes, we walked. He started saying how much he appreciated me. We were standing side by side, overlooking the lake, when he said, 'I have decided that I want to spend the rest of my life with you, for the glory of God and the gospel.' I turned, and he was on one knee, with a diamond ring. 'Will you marry me?' With tears in my eyes, I joyfully and wholeheartedly said yes.
God’s hand is in this story. I could not have asked for a man as wonderful as John-Clay. His love for the Lord, the Word, the people of God, family, and so much more, continues to amaze me. God truly brought me a faithful man.
In a couple of months, I will be his wife. I look forward to serving Christ by his side, for the rest of my days, for the 'glory of God and the gospel.' "

And now she is and it truly is glorious :D

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John-Clay and Sarah's wedding20

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:D

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This gazebo was such a fun addition to the pictures!

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This was a personal request from Sarah 'cause she loved the picture of Jase and Rebekah's dip on one of the business cards I had sent her with their contract; so fun :D.

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:D

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They look good together :D.

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John-Clay and Sarah's wedding21

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The simple little touches :) <3

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Dreamy :D

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Better together :) :D

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:D :D

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He got pretty dizzy, but it was worth it. Haha :D.

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John-Clay and Sarah's wedding22

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Joy :D

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<3

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I love the color and warmth :D

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:) <3

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Enchanting :D :D

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The wedding party had this idea to line up and have John-Clay run through them as they all sang this song loudly and it was fantastic :D :D.

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"I can't see me lovin' nobody but you
 for all my liiiiife!

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When you're with me, 
baby, the skies will be blue
 for all my liiiiife!"

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Yeah, a ukulele was involved :D :D.

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Then we drove out to the BEAUTIFUL Andras Farm for their reception!! :D Because of shortage of time, we weren't able to take portraits here, but I was able to run out in this and wave my arms in the air, spin around a bit, and "aaaaaah!!" because of the breathtakingness of it all before I had to run back in to capture their entrance. Haha.

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This barn made a fanTAStic reception!! They use it for auctions, so it's really nice inside :D. And of course they decorated it marvelously :D.
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I LOVED how their cakes were so simply decorated with these flowers :D.
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:D :D

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See those pieces of colored toast on the wall by the gifts? Those are there because John-Clay and Sarah say they go together like peanut butter and jelly; they even made t-shirts. How adorable?! :D

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As they waited to cut the cake...

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...they had an appetizer of wedding mints. Hehe :D


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Yay barbecue! :D

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:D

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Sweeeet. Hehe :D

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And the rest of the reception was filled with really special and fun speeches from people who really care about them :).

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After the speeches, they made a speech of their own and had a big bouquet out of flowers to give to the couple that had been married the longest :D.

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They asked couples to stand up who had been married so many amount of years and kept narrowing it down until...

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...her grandparents were the winners. Hehe :D

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"Fifty five years!" Hehe :D

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It was almost pitch black outside, so I brought out my video light and commissioned Amanda to hold it up as high as she could...but then one of the taller videographer assistants walked up and she got the job. Sorry, Amanda! Haha.

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Here they come! :D

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This was such a fun get away :D.

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Never to be parted from that day on :) :)

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Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Burnett!! I'm so glad I had already planned to visit Amanda and her husband which meant I was only 2 1/2 hours from Jacksonville! God works out things so well :D :D. It was such an honor to be y'all's photographer! Thank y'all again :D.

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With a smile,
{ Rachel Leigh }

4 comments:

Marianela said...

Great pictures, Rachel! I love their story, and the poses you did for them.

Kristen Dick said...

Great photography, Rachel!! I looked thru every single picture! Of course, you were capturing memories of some very precious people at a very special event and that held my interest, too! I enjoyed your captions along the way. The whole presentation of pictures here made me feel like I was able to attend when I wasn't able to because of the miles. Thank you!

Maggie Burnett said...

Great job, Rachel!!! You captured this day beautifully! I enjoyed "re-living" the day again.. it was SO much fun! =)
You're amazing!

Michele Ann Greene said...

What a happy, precious wedding day! It was fun to see the pictures,...you did a great job of capturing their joy!