This is what love looks like.
As I went through and edited these photos, that is what kept running through my mind: this is what love looks like. I know that love looks different for every single person, but to me, Jake + Julia expressed what true love looks like throughout their entire wedding day. There were many happy tears, a lot of laughs, and most importantly it was a day centered on Jesus.
As you will quickly see in the photos, the day was also filled with rain... and not just a little rain; it poured for a good portion of the day. We were in Jake and Julia's hometown, but everyone else around the Grand Rapids area might remember it as the tornado day. Luckily, we didn't experience any tornadoes during Julia + Jake's day... just a lot of rain. The reason I bring up the rain is because it will always be a part of Julia + Jake's day. But my favorite part about the rain, is that Julia and Jake had absolutely no stress about the rain. They just went along with it and never complained about it all day. They didn't care that it was raining, because they were just happy that they were getting married and I absolutely loved that about both of them. Another really great part about the rain was the cute little greenhouse that we found down the street from the church to stay dry in and the amazing sunset that we experienced at the end of the night. Totally worth all of the rain!
A little backstory of Julia and Jake's relationship: Julia and Jake have known each other for a very long time. They were always acquaintances throughout high school and then become really great friends in college. Although, Jake is older than Julia and took off some time before attending college to work, Julia and Jake ended up attending the same college at the same time. They became very close friends but never dated. Julia was a roommate of mine in college and when she contacted me about her upcoming wedding, my first thought was "she has to be marrying Jake." I was right. Their paths kept crossing and they found out that they were truly meant for each other.
Some other highlights of the day were that Jake + Julia were married in both of their families church with Jake's dad as the pastor. It really made the entire ceremony meaningful. There weren't many dry eyes in the room (including myself). The salt ceremony was extremely emotional and Julia later told me it was her favorite part of the day. "My favorite part of the day was probably being able to see Jake for the first time and praying together. That probably sounds super cheesy, but I was so nervous and after we were able to see each other and pray and cry... I felt a lot better. I mean there was no one else I would have rather been up there with obviously, and being in front of the church with all the people we loved and cared about, standing there before God, was a pretty amazing feeling.”
Other amazing parts of the day were when Julia's brother sang a song at the reception that he wrote about Julia and Jake's relationship, all of the amazing homemade pies that were at each persons table to share, the huge variety of desserts that were all made by Julia and Jake's church family (as well as all of the food), the theme throughout the day of "as for us" which is from their favorite verse Psalm 73:24, and the earrings that Julia wore that were a gift from her sister that once belong to an important person who passed from their childhood.
"There was very little that wasn't meaningful. Maybe that sounds cliche, but we had so many people from the church and from my family helping us out. It was amazing." - Julia