Rachel & Eric | Married: Brevard, North Carolina

“No one will be looking at me, and I’m okay with that.”

These were some of the first words Eric said to Rachel once he turned around and saw her standing in her wedding gown for the first time. His words will stick with me forever. Eric’s reaction wasn’t sappy, overdone, or fake for the sake of being sweet – the emotions were so raw that I found myself willing myself not to cry while trying to work. The way he couldn’t take his eyes off of her and how he literally stood there in awe of how beautiful she looked…it was perfect and I’m privileged to have gotten to witness love that pure. Eric’s nerves seemed to fade as soon as he caught sight of his bride and it was as though they were the only two people standing atop Rich Mountain that moment. I will never forget his excitement for her. Getting to know this couple and their families over the past few months has been a blessing, in the strongest sense of the word.

Sometimes, without even knowing it, clients make such a difference in your life and even change its course. Before their June wedding, I had been strongly considering making a switch in my business and photographing only children, families, and seniors, cutting out all weddings once my 2014 season ended. The long hours, the stress and responsibility, the traveling every weekend…I wasn’t sure I was up for it anymore. Rachel and Eric’s wedding reminded me why I love love. It renewed my belief that weddings are a celebration. You don’t have to have 25 bridesmaids, an appearance on “Say Yes to the Dress,” a honeymoon trip to Fiji, and a $200,000 budget to prove you’re in love. Real love is evident in the simplest of ways and is a truly grand thing. It’s an honor to get to capture that sort of thing, and until I spent all day celebrating Rachel and Eric’s love, I had lost sight of that. I had forgotten how rewarding it can be.

Rachel and Eric,

Thank you. Thank you for changing my course and for trusting me with your day. For reminding me why I love what I do. Thank you for your selflessness, for making sure I was comfortable and putting everyone else’s needs in front of yours. You both are two of the kindest people I’ve ever met and I hope every Nashville road trip Tom and I take from here out includes a visit with you two. And Foz, of course. Thank you.

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Above all things, have intense and unfailing love for one another.

Romans 12:10