Quinn + Amanda // 8.4.18

I guess you could say I'm the most blessed photographer... here I am, a day later, posting another wedding from this weekend.. and yet again, it's the wedding of such a special friend! I've known Amanda since we were kids and her family moved to Ankeny and began serving at the church I grew up at. I remember the week before her family's first service and the pastor's wife came up to me and was telling me about how the new youth and music pastor would be starting soon and that they had 3 kids, and one of those kids was a girl my age. I remember being nervous to meet her-- I wanted to make a good impression and wanted a new friend! The church had a welcome dinner for Amanda's family and I remember meeting Amanda and her brother and older sister. After that, the rest is history-- we've been friends ever since, and I'm so blessed.  The last couple days as I've been going through her pictures I've been reflecting on some of my favorite memories with her.  I remember singing Hannah Montana with her (or.. her singing and me trying to sing! haha) in the classrooms and singing in front of the church together and hanging out and having sleepovers and talking about boys-- she always was good at staying up late and I would get so sleepy so fast! I've always felt so comfortable just spending time with her.  I remember Amanda and I were sitting in lawn chairs watching fireworks when I first heard about Quinn. I was apprehensive and mildly protective but excited to the point of giddiness for her. She had never been in love before and I had pretty high standards for her guy-- it didn't take long before I could see how clearly they just clicked. He was her first love, and he couldn't have been a more perfect fit for my friend. This wedding was so dear to my heart. Not only is Amanda my friend, but her family is my family. I love them all so much, and I'm so thankful God brought them into my life! 

The day started at the Big Biscuit where the bridal party enjoyed a big breakfast (see what I did there?!). Then everybody drove to New Vision Church of the Nazarene in Raymore, Missouri where all the preparations began. Quinn and his guys got ready in the back room and it was so fun to hear them joking, talking in goofy accents, and just having a good time. Quinn's mom came in and put on his boutonniere as one of his groomsmen joked about chest hair and everybody cracked up. Shortly after he was ready, Quinn had a first look with his grandpa-- it was such a special moment!  

Amanda was calm and collected as her friend applied her makeup.  I remember being struck by her beauty- just sitting there in comfy clothes, not even in her wedding dress yet, and drop dead gorgeous. Amanda snuck into a separate room with her mom and sister to put on her dress, and she took my breath away! She shared joyful, teary-eyed moments with the two of them before walking out to where her bridesmaids were waiting for her. After a sweet first look with her dad, we spent some time finishing up pictures before going in to get ready for the ceremony. 

The ceremony was incredibly personal and was also a beautiful act of worship. On top of the traditional ring exchange, Quinn and Amanda both spoke handwritten vows to each other before singing, sharing communion, and being prayed over by their families. It was evident that Quinn and Amanda's love isn't just about them, but also about their Lord. 

After the ceremony, the bridal party drove to MidAmerica Nazarene University (both Quinn and Amanda just graduated from there) where their wedding reception was held in Bell Cultural Events Center-- a building special to Quinn and Amanda's time in college, where they both spent so much time with music and theater. Their centerpieces were props from various shows that are important to the two of them and SO creative! One of my favorite parts.. breakfast for dinner! The fastest flapjack flippers in the world made pancakes (SO fun and SOOOOO good!), and there was biscuits, gravy, and sausage-- complete with cinnamon rolls for dessert! Emotion-filled toasts were shared by Gabe and Emily, first dances were danced, and then Amanda and Quinn and I spent some time taking pictures before the shoe game was played. At the very end, their  guests cheered and sent off Quinn and Amanda to the sweet melody of bells. 

My heart is so full this weekend. I hope these pictures show a glimpse of their love, and make you feel the joy of their day.