April 28, 2020
2020 is looking nothing like we expected and couples all over the world are being forced to make tough decisions about their weddings. Katie and Aaron made the very difficult choice to move forward with their original wedding date, knowing that only 10 people could be in the church, including themselves. This decision was especially hard given that Katie comes from a very large and close knit family, with many of those family members living locally. They would be in town but unable to attend the wedding…how incredibly heartbreaking.
It was our desire to help make Katie and Aaron’s wedding day as normal and special as possible. We treated every aspect of the day as we normally would, from getting ready and details to the ceremony and the portraits. And what a joyous beautiful day for a wedding. Though rain had been on the forecast, the day turned out to be warm, sunny with big puffy white clouds in the sky! When we arrived at Katie’s parents’ house, she was sitting at the dining room table, getting her hair and makeup done and on Facetime! Her cousin had planned an amazing surprise for her wedding day morning: Facetime calls with all her dear friends and family who couldn’t be there to celebrate. She was serenaded with songs and people prayed with her, asking God to bless the couple and their marriage. Katie had been a missionary in Haiti for 10 years and one of her calls was with the kids from the orphanage. The kids were passing the phone around, all commenting on how beautiful she looked! Katie spoke to them in Haitian Creole, which she learned while living there for 10 years! It was amazing to hear her speak so fluently in another language!
The Nuptial Mass was at Holy Family Catholic Church in Steubenville, OH which was Katie’s home parish growing up. The Mass was live streamed with the help of a friend (thank you so much Matt!) so they had excellent quality video and audio for their friends to enjoy from home. The wedding was beautiful, filled with tears of joy and so many smiles! Their vows brought tears to my eyes as they spoke their wedding promises to one another, through tender tears. Another amazing moment from the Mass was Aaron receiving his First Holy Communion…at his wedding! He was supposed to receive it at the Easter Vigil Mass but since all Masses had been suspended, that had to be postponed as well. Thankfully they worked it out and he was able to receive Jesus on his wedding day!
After the Mass, there was another surprise! Local family and friends gathered outside in the parking lot with balloons and signs. Katie and Aaron were so surprised as they walked out of the church to the sound of cheers and honking horns. One of the sweetest moments was when the family began to sing “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran and the couple danced together in the parking lot.
We ended our time with Katie and Aaron by taking some beautiful portraits in a special place for Katie. She mentioned to me that she had always envisioned her wedding day portraits in this clearing of tall pine trees near the local Catholic cemetery. When we arrived there was this grassy hillside, speckled with dandelions that overlooked the city of Steubenville. I saw that the sun was hidden behind a big puffy cloud so we took advantage of this hillside which made for stunning images. It would normally be in harsh midday light, but thanks to those puffy clouds, we had the perfect diffused light! Once the sun peeked back out from the clouds we went to the clearing of trees. I told Katie that “this totally looks like the setting for elopement pictures” and we joked that this almost seemed like an elopement! After their portraits we said our goodbyes and they headed off to their weeklong honeymoon in Amish country!
Katie and Aaron, thank you so much for including us in your wedding day. It was truly an honor to serve you and we can’t express just how EXCITED we are for you that you are finally married!! Your wedding day was so blessed, even given the circumstances, and we hope that you felt all the love and prayers for you throughout the day! Enjoy reliving your special day through your wedding day blog post!!
Laura and Matthew
Check out Katie and Aaron’s engagement session HERE
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