seeing as this is the last wedding i’m shooting as allison lewis photography, i thought i’d do it old school and revisit my love of sharing some of the stories behind the photographs. and what a beautiful story they have…

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when we met for their engagement session the rain was pouring down but everything was delightful inside as we talked about our families, our pasts, and important things going on in each of our lives. i listened to her share some of the sweetest common ground that i never knew we had as we waited for the clouds to close up. i apologized for the stinky weather, to which she replied, it’s totally fine! all that matters is that we’re getting married soon. i assured her that a rainy engagement session probably meant a wedding day full of perfect sunshine, and we talked excitedly about the plans for their outdoor october ceremony.

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the weekends ticked by, and i watched anxiously as the forecast came into focus for the end of october. rain, clouds, drizzle, and storms. every which way you looked at it, we were going to be fighting the weather. i marveled as she took in every second of their day with no outward sign of disappointment or concern. all that matters is that we’re getting married soon.

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as expected, the skies were heavy with dark clouds and minutes-long pockets of relief were all we got from the soaking wet weather. the second we thought we had a break, we dashed outside for their first look, but with the intern holding an umbrella over the planner holding an umbrella over the photographer (that’s a whole different photo for another day), the rain started streaming down again just as he saw her for the first time. what i feared would be a sad series of photos ended up being such a dreamy first look.

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i’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking, but before i do, you have to hear the best part of the day. when i say it rained a lot, i mean six-inches-deep-in-mud kind of rained. but i kid you not, 30 minutes before their ceremony was to begin, the dark clouds lightened up, the rained stopped, and the sun began to peek out from just above the horizon. by the time she walked down on her daddy’s arm to meet her soon to be husband at the end of the aisle, god had turned those dark, heavy clouds into an endless sea of cotton candy colored skies. he even sent a flock of geese honking by overhead (seriously, i took a pic). sarah and will, some of the words that come to mind when i think of your wedding day are delight, blessing, joy, and praise. thank you from the bottom of my heart for having me. you sent me out of the wedding world with a bang. i love you, friends.

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venues: first united methodist church, franklin (ceremony) and carton (reception) | planner: meagan wuest (carnton) and kristen bramlett (day of) | bride’s gown: heidi elnora | bride’s shoes: rené caovilla | hair and makeup: kristy osborne (mint julep salon) | bridesmaids’ dresses: lulakate (bella bridesmaids) | mens’ tuxedos: jos. a. bank | paper suite: empress stationery | calligraphy: the refined pen | floral design: garden delights | caterer: bacon & caviar | cake artist: dulce desserts | rentals: southern events rentals | lighting: bright event productions | signage: oak and elegance | bar/bourbon tasting: red dog wine and spirits | cigars: sanctuary cigars | limousine and vintage car: grand avenue | trolleys: franklin transit authority | entertainment: the downtown band | videographer: dallas wilson wedding films | photographer: allison lewis photography (with justin poland and abby lewis)

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it’s quite the emotional day, isn’t it, this thing we call mother’s day? for one woman it brings excitement, free facials, and breakfast in bed while for another, the wait or the hurt of the other 364 days of the year is magnified to the point of taking her breath away. with those women in mind – as well as the countless other women taking each step of each day as best as they’re able – i give you just a few of the stories i’ve been honored to tell.

to the girl who is becoming a mother for the first time, i rejoice with you over the new life god has created.

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to the ones who are waiting, i remember those days of longing and how it frustrated me to hear over and over that the wait would be worth it. but when the judge finally said, congratulations, he’s your son, my tears confessed to just how right everyone had been.

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to the moms who hear hard things but squeeze every ounce of love out of their tender hearts anyway, i marvel at your strength.

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to the ones who listen to the doctors say, it’s back but continue to walk in joy and peace, i praise the lord for holding you up, and i speak your names regularly in prayer.

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there are those who pour themselves out for the sake of loving a child who grew in another woman’s belly, and to you i say, i know it isn’t easy, but your work is holy.

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finally, there are precious women – many who are friends of mine – who will spend this mother’s day with a deep ache that won’t go away this side of glory. they may weep over what isn’t or their cries may be for what was but is no more. no matter why they fall, your tears aren’t wasted. i see you and i hurt with you, but that pales in comparison to the love and compassion of the One who not only sees your tears, but counts them, every one.

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whether rejoicing or walking in sorrow, may mother’s day this year be one that draws all of ours eyes upward to the father who is constant, gentle, and ever faithful and loving.

*photos from my daughter’s funeral by justin poland.

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the best way to top off an amazing surprise wedding is with a killer spring reception. congrats to candice and andy on a doubly delightful wedding and celebration!

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a personal note from candice and andy to their guests…

“we want you to know how loved and cherished you are to us and we cannot wait to celebrate our marriage with you. but we did something a little unconventional…

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“we were presented with a unique opportunity to have an intimate ceremony with our families when andy was approved to move here a lot sooner than we expected.

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“we went ahead and got married!!

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“by the time you read this, we will be gushing newlyweds answering to mr. and mrs

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“but the reception is still on!! come, eat good food, celebrate with us, and dance the night away. we cannot wait to see you there.”

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as 2016 is drawing to a close, i’m doing a lot of looking back and remembering at all that this beautiful, heartbreaking, hopeful year held. we adopted twins, i tucked my real camera away for a while and shot life exclusively with my phone, and we eventually spent a warm, breezy day placing our baby’s body beneath the ground. i’ve said it countless times before, but i really do have the best clients in the world. they’ve been gracious, understanding, considerate, and generous with their care and concern for our family. thank you, friends, for how you’ve loved our family through this season. and thank you for giving me the honor of shooting these precious days for you. 

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this post wouldn’t be complete without an extra special thank you to one of my couples (ashleigh and josé), david (of david boyd photography), anita (of AK brides), and angela (of main street productions). our daughter, ava, passed away less than 48 hours before ashleigh’s and josé’s wedding; anita and angela flew into recruiting/management/planning mode which freed me to spend that time grieving with the rest of our family and planning ava’s funeral, david stepped in and shot beautifully and ensured that my couple felt cared for, anita ensured a smooth transition by traveling down to their venue to provide her extraordinary services, and ashleigh and josé…goodness, i could go on all day. they responded with more gracious compassion than i could have ever hoped for, even going so far as to plan for and shoot an extra special photograph to surprise me with when i began going through david’s images. so while i never got to shoot a single one of their wedding photos, i’ll always consider them part of the allison lewis photography family. thank you all for your outpouring of love and devotion to me during that time. there simply aren’t words to tell you just how humbled and grateful i was and continue to be.

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