we’re asked by precious friends, family, and even strangers every day how we’re doing, and i always struggle to find the answer to that question. the reality of this journey is that it’s wrought with both overwhelming joy and immense sorrow; to be honest, the weight of all we’re facing and what’s to come would be crushing apart from the cross of christ and the Hope it brings. today, on the twins’ two month birthday, josh and i decided to share a glimpse into our life since november 24, and we pray that you’ll see an honest picture of trial, but more importantly, the reflection of a good and loving Father who upholds, sustains, encourages, and fills His children with a peace that passes understanding.
HAPPY TWO MONTHS TO SAM AND AVA!!!!
we had had the sweetest, most spectacular time together shooting caroline and henry’s wedding, exploring centuries old palaces and cathedrals, and roaming the narrow streets of paris hand in hand like we did back when we strolled around samford’s campus all those years ago. with our 15th wedding anniversary under our belts, we were looking ahead to the future and making plans for how we thought our family might move forward.
then the lord went all proverbs 16:9 on us.
back in the summer of 2013, i took a deep breath and pushed “publish” on a personal post that i prayed the lord would use in great ways for his glory and for many little lives in our country. just months after that bit of news, though, i was crippled with some scary health issues; we had no choice but to abandon our plans for another adoption. discouraged and confused, josh and i felt like god was closing the door on the very path he’d forged for us. our new (if not overly simplistic) prayer became, lord, we don’t understand why you seem to be taking adoption off the table but we trust your sovereign hand in this. if you will for us to adopt again, just cause our phone to ring with the news of a child who needs a family.
the rest of 2013 passed by without event and i spent much of the next two years healing and learning a new way of life in our family and my job. but one thing never changed for us…that burning desire to speak for the tiniest of lives around us. time and time again we asked the lord to give us a voice. we became involved in the foster care ministry of our church and even finished the training to become a foster family ourselves. but then the most unexpected event happened…
the lord’s “no” became “now” when he so clearly answered our prayers and, yes, my phone actually rang with the news of a child who needed a family.
i’ll spare you the details on how less than two hours before birth one baby turned into twins because believe it or not, that’s not the most remarkable part of this story (although you can read about it HERE if you’d like), but i will share this post from my personal facebook page because it’s such a clear picture of the lord’s holy sovereignty and lovingkindness. we prayed for a voice and while it wasn’t the way we’d hoped or expected, a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves is exactly what he gave our family in the form of a little three-pound beauty and her precious brother…
we didn’t know if we’d have two days with her, much less the two full months we’ll be celebrating this weekend. our family is overwhelmed with praise to the One who creates and sustains life for the glory of His great name!
“he is the image of the invisible god, the firstborn of all creation. for by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things were created through him and for him. and he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
maybe it’s because i was a fall bride myself, but weddings during the gorgeous autumn months are my absolute favorites. and this lineup of incredible days for four of my stunning brides was the perfect ending to a perfect year of shooting.
jaley and will (ross bridge)
my favorite behind the scenes detail: jaley wanted two completely different looks for her wedding day so she wore an exquisite maggie sottero gown for her ceremony and then surprised all of her guests with a blush vera wang gown for her reception.
alex and tyler (independent presbyterian church, the birmingham museum of art)
my favorite behind the scenes detail: alex and tyler met while working together at the apple store, so what better wedding gift could he give her than a personalized iPod shuffle with her new name on it?
jennifer and david (shoal creek)
my favorite behind the scenes detail: with guests flying in from a variety of countries across five different continents, jen and david’s wedding was truly an international affair!
caroline and henry (paris, france)
my favorite behind the scenes detail: caroline’s stylist, shelby of beauty shock, wanted her to have a blend of different looks to match all the places we were shooting, so he rode in the car with us and restyled her hair in between each stop.
well that does it, my friends! we’ve looked back at the beautiful frosty days of my winter brides and the fresh and lovely weddings of my spring brides. we swooned over the impeccable style of my summer brides, and we wrapped it up today with a look back at the stunning fall brides that rounded out a spectacular year here at allison lewis photography. reliving each of these weddings reminds me how thankful i am for the delight this job is to me and how honored i always am to be trusted with telling these stories. thank you to all who make this dream a reality!
hydrangeas, pearls, and lace…there’s nothing like a wedding in the south, and these five summer brides each wowed their guests with a delightful mix of southern hospitality and charm.
sara and john (douglas manor)
my favorite behind the scenes detail: john’s reaction to seeing sara walk toward him during their beautiful sunset wedding had all the girls swooning. he was so overcome with emotion, and the joy he felt at marrying his best friend was one of the sweetest things i’ve seen in my years of shooting weddings.
jennifer and alan (the tutwiler, bridgestreet gallery and loft)
my favorite behind the scenes detail: alan’s a total man’s man – a former rocker with a penchant for building some really awesome furniture – so the last thing i expected was for his biggest concern about his and jenn’s wedding day to be what he wore. nonetheless, that was top of his priority list so he hired remon’s to custom design a fabulous suit for him to wear on the day he married his gorgeous bride.
madison and hayden (samford university chapel, the florentine)
my favorite behind the scenes detail: hayden’s father was the officiant at their wedding, and at one point during their ceremony, he gave hayden a bible in which he’d spent years writing notes and documenting details about what the lord was teaching him during that time in his life. i truly can’t imagine a more valuable gift for a father to give his son on the first day of his beautiful marriage.
sydney and chase (the grand on foster, dothan, alabama)
my favorite behind the scenes detail: high school sweethearts have nothing on syd and chase! they were destined to be together after that fateful chat outside the lunchroom doors when she was just 14 years old. 😉
tomorrow we’re wrapping up this look back on the weddings of 2015 with my favorite time of year…FALL weddings!!!
once the chill of winter wore off, the warmer weather brought with it a host of lovely spring weddings and even lovelier brides. enjoy the gorgeous wedding days of these five spring beauties.
lizzie and mason (the vulcan)
my favorite behind the scenes detail: despite dark skies and rain clouds, lizzie was all smiles throughout hers and mason’s wedding day. she may have walked toward him at the altar amongst a sea of umbrellas, but she said, “at the end of this day, we’ll be husband and wife. that’s the only thing that matters!”
morgan and kyle (covenant presbyterian church, avondale villa)
my favorite behind the scenes detail: she was the best friend of a little girl i started babysitting in college (who was later the precious flower girl in my own wedding), so i’ve watched morgan grow from a four-year-old preschooler to the magnificent young woman she is today.
kelsey and deavours (rosemary beach)
my favorite behind the scenes detail: kelsey wasn’t just the bride that day, she was also the caterer! as owner of kelsey barnard catering, kelsey knew the best way to guarantee the south’s finest cuisine for her guests was to put her team to the task.
daniella and tony (GM&O building, mobile)
my favorite behind the scenes detail: after the countless love stories that must have taken place in this historic train station, daniella’s and tony’s was the last wedding to be held there.
alexa and adam (ashton gardens, atlanta)
my favorite behind the scenes detail: i met alexa almost exactly one year before her wedding date when she was the maid of honor in another precious wedding that i shot. after working with her in hannah and rosson’s wedding, i knew that she would be a delightfully wonderful dream bride herself.
loving this look back on the weddings of 2015? tune back in tomorrow for a rundown of some amazing southern summer weddings.
with 17 weddings (and one mission trip) spanning across three countries on two continents, 2015 proved to be one of the most spectacular years for allison lewis photography. i had the unique honor of seeing some amazing places and telling some truly incredible stories through the photographs that i was privileged to capture. the year started in a gorgeous little white chapel in the woods and ended at the foot of the eiffel tower, with every wedding being a perfect outflow of each couple’s love and relationship. for those who prefer a little chill in the air, here are the winter weddings of 2015.
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beth and jason
my favorite behind the scenes detail: beth and jason married on top of ruffler mountain just after sunrise on a freezing november morning two months before their reception.
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come back tomorrow for the fresh, beautiful weddings from the spring of 2015!!
i wish you could have heard it from my perspective as i cowered down in a dark hall of some stranger’s house. there was a knock on the door, a louder knock, and then he opened it to her whispered insistence that he get out of there. i don’t live here anymore! you can’t just walk into somebody else’s house. YOU’RE GOING TO GET ARRESTED!
all she knew is that it was dark and it seemed like her boyfriend was sneaking into a house that she had lived in years before while she was in grad school at the university of alabama. what she didn’t know, though, is that he’d gone to great, great lengths to scheme with the current owners to propose right there in that same living room where much of their relationship had begun and unfolded (followed by a surprise party at glory bound with their families and best friends). take note, gentlemen…this is how it’s done. 😉
he stood in front of the eiffel tower with the beauty who, in just one hour, would become his wife. he smiled and held her closely in his arms as a spectacular explosion of twinkling lights consumed the tower behind them and i clicked away as what felt like a magical settling of night happened all around them.
the pictures could have both started and stopped there and i would have flown home from paris a happy photographer. much to my delight and joy, though, that photo was simply the centerpiece representing a breathtaking array of locations we visited that day, each of which seemed to be built around the gorgeous couple standing in its midst.
caroline and henry, the words escape me to adequately express the overflowing thankfulness i have for you. not only have you been a delight in my life over the past many months of working together, but you trusted me with one of the most important days of your life…nearly half a world away. that isn’t an honor that i take lightly. THANK YOU for being such a tremendous joy (and thank you for making a dream come true for this small-town, alabama wedding photographer.)
ceremony and reception venue: laperouse paris | bride’s gown: tara keely (bella couture) | bride’s shoes: jimmy choo | groom’s tuxedo: suit supply | hair stylist: shelby macdonald (beauty shock) | makeup artist: jonathan fowler (beauty shock) | floral design: madame besenfelder | harpist: myriam serfass | photographer: allison lewis photography
additional shooting locations: notre dame cathedral, palais royal, the louvre, luxembourg gardens, the eiffel tower