I’m not sure that I have ever witnessed two people more in love than this duo. John and Hannah leave me speechless time after time with their admiration for one another, their thoughtfulness, and their creativity. You may recall hearing their beautiful love story back in January when I shot their engagement session. (If you would like to relive the magic of that day, click here.) Though that feels like just yesterday, I am beyond thrilled to share the gorgeous photos from their beautiful wedding!
It was an honor to make the trip from Newnan to the family’s private estate in Alabama to spend the day as their wedding photographer. It was an amazing experience to shoot this wedding, and I am so excited to share that I shot this beautiful day in film! This was a huge milestone for me, and I am so excited to share the results with my SAPPY family!
John and Hannah met in the summer of 2012 at a summer camp. Although they had both arrived at the camp as adults, both signing on to be counselors, their story evokes such a romantic nostalgia-- full of youthful wonder and, yes, summer lovin’.
After being adorned with their whistles and tee shirts, the two were assigned to their campers. In a twist of fate, John and Hannah were assigned to the same age group, which meant spending a great deal of time together under the summer sun. Both John and Hannah had sweethearts of their own at that time, so what blossomed between the two was a deep friendship. They spent time laughing and getting to know one another over one-dollar night at the local bowling alley-- a tradition they still honor to this day. When summer faded, a cool autumn wind took its place, sweeping the two in different directions.
It wasn’t until winter, five years later, that the two found one another again. Hannah was sitting at home, scrolling through Facebook, when she stumbled upon a familiar face. The five years that had passed had brought a whirlwind of changes for them both, and it looked as though the timing might finally be right for their friendship to blossom into something deeper. Hannah decided to send John a text.
The two caught up over the next few days, chatting endlessly. John finally asked Hannah out to a movie to celebrate his birthday in mid December. It was a group outing, with both John’s friends and family in attendance, but the pair still consider it their first date. They were both in awe of the way that the five years that had stretched between them had faded so quickly. The two laughed as though not a day had passed, and never looked back.
Both Hannah and John admit that there were a few times where they almost slipped up and said “I love you” before the timing was quite right. Although they both knew what they were feeling, they tried their hardest to slow down and enjoy every chapter of their story.
In February, at a family gathering, John shared those words out loud.
John proposed on Thanksgiving. As both families joined together at the dinner table, John gave the blessing. He shared all of the things he was thankful for, saving the best for last. Surrounded by their closest family, he shared the gratitude he felt for his biggest blessing: Hannah. As his speech began winding down, John got on one knee, and popped the big question, revealing a delicate ring in the shape of a wildflower: a ring that once belonged to her mother.
Their Favorite Things:
I usually ask my SAPPY couples to tell me their three favorite things about one another, but neither John nor Hannah could narrow it down to just three things!
John said, “It would be impossible to choose one thing... she is the most amazing person I have ever met.” He goes on to say, “Every time I see her face or hear her sweet voice my heart jumps for joy. She makes happier than I ever thought possible.”
Hannah said, “ I can’t choose just three things. He has an amazing heart. He loves unconditionally. He is such an amazing leader and he teaches me more about God every single day. He is so smart and so talented, and he doesn’t even realize it. He loves me so much, and he makes me feel it every day. He makes me feel beautiful, and he is my number one fan. He wants me to pursue all of my dreams, and he would do anything to make that happen. On top of all of that (which isn’t even all of it) he is beautiful, and his laugh makes my soul happy. I thank God for him every single day.”
The Big Day:
This was such a beautiful wedding to capture because every single detail was enveloped in so much meaning and purpose. Several key pieces were handmade with love. Their flowers, for example, were all handmade from paper. John also made their wedding arch from twigs that all intertwined to create a gorgeous piece. The venue was the family’s private estate, where John and Hannah will be building their home. Hannah’s uncle was the DJ, her grandmother made the cake, her aunt did her hair. It was very intimate in the sense that the day was a total family affair-- with everyone contributing in one way or another to make the day as magical as possible.
He also crafted all of the bowties for the groomsmen out of wood! . It was amazing to see so many details so lovingly executed, and it was truly a joy to capture these details.
The wedding was so beautiful, so creative, and so emotional. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m not sure if I’ve actually ever seen two people as in love as these two. The way they look at each other and care for each other gives me chills. They were truly made for each other.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, that made a speech during their wedding day said they knew that when they introduced each other to their friends and family... that they would get married. Hannah’s dad actually told my husband, Joel that he knew from the very first time he met John that he was his future son-in-law.
One of my favorite moments from the wedding was when Hannah privately gave John the most meaningful gift after their first look-- a gorgeous compass engraved with the words:
It was clear how deeply the gift touched John, and it was a joy to witness this tender moment.
After the ceremony, the party went back and enjoyed lots of food, drinks, and dancing with their friends and family. When it came time for the toasts, Hannah’s cousin (and Matron of Honor) made one of the best toasts I’ve ever heard. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
They ended the day with a special exit with Chinese lanterns! I’ve never seen that before but it was so unique and beautiful!
A Note to the SAPPY Couple:
Keep living each day for each other. You two are a beautiful example of what love can look like when both people enter soberly, without hesitation, and without doubt. It gives me chills to hear you both express that your love was part of a divine plan, and that trust in God makes you two so strong. Keep making things with love-- by hand, keep savoring the details.