William Gaff has become one of the master storytellers of our time. Ask any of his peers, and they will more than agree. In today’s featured wedding, he has woven the story of two extraordinary people, with the special love they share with family and friends ~ all set to the sensitive lyrics from a song from the musical Wicked. “… because I knew you … because I knew you … I have been changed … for good.” Hearing a few short excerpts from their wedding day toasts tells just how much love there was surrounding them on this day, and will be in all the days to come.
From William Gaff at Humanstory Films, Andrea and Brendan’s wedding day ~
When Brendan and I met we instantly connected to each other; it was like a scene from a romantic movie where sparks flew and music played, metaphorically speaking of course, and I couldn’t believe it was happening to me. We were, and still are, inseparable and completely infatuated with one another, which explains why we fell in love so quickly. After five months of spending every free moment we had with each other and shamelessly head over heels in love, he proposed to me during a picnic breakfast at our favorite place in Richmond, Virginia, Maymont Park. He had a book made with photos of the two of us that told the story of our love for one another. We sat down on a bench together and he read me our story with tears in his eyes. I was clueless until he got to the final page and read, “The day I met you was a dream come true. Please say you’ll be my soul mate for life. Andrea, will you be my wife always and forever?” He turned the page there was a picture of the ring, he got down on one knee, pulled the ring out of his pocket and asked me to marry him. As my eyes filled up with tears, I quickly and ecstatically said “Yes, yes, yes!!!” That was the day that I became the luckiest girl in the world because I was going to marry my soul mate and best friend.
Our faith, families and friends are the most important things in both our lives and it was imperative that it show in our wedding. Throughout the whole wedding planning process these values and the support we had from everyone, including a truly wonderful wedding planner,Windy Jennings of Weddings by Windy, helped us to keep our focus on the importance of the day — that while the wedding is one day, a marriage is for a lifetime.
We are both Catholic and being married in the church where I grew up with a full mass was a given. My sister had her wedding reception in this beautiful mansion in Richmond, the Bolling Haxall House, and Brendan and I both loved it so much that it became venue for our reception as well. Everything else was just as simple to decide because of the help from our families and our wedding planner.
We love to take pictures, so although we opted against taking engagement photos it was important that we find a photographer for the wedding who we could connect with and who had a style that suited us. After we met with Erik Leise and saw the passion he had for photographing weddings through his portfolio, we knew he’d be perfect. Having a videographer was something else that was really important to us. William Gaff shot my sister’s wedding in a documentary style and it was beyond amazing and extremely touching, so having him do our wedding was a no-brainer. We wanted the memories of our wedding to be beautifully and emotionally captured; Erik and William made that dream a reality.
The music was especially important to us and my dad as well. Our wedding planner told us about a band, Right Foot Red, and one Sunday we sat down with my dad and went over their list of songs and it just got us extra excited about the reception. The band did not disappoint at all. Everyone was dancing and having an amazing time. The band even brought Brendan and me up on stage to sing Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing — it was incredible and so much fun.
The day was more than either of us could have dreamed of; a real-life fairytale. It was a beautiful day and only rained slightly during the reception, which no one even noticed since we were all inside having a blast! Our families and friends were very much included in the wedding: my dad walked me down the aisle and I saw a smile on Brendan’s face that I will never forget; our moms lit the tapers of the unity candle before the ceremony began; my sisters were both the maids of honor and their speech was perfect; Brendan’s dad was his best man and his two childhood best friends gave the best man speech on his behalf; my dad’s welcome speech during the reception was heartwarming and exceptional; Brendan’s sisters carried the gifts for the mass during the ceremony; we had close friends say the readings; and my sister and her husband sang a tear-jerking duet during the ceremony.
Every moment of our wedding day is especially treasured by us, not just because we can look back on those first memories we shared as husband and wife with amazement and delight, but because throughout the entire day we were so closely connected through the love and support of our faith, families and friends as we had wanted it to be from the very start. It was the best and most amazing day of my life — the perfect beginning to what I know is going to be a wonderful marriage filled with all the love I could ever dream of.