This Illinois couple has the kind of relationship that I think we all strive to find and keep forever. A magical, fairytale story so full of love that I feel honored just to be able to witness their joyous celebration through these images by Studio Rebekah Photography. The happiness that glows from the faces of this bride and groom is quite infectious and brightens up every moment of their beautiful day just as much as the sweet details they incorporated into it. See them all in the full gallery!
From the Bride… Every little girl has a dream of a fairy-tale she hopes to make their own. I have realized that my fairy-tale with Nate was nothing I could have planned out and it ended up being better than anything I had wished for. We first met in 2008; he was a single professional who could hear, and I was a recent college graduate with a hearing loss. We caught each other’s eyes a few times, and later in the evening went out with mutual friends for a few drinks. He asked me to dance, and of course I accepted. Nate didn’t know any sign language in the beginning, and so communication was a barrier we had to learn to embrace. I am able to lip read, and he was very accommodating to make sure he was always facing me when he spoke. Over the next few weeks we texted each other and learned as much as we could about one another. We met up a few times over the next couple months, and each time our attraction for each other grew. I realized then that I wasn’t just attracted to this man, but I truly was thankful and appreciative for him. The amount of time he took and the extra effort it was for us to communicate was never unnoticed. He took time to learn some sign language on his own, and begin to use this to help in our communication. Although it was something we both had to learn to adjust to, it never stood in the way of us getting to know each other. Where there is a will, there is a way. Where there is the driving force of love, nothing was going to stop us.
In September 2009, we started seeing each other more, and our bi-lingual relationship blossomed. When Nate proposed on November 28, 2011, I knew that I wasn’t dreaming any longer. He was the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with. The days and weeks of wedding planning weren’t as stressful as some believe them to be. There were days when we became overwhelmed, and then we stepped back and took a deep breath. We realized that this was just a ceremony and that it was a declaration of our love for each other. We tried to be calm, and enjoy the wedding planning amidst all the business and scheduled appointments. Our Reverend, Kent Olney, was hearing and also knew sign language. This was very important to me because this is my language. He was able to make this day extra special for me by including the one thing that often stands in the way of proper communication. He was able to fully speak and express every aspect of the ceremony to both hearing and non-hearing guests. It was the greatest gift on my wedding day, being able to sign our vows. It was a moment I will never forget, and it brings a smile to my face. When Reverend Olney pronounced us as husband and wife in sign language in front of our loved ones, it was the moment I have been waiting for my entire life. It was a moment I will forever cherish.
Our friends and family all say that our wedding was one of a kind, with signed and spoken vows. The inspiration for our wedding was the theme “Give Love.” We included a sparkle ornament on each centerpiece at the reception. We wanted to “give love” back to our friends and family who we felt made our special day possible. The décor was created by David Cook and my mother, as they understood my vision. It meant the world to me. It was always my dream to have him help my mother design the décor for my wedding. David Cook designed all of the bridal party bouquets and boutonnieres. He used fresh, white roses, adding natural greens and plenty of silver sparkle. The setting of the wedding was nature inspired with the river as a backdrop under a pristine, white tent. When I walked down the aisle that was scattered with the petals from 500 fresh, white roses; it was then when my fairy-tale moment began. The photographer, Rebekah Albaugh of Studio Rebekah, captured the most remarkable shots from our special day. She is a very talented and artistic photographer. She is able to transform a typical view into a magical scene with a dreamy backdrop. She uses all of the elements available to complete the design and picture she has in her head. The angles, lighting, positioning of each individual was thought out creating true perfection. She took some amazing pictures of us signing our vows to each other; one picture is of me signing the word “love” and my husband, Nate, signing the word “forever.” A picture is truly worth 1,000 words!
Wedding Photography: Studio Rebekah Photography / Second Shooter: Bethany Burt / Wedding Venue: Kankakee Country Club in Kankakee, Illinois / Event Planning, Floral + Event Design: David Cook / Lanterns: Z Gallerie + Pier One Imports / Glassware + Additional Lanterns: Pottery Barn / DJ: DJ Smiley / Wedding Dress: Essense of Australia / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Hair + Makeup: DIY / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bari Jay / Tuxedos: Seno Formal Wear