My younger brother is officially MARRIED! And I was honored to play the role of bridesmaid and photographer with the amazing help of my dear friend Laura. I’ve photographed over 100 weddings at this point, and quite a few have been for cousins and close friends, but this was my very first sibling to get married, so it is definitely the most special wedding I’ve ever been a part of.
If you’ve followed me for the past four years, you might recognize John Paul from when I walked the Camino de Santiago with him in 2018. He had just graduated high school and I had just graduated college and I will forever cherish the memories of that trip together.
However, without a shadow of a doubt, I can say that John Paul has become a better man since falling in love with Kaleena. Our whole family adores Kaleena and it is so wonderful to finally have her officially a part of our family! She is so sweet and gentle and pure-hearted and the PERFECT woman for my hardworking, strong-willed, and protective brother. These two desire nothing more than to lead each other (and their future children) to heaven and I have no doubt that through God’s grace, they will do just that. It has been beautiful to witness how God so clearly created them for one another and how he brought them to their wedding day on Oct. 1st, the Feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux (also known as The Little Flower and often associated with roses). John Paul and Kaleena both had St. Thérèse medals blessed at their rehearsal and Kaleena’s wedding band from The Little Catholic features ten roses on it to represent the ten Hail Mary’s in a decade of the rosary decade as well as Mary’s crown of Roses and is yet another nod to St. Thérèse.
Another beautiful thing to note is that Kaleena chose to wear her Grandmother’s wedding dress (which just so happened to have white roses on the train) and then her Grandmother was able to come in the morning and help her daughter help her daughter into her wedding dress. It was such a special generational family moment and even more beautiful because it was her wedding dress that she was helping her granddaughter put on.
It turns out that both of our families are very emotional people and so there were so many tears all day long. John Paul might take the cake as my most emotional groom ever as his tears kept flowing from the time he first saw Kaleena at their first look, throughout their entire ceremony, and even into our portrait session afterward. Laura or I would say something about “ok now look at your WIFE” and he would suddenly start tearing up again. 😍😭
All of my siblings (as well as Kaleena’s two sisters) were members of the wedding party and some of my favorite shots that Laura captured are of John Paul and the three younger brothers watching as Kaleena and her dad walked down the aisle. Also, Lucy (the baby of our family) made the cutest flower girl and she started crying during their vows and couldn’t stop the rest of the Mass. She kept looking at me or Rose and whispering “I’m just so happy” as tears poured out of her sweet little eyes. As I said, we apparently have a VERY emotional family hahaha.
So now that I’ve written this novel, I think it’s time to let their photos tell the rest of the story. John Paul and Kaleena, I love you both so much. John Paul, I’m so proud of the man you have become and the husband and father I know you will be. Kaleena, I have loved getting to know you over the past few years and I’m so happy to have gained you as another sister.
A huge thank you to all the other vendors who came together to make this day possible!
CHURCH // St. Peter’s Catholic Church
VENUE // Froehlich’s Classic Corner
SECOND PHOTOGRAPHER // Laura and Matthew Photography
FLOWERS // Etsy
CAKE // The groom – John Paul
DRESS // The bride’s grandmother’s dress
BRIDESMAIDS // Azazie
BRIDE’S WEDDING RING // The Little Catholic