Before I get going here I just would like to start by apologizing for the extremely long post ahead! My best friend got married guys, I can’t help it and to be honest I still cannot believe I get to write this blog!!
8/18/18! This was predicted to be the most popular date to get married in 2018 for many reasons, one of them being the ease of remembering the date as it is the same forward as it is backwards. Another was that the number 8 is similar to the infinity symbol and in Chinese “18” is good luck. According to The Knot there was 28,000 weddings planned solely on this date and that was just through bookings with that site! But regardless of all of the popular reasons to pick this date, Matt and Nicole chose to be married on 8/18/18 because it was the anniversary of the day they began dating! I remember the moment when Nicole told me she decided on this date and I quickly asked if she looked it up to make sure it was on a Friday or Saturday and clearly it was!
Throughout the this past year we have spent countless hours and days preparing for her lakeside elegant wedding at her family’s lakehouse in Friendsville, PA. Matt and Nicole decided to wed at Stanley Lake and it just so happens that Stanley would soon be Nicole’s last name! The week leading up to the wedding it rained… every day. I would be lying if I said no one was worried about the weather, everyone constantly checked it and on the morning of the 18th it was raining… NOOO! But it didn’t last long at all and the sunshine came out shortly before the ceremony began!
I watched Nicole and Matt all day and they both shined so bright it was blinding! As Nicole, escorted by her two brothers, made her way down the stone pathway onto the dock Matt was overcome with emotion as he got glimpses of the woman who he would shortly make lifelong promises to. There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd as they exchanged their words of love, hope, and promises of the future. Kirstie, one of the bridesmaids and long time friend of Nicole, beautifully sang during the ceremony which prolonged the happy tears and smiles throughout all of the loved ones who stood supporting them. Maddox, their sweet little boy, delivered the rings with grace and fashion and made everyone giggle!
You all know what comes after the ceremony right? PARTY TIME!!!! As the wedding party was announced into the reception Nicole and Matt selected a specific song that related to each of us and wrote up a little story about their friendship with each member of the bridal party. If you couldn’t already guess, my song was none other than Sugar by Maroon 5! Matt had a little something up his sleeve and put it into action shortly after the new Mr. & Mrs. Stanley were announced. He had a piano, which his mother gave him a long time ago, brought to the lake so he could sing a very special song with a lot of meaning to his wife, This Time by John Legend. Remember how I said during the ceremony everyone was tearing up? Well… it happened again!
The dance shared between these two beautiful people, as well as their parent and other special dances, continued the flowing of the happiest tears at every table that surrounded the dance floor. I don’t think I’m alone when I say that this was the most emotional wedding I have ever attended, and I’ve been to a lot of weddings!
This day, 8/18/18, was more than a wedding. It was more than two families becoming one. It was more than their closest family and friends celebrating their love and supporting them as they begin their lives together. This day was something that I don’t believe anyone in attendance had ever experienced before. The abundance of outpouring love, acceptance, and warm energy filled everyone’s being to the point of overflowing. I truly believe that both Matt and Nicole’s fathers who celebrated by watching over them in heaven had a huge role in the feeling that surrounded this place. Everything that was planned was serendipitous in one way or another.
To have not only been able to stand up next to them during the ceremony as well as help plan and get ready for this big day, but to also have had the absolute honor and pleasure of photographing their wedding is something that no words could ever describe. My heart is bursting with love and excitement as I look back through all of the images that were taken. I’ve been sitting at my desk reliving each moment, tears streaming down my face, and laughter filling my office. Although I have just written a lot of words I am still speechless and have tried my best to find the correct terms to describe this day. My hope for you, if you weren’t able to be a part of this day, is that you are able to experience the same level of love that we all felt on August 18th.
If you made it through this post I applaud you and thank you for reading each word! Now for the best part!!!!!! Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Stanley!!
*Don’t forget to leave more love for them in the comment section at the very bottom!
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