It was just 6 weeks ago when we first received a message in our inbox on Instagram from one of our favorite New England wedding photographers, Amanda Fogarty. She described a situation to us of some of her best friends + a wedding celebration that was being planned for them two weeks out from that very day.
Amanda explained Danielle + Richard's 17 year relationship to us...their love for one another...their three little boys...+ the challenges they have been faced with in the past year since Richard's stage 4 colon cancer diagnosis last September. She ended her message by asking us if we would be interested in traveling, on such short notice, all the way to Maine to film their wedding day in just a few, short weeks.
From the second we received + began reading Amanda's message, we knew + felt deep in our hearts that we were being called to film their story. We knew we were going to "make it work" no matter what we needed to do...we moved + shifted things around in our schedule (true story: we were actually in the middle of a super unexpected move + shifted up our move in date to be able to make it all happen.) We believed in our hearts that our paths had crossed with theirs for a specific reason + that this thing was meant to happen. One way or another....so we got to work + we made it happen. We are huge believers that the Lord works things out for the good, always, and we can't help but see His hand in every piece of this story.
Just a few, short days after receiving Amanda's first message, we received our first email from our lovely bride to-be, Danielle, who was super genuine, warm, thankful, + a total inspiration to us from the very start. A few days receiving that email, we had the pleasure of speaking to her on the phone for the very first time. For TWO hours. TWO. HOURS. Needless to say, we felt instantly connected to Danielle + her beautiful 17 year old love story with Richard from the very start.
Over those two hours, Danielle allowed us a peak into her beautiful heart. We listened to her countless stories about their love, their dreams, their tribe, their plans, their adventures, their cancer fight, their boys, + their desire to finally make their commitment to one another 'official' through marriage. Several times we were moved to tears just in listening to the words that she spoke straight from her heart. Danielle is one of those rare souls that spills out light, grace, + hope in every word she speaks. Is it possible to fall in love with people you've never met before? Yes, yes, it certainly is + we certainly did.
Those two weeks of prepping for their celebration of life + love absolutely flew by + before we knew it we were standing in Danielle + Richard's beautifully designed + decorated home in snowy Maine . It almost felt like an out of body experience for us as we helped capture the most beautiful bride we've ever witnessed, the most inspiring groom we've ever met, + all of their dreams finally coming true right before their very eyes.
We were moved the entire day...constantly inspired by the genuine love we were witnessing in every fraction of their day. We paused as Danielle stood on the rocky coast, gazing out into the ocean waters, faced with the unknowns of their future. So much symbolism there, you all. 😭🖤 She looked so beautiful, so content, + so peaceful in that moment as she looked out into the unknown. We witnessed the most genuine love in Richard's eyes as he caught a glimpse of Danielle waiting for him out on the rocks at Kettle Cove. We got teary eyed as their boys pulled up to their first look + finally learned the secret that everyone had been keeping from them: their parents were finally getting married!!! And then we sobbed even harder when Richard stood before his boys + asked them to be his best men. We listened to words + promises that were spoken with such sincerity + bravery by their loved ones. We watched two families + HOARDS of loved ones celebrate the life + love that has been fought for + cherished between Danielle, Richard, + their three beautiful boys. It was truly a CELEBRATION + we hope everyone in that room could feel the immense amount of joy we were seeing through our lenses 🖤
This job is one of our biggest blessings in this life, this we don't doubt for a second. Not only do we get to listen to + help tell some of the most beautiful, powerful, + meaningful stories on a daily basis...but we get to meet the HEARTS behind these stories. We get to know + be friends with the huge, compassionate, fearless, kick ass beating hearts that love without hesitation or fear. When you leave a "job" having gained a deeper passion for what you do, a greater love for your craft, the sweetest new friendships, + a genuine hope for humanity...you know you've found your calling.
Here's to Danielle + Richard. And here's to their days ahead. May they be filled with zero pain, endless joy, sweet adventure, + a love that knows no fear. Cheers + #WilliamsStrong! 🖤
To follow their story even further, be sure to visit their page, Williams Strong.
The Wedding Team:
Photography | Amanda Fogarty, A.Fogarty Photography & Mackenzie Lamoureux , Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography
Videography | Happy Camper Films
Kettle Cove Drone Footage | Cole Libby
Wedding Planner | Jamie Moody, Cider House Designs
Band | Larry Williams Band
Lighting | The Event Light Pros
Catering | Jennifer, 111 Maine | Catering, The Dogfish Bar & Grille
Ceremony & Reception Venue | Portland Company Complex
Decorations & Rentals | Heartwood Essentials, Savvy Event Rental, Maine Prop House, NECR - New England Country Rentals
Cake | Cakes For All Seasons
Desserts | Amber Saucier Goodman
Dress | Nicole Madden Brozick
Programs | Emily Richardson