Monday, July 8, 2013

Daniel Jack + Regan Nicole : Married || Kirksville, Missouri Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer


This is the story of how these lovely souls became Husband and Wife.

The day I shot Dan and Regan's wedding was graceful, elegant, peaceful, pretty, romantic, gentle, and incredibly fun...every element of the whole day was the very essence of their personalities. The whole time I was there I was just overwhelmingly honored and thankful to know this darling couple as friends and to be a part of such an intensely emotional, beautiful, and unforgettable time in their lives. I couldn't have asked for a better first experience as a wedding photographer.
{YEAH! THIS WAS MY FIRST WEDDING! BRING BACK THE HAPPY DANCING!}


Both of them are known for their deep and rich love for their families and friends. It was such a joy to see the close connection between all of them firsthand. 


And both families are friends with each other. There is no pretense or formality; just real, "because of the saving love of Jesus", feelings for each other. For example: this is Dan's little sister, Abby, and her and Regan are genuinely close friends and sisters in Christ! 

And this is her Buddyforlife Elizabeth who {as you can see from that cute bling on her left hand} is getting married herself! In a couple of weeks! Marriage! Seems to be a fever among my friends these days....and its catching. ;) What an exciting time, folks!  

This marriage was the answer to countless fervent prayers by Dan and Regan and all those that know and love them. Including these two men below...Regan's father on the left and Dan's on the right.  I was moved to tears as I came around a corner and saw these dads, both strong men of God, in a room alone crying out to Him on behalf of their children...soon to be joined together as one. :')

It was achingly beautiful to see how every single stitch of Dan and Regan's love story has been woven together by their Heavenly Father. It is by His grace that these two kids who were once drowning in the ocean of their own sin, rebellious to their parents, distant from friends who sought to have a good influence on them have now been redeemed and are living faithfully for Him together. Because they fell in love with Jesus Christ, God drew them to fall in love with each other. :)

Months before this delightful day in the middle of May, Regan told me about how Dan proposed to her. 

"After talking to Mom and having her tactfully keep me distracted, he managed to sneak up to Kirksville and set up a trail of flowers and notes in the field and around a pond where we had had some good talks. Mom got me out to the field by telling me dad had called and said he forgot his fencing pliers out there and wanted me to get them. I went out there wearing my big baggy sweatshirt, shorts, and cowboy boots wearing no makeup and having my hair in a bun directly on top of my head (I was quite a sight!)

I followed the flower trail and read the notes along the way. The last note told me to 'look to my right and the one who loves me would be in sight'
I looked to my right and didn't see anything...


....then I looked again and 

there was Dan. 

Walking across the field holding a red rose. It was like a dream! With the sunset in the background he expressed how he felt and he got on one knee and he proposed! :) ♥"

Side note: the guy on the right, Stephen Gates, just married Abby in March....and I made this video for their wedding. :)

Marie..Dan's other little sister. What a doll. :D 

Jenny (SHE'S A BEAST OF AWESOMENESS! She was Regan's personal attendant and she made my job, which was already crazy easy because everyone was so wonderful, EVEN MORE simple. Love her!!) and sweet Heather who did Regan's makeup absolutely stunningly. Such precious, impressive women. :) 

Rebekah....the other Buddyforlife. :) The heart/talent/love/beauty of this girl is remarkable. :)


Rachel: Regan's big brother's wifey. :) She's an absolute sweetheart. She encouraged me, thanked me, and cheered me on until I almost forgot I was a first timer. :)






































































Such a fun moment. :) Russell came in grinning from ear to ear and laughing. He was clearly tickled to see his baby girl looking like she stepped right out of a fairytale. When he got to her side he said,
"Well, you look like yourself. Beautiful as ever." :)




And he got right to work helping out anyway he could. How many daddies help with the veil and lacing the dress? This one did. :)




















The brothers. :) Hemming Regan in on either side, Roy: the oldest and Ross: the youngest. ;)






I really liked how Regan had Rebekah and Elizabeth both as her maids of honor. These three are closer than PB and J, y'all. Hope you can tell.







In the midst of Regan's last minute touches, Dan's mom Kelly slipped out to go check on her boy who was right down the hall. We hardly noticed her reappear until she quietly came right up to Regan and gave her the biggest hug, whispering, "That's from Dan." Regan was ecstatic. She was longing for the moment that she could call him her husband so any fragment of him was sending her heart into hysterics.

In the meantime, LoverBoy was having jitters of his own. ;)


Did I mention that hug also came with more whispers?

 "I can't send the kiss but I'll give it to you soon." 

Plus also a love note on a napkin. Pssssh. Oh the cute.



She may or may have not written back as soon as possible....
Yes. It does say "Can't wait to kiss you, Sweetheart." just in case you were wondering if it was as adorable as you imagined.

I felt like I was on a super special secret mission getting both sets of portraits done without these two seeing each other. They saved their First Look for when she walked floated down the aisle to him. :)




They might have giggled for like two seconds when I said, "Gimme your model face." I didn't even have time to wonder if they'd be able to do it cause in a matter of moments they nailed it. Gosh guys. Fierce.

Allison took her flower-girl job very seriously. Someone told her she looked as pretty as a princess and she replied, "Nope. I'm not a princess. 
Today I am a flowergirl."









I know their outward beauty has to be blowing you away...they really are some of the most gorgeous girls I've ever seen. But its their hearts where their true God given beauty lies. And even there, still they are some of the most gorgeous girls you could ever meet.

And these fellas also...they're gold. :)









Then, it was time. The Lord was entreated again before they all shuffled out with the bride who's life was about to change forever.


Each one took up her train and sang "Going to the Chapel" in magnificent harmony.


And as she came around the corner we stopped her because her groom was up ahead in the next room. But we did not ask him to leave or close his eyes. Instead, much to Regan's delight, we had him come to the corner of the stairs and as they reached out their hands and touched for the first time that whole day, aching to be together but trying to stay hidden from each other's sight Dan happily said,

"Hi sweetheart. I get to marry you soon."




Though I'm sure, in the state of emotional high they were in, they never wanted to let go, he ran to get into place...so the ceremony could start....so the girl of his dreams, his bride, could become his wife. :)






He didn't break down, but watching his eyes slowly fill up with tears as he saw her was truly a once in a lifetime splendid moment.














Stephen wrote a song for Dan and Regan that he and his beloved sang together. There's absolutely no doubt that God made them (and their voices) for each other. :)










A highlight of the day...Dick Ochs has been Regan's pastor for many, many years....it was so sweet to see him get choked up for a moment when officially pronouncing them Husband and Wife. :')

And with that they shared

their first kiss. :)




Married at last! :D





Let "Life as the Ever Fabulous Mr. and Mrs. Hargrave" begin!!



















"Regan is the love and joy of my life.

Dan says, 

She has a heart for others and shows that in her sacrificial lifestyle. She loves and respects her parents and family.

She finds joy in everyday and each moment.


Theres never a dull moment when we are together. She can be very talkative or quiet and laid back depending on the situation.

Putting God first and living upon His Word is her first priority.



I love her soft, gentle, tender touch. Her heart is full of love and joy. 

I also love her beautiful eyes and smile. 


She's a farmgirl and not afraid to get dirt on her hands, but she also dresses up and looks gorgeous. 

She is my treasure.

She serves, forgives, prays for, and encourages me faithfully. She is truly a gift from God.


Dan is my closest friend and companion.

says Regan,

He is very considerate of others and one of the first things I ever noticed about him was how much he sought to serve and help out. He loves the Lord and faithfully prays with me and shares with me what he has been reading and learning. 

He doesn't fail to enjoy the little things, which I love!

He is very laid back and easy going and easy to please. I can tell him anything and he loves me just the same. 


I've never met a man so manly and yet so gentle!

He treats me like gold!





I love everything about him, but to name a few...

...the wrinkles around his eyes when he smiles,

the way he gently holds my hand or puts his arm around me,

how we can do the most "everyday" thing together and still have so much fun!




I love how different he is from me and how he makes me laugh and smile like no one else, and I love hearing him pray.



These two are head over heels in forever-kind-of-love. They're going to get to spend the rest of their lives hand in hand, side by side doing all their favorite stuff together....
fishing, hunting, star-gazing, going on walks, watching sunsets, working together, watching Andy Griffith, cooking, washing dishes, praying, talking...
loving.




Also, I think kissing is now added to their list of favorites. ;)











































All the speeches were wonderfully encouraging, downright sweet, and hilariously funny.


Like how Rebekah told about how she first learned through her brother Stephen that Dan liked Regan.

She masterfully kept this news a secret until the perfect moment....
One night at Wal-Mart while her and Regan were walking around in pajama pants, without a care in the world, Rebekah turned to her and with the quote straight from Dan to Stephen ready to go she casually and matter-of-factly said,
"Oh...by the way...Dan Hargrave thinks you're breathtaking."

She went on to tell about how Regan gasped and danced around at this point, basically on cloud nine. That guy that she liked actually liked her back!
However, as excited as she was then, it was a little different reliving the story...in front of that guy of hers that had never heard this tale before. ;)


But it was okay...because shortly afterwards, Dan's younger brother and best man John shared an equally good one. About how in "the crush stage" Dan made a list of all the things he liked about Regan.....and he just so happened to write it in one of John's old notebooks.

Of course it was found eventually...which means John was able to pull it out as evidence. ;)

And precious Abby shared about how Dan's conversion made a huge impact on her life and eventually aided her own journey in grace.




And then Dan revealed a surprise for his bride. He had written a poem that I think perfectly sums up the meaning of this day that they made their covenant, their relationship, his feelings for her, and her value to him. :)

This day has finally come to be
The day when you join hands with me
In prayer you were continually asked for

Beyond what I could ask, God gave me more


How can it be that God would give me such a treasure
Of God's goodness one cannot measure
Nothing but God's wrath for sin do we deserve
But a merciful and forgiving God we serve

Your gorgeous eyes and smile quickly caught my eye
And I'll continue to marvel at such beauty til I die

But still, your beauty runs much deeper 

The way you love and desire God closer
And your humbleness and service to others

The way you treat your dad and mom respectfully
And how you sing and pray faithfully
You stand strong for what you're about
You truly are beautiful on the inside and out

I look forward to life's journey by your side

Lives spent for Him to decide
Following nothing but our Shepherd's hand
Holding onto His promises to stand

Whatever befall us, by His grace, we'll be victorious
If God be for us, who can be against us 
As this old body ages and our days are through

Always remember, baby, I only have eyes for you



She kind of loves him, you guys. For really reals.












dance me very tenderly and dance me very long
we're both of us beneath our love, and both of us above
please dance me to the end of love.

















One of the most glorious parts of the whole day...possibly my favorite moment...as everyone was outside preparing for Dan and Regan to rush out, they were inside praying with and saying goodbye to their parents.

The emotion was raw, and real, and honest, and deep, and beautiful. I fought to hold back the tears just so I could get the images in focus. :)










As the love-birds ran through sparkler light
 They stole one more kiss before their flight
Then hand in hand away they flew
Still living in the haze of all this brand new

Both madly in love sporting smiles quite wide
With friends cheering and clapping for the Groom and his Bride


They waved to the crowd, praising God on their way
For twas He who had crafted this beautiful day.

My heart is full. I love the couple. I love the wedding party. I loved May 18th. The end.

~Through Christ's Love 

37 comments:

  1. allix this is beautiful amazing and tearjerking !like for reals ! also pie + tacos + potatoes ! perfect :) <3 ahh so brilliant !

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  2. My goodness, AMAZING job on your first wedding! Just beautiful! They must be so thrilled with the photos. I feel like I know them and like I was there... and I don't and I wasn't. :-)

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  3. i can't even put into words how much i love this post. :) you did such an incredible job, allix. tears started to flow a little with all the photos of the two of them...but then the laughter came with the words from the bridesmaids and groomsmen. so now, if you'll excuse me, i'm going to go and stare at these photos again and admire your amazing work!

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  4. ohmyword Allix! These are so so beautiful, incredible job! I can't believe this was your first wedding. crazy good girl, crazy good!

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  5. It was a wonderful wedding to attend and then to relive the emotion again through pictures was so special. You did a beautiful job~! Love mrs greene

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  6. These were so perfect!! Cannot believe this was your first wedding! Absolutely stunning, they ar as good as Jessica shaes! :)

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  7. Wow, this has to be the most gorgeous weddings I have ever seen. You did an amazing job! I can't believe that it was your first wedding too! Such a beautiful story. :)

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  8. NO WAY THAT THIS IS YOUR FIRST WEDDING!! looks like you have absolutely found your wedding photographer calling ;) fantastic job, these are all so gorgeous and really tell the story!!

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  9. girly, you totally ROCKED this wedding! I'm am so not kidding when I say this, but this is one of my favorite weddings ever. You captured all the emotion and memories so beautifully. I was tearing up as I read it. you just totally rocked it!!

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  10. Allix!! this is INCREDIBLE! oh my goodness, I couldn't love this post any more...the whole thing is just so perfect and magical. will you photograph my wedding someday?? ;)

    -Allison

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  11. Allix...woah. first wedding? pshyeah. like a boss. these are PERFECT. as in, flawless, adorable, storytelling... amazing.

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  12. Allix, you're amazing! Those were spectacular photos. Great job. :)

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  13. PERFECT PERFECT PERFECT YOU PRO.

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  14. This is a gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous set of shots!! Congratulations on your first wedding, and you did an outstanding job!! LOVE them ♥

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  15. ALLIX. Oh my goodness, I'm not even sure I can put into words how much I love this post. I mean THIS is your first wedding?! It's incredible! You told and captured their story so beautifully that I may or may not have gotten some watery eyes. These pictures are absolutely breathtaking! Also, I love the new design!

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  16. Goodness gracious, Allix! These are SPLENDIFEROUS! Wow, I am just blown away. I can't believe that this was your first wedding! Go be a wedding photographer, girl. All the time. :)

    xx.
    Lindsey

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  17. Allix, these are beyond amazing. I think it's safe to say that this is my favorite wedding post I've ever read, and these are my favorite wedding pictures that I've ever seen. The compilation of the story and photos was perfect...beautiful...wonderful....and ah so so beautiful.

    You are incredibly talented, friend!!!

    Blessings!

    ~Madi

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  18. Wow. I can't believe that was your first wedding. Those are absolutely amazing!!

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  19. These are BEAUTIFUL. I feel like I just got an inside look at a fairy tale. Love love love it all!

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  20. Allix! You blew. This. Away. Wow, just wow! Stunning photos. And what an incredibly sweet couple + wedding!

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  21. O EM GEE!!! these photos were amazing!!!!! i LOVE all the ones of her and the girls getting ready and espesh ALL b&w's!!! great great GREAT job Allix!!!!

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  22. You did SUCH a fantastic job...how is this your first wedding?!?! Girl. SO GOOD. And you told the story so well...ahh, I feel as if I know them & was there. :)

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  23. so here's the thing... I've looked at a LOT of different wedding photos... and this one pretty much tops the charts.
    these is so so joyous and beautiful. you captured something this couple will forever cherish. wonderful job, allix! you nailed it, girl! :)

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  24. I can't believe this is your first wedding. Absolutely fantasic, Allix. I'm inspired - really. You have a gift.

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  25. Oh my goodness Allix, these are stunning. This wedding looks like it was super fun and wonderful and meaningful and beautiful and romantic. I almost got teary looking at all the pictures and reading what you wrote about it. You rocked your first wedding! The pictures are amazing! :)

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  26. Gooooood job my friend! (I am refraining from calling you "my young padawan learner" ;)

    I've been looking forward to this post ever since you posted a preview and it was better than I could have imagined! You rocked it! The pictures/story/editing/feel of this whole post is just beautiful.

    Amazing job :)

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  27. Oh wow Allix...so, so, so beautiful. You did a superb job on your first wedding, I love each and every photography from this special day. :)

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  28. You did splendidly dear friend : D : D

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  29. i'm basically crying right now.
    and so proud of you.
    SO BEAUTIFUL.
    THIS WHOLE WEDDING.
    just.
    NO.
    i'm done.
    ahhhhhh.
    my heart is so happy. their love >>>
    (and um blonde + redhead = hello gorgeous children!)

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  30. Allix,

    What can I say girl? You captured the emotion so well! I teared up..

    Inspiring me as usual!

    -Kayla

    (friend of Hannah Elise!)

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  31. Let me touched, such a beautiful wedding, so moving pictures, wish happiness.

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  32. holyshmoly. daisycrazy. graciousmacious. WOMAN. YOU NAILED IT.

    I love you :)

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  33. I'm scrolling through all these commenters words I'm finding tons of great comments and encouragment towards you. People say these pictures and wedding were beautiful, amazing, wonderful and lovely.

    I've been following your blog for a loooong time but never commented. (totally no offense if that sounds really mean. :D)

    This post may be the most astoundingly beautiful wedding I've ever seen any photographer capture. And I'm not saying that b just because I want to be nice to you cuz you're a first timer (BUT I STILL WANT TO BE NICE! ;)) but because it is seriously stunning. Everything about their day you captured so wonderfully and you could not have ever done a better job.

    I scrolled through each picture, staring in such awe of how I was actually in their wedding! ... even though I wasn't. (And yet they both have no idea who am or who would see this post.) I got to the very last of all the pictures and went right back up to the top to go through the post all over again. they're all seriously that incredible.

    Allix, this wedding is a million times better than fantastic. Unbelievably marvelous.

    thank you SO SO SO much for sharing.

    ~Andrea



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  34. I never commented the first time I saw these because I was on my phone, but now that I'm looking at them again on my computer. ALLIX! These are so stunning! I love the way you captured them and told their story throughout the photos! <3

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Hey!! You're commenting!! You are so nice :) Thanks for making my day. :D