Tuesday, February 17, 2015

in which tairi + bianca found a good thing and praise God for wedding bells :: cedar hill, texas wedding photographer

This marriage is a picture of the story Heaven tells
That means this oneness can't be severed, well very well
By God's grace I married well. I found a good thing.
You'll always be my love (oh my my my)
You'll always be my love (my oh my)
I love you, I'll never leave, I want it to be
Always you and only you, I've found a good thing.
I honestly was not aware that two strangers could affect me so much in just a matter of hours. I was taken aback by how inspired I was to love my own husband more, how much more thankful I should be for grace, and how amazing and life-changing God's love really is. Witnessing these lovers become husband and wife laid me low and built me up. It had me weeping and soaring. These two are daily and unashamedly running hard after Jesus Christ and that passion adds a powerful fire to their love for one another. Every second made me more aware of how much they treasure, value, and cherish each other and how they are sincerely seeking to outdo one another in grace, love, and honor. I hope this post even begins to scratch the surface of their sweet depth.
Their story begins with their two separate paths in which they were both experiencing a similar rough period in their lives of idolizing romantic relationships. They, both seeking to overcome, found themselves committed to encountering God as they served incoming college students at the Campus Crusade's Impact Conference in Atlanta in 2010. And this is where they met....but they weren't initially attracted to one another and didn't even really remember meeting but they became Facebook friends as was usual among fellow Impact attenders. Though there had been no real spark at the conference, they casually kept up with each other by corresponding every couple of months. This platonic periodic catching up lasted from December 2010 to December 2012. Then in late December, just after Christmas, Bianca got extremely ill and she told Tairi about it. 
As Tairi learned just what the illness was and how bad it could be, he began to fervently pray for her health and well-being. Well....as Tairi began to faithfully pray over that week, something was birthed in his heart for Bianca and he began to take note and recount all of their interactions over the past two years. As he recalled all of this, "blinders" were removed from his eyes and he was particularly attracted to just how godly a woman Bianca seemed to be! He said to himself "Wow! This girl really loves the Lord!" 
From there, he prayed and sought the Lord for guidance about what to do! This whole time Bianca had only seen Tairi as a great brother in Christ and friend to her. So when he slyly asked her for her number, she thought it to be nothing more than him continuing his caring friendship with her. However, later that week when they talked on the phone for 4 hours, they realized that this wasn't just an ordinary conversation but instead the beginning of something beautiful and exciting! Three months later, they reconnected in the same place they first met {Atlanta} and they hit it off! Then on May 3rd, 2013 they both traveled to Tampa, Florida and he asked her if she would be willing to trust the Lord with him as they dated with the intention of pursuing marriage. Having already sought the Lord on numerous occasions, Bianca strongly believed that the affections that stirred in her heart for Tairi could have only come from the Lord and was willing to continue to trust Him and enter into a relationship with Tairi. 
Their courtship was official!!
 In the fall of that year, after losing her job at the end of May and seeking the Lord in prayer, Bianca took a leap of faith and moved to Dallas. The Lord continued to bless their relationship as they learned more and more about each other. The rose colored glasses were off, but it was obvious that the Lord's love for them was the fountain and source of their love for one another. Neither one could imagine spending their lives learning and growing, and struggling and persevering with anyone else. 
On February 8th, 2014 Bianca along with several other women from her church, took a group of teenage girls to a purity conference at Mercy Street. As she left the venue where this was taking place, she came to her car and found a note on it. She wondered, "Did I park in the wrong space?", or "Maybe its a note of encouragement from a friend!" As she tried to dismiss the note that was on her car and continue on her way, her friend Rachel (who knew what was going on) urged her to open the note. Bianca obliged...and then began her journey!
Tairi had come and placed a note on her car to send her on a scavenger hunt that he properly called: "A faith journey!" (One of their first conversations was one where they talked extensively about what it meant to have faith and trust God). Therefore, in the note, he reminded her of this passage, Hebrews 11:1-6, which is all about trusting God in the future because of who He has proved to be in the past! Included in that was this quote about the vulnerability involved in trusting: 
"Risk is the key: when people really trust each other, they are exposing themselves and risking being damaged, but they are willing to put all at stake for the greater hope that the profound love in the grace of God, will enable them to trust that the other person will do all they can to protect and not damage the other person...therefore the opportunity to be fully known and yet fully loved, despite the great potential for heart break.. is well worth the risk."
Bianca had already had a rough morning struggling with her emotions and insecurities, but with five stops ahead and no idea what was about to happen, she reluctantly left the girls and started along to her first stop on the journey.
The first stop was at a bus station in downtown Dallas where Tairi had hopped on a mega-bus to Atlanta, where they would meet again for the first time in 2+ years. Bianca's roommate, Lyndsay, and Tairi's roommate, Tom, read a list of memories from that time to Bianca, along with a scripture passage Proverbs 3:3-5 and sent her off to her next stop. It finally dawned on her what was about to take place and she quickly became overwhelmed and extremely nervous!
Her second stop was a local "Half Price Books" store. Rachel, a mutual friend from church, was waiting for Bianca to read her a list of memories of different steps of faith they took as they opened up to the Lord about their insecurities about entering into a relationship and how they were struggling to step out in faith to trust Him in this way. During that time, they both read through a book called "Passion and Purity" as they purposed to wait on the right timing for God to bring them together. Rachel shared the following verses: Psalm 27:4, Psalm 16:8, 11 and sent her on her way. The third stop was Dallas Theological Seminary where Tairi was attending school. At that location, there was Bianca's friend Courtney who reminded Bianca of the time she drove 8 hours to Tampa to reunite with Tairi and meet all of his family at his cousin's graduation. This was the time when he asked her to be his girlfriend and they began their courtship. Courtney then read the following verse: Isaiah 64:4 and sent Bianca to her next stop. Her last stop before FINALLY getting to Tairi was at his apartment complex. There, Bianca's good friend Charis was awaiting her arrival and read a list of memories from Bianca's first visit to Dallas until her actual move to Dallas and how the Lord called her to trust Him during that time. Charis read Galatians 4:4-7, talked with her about how she was feeling, prayed with her and sent her to her final stop, where Tairi would be waiting.....

F I N A L L Y!

Bianca made her way to her final stop, with all the emotions already running their course, she walked up poised as she could for the moment--not knowing she had been photographed all the way there and was still being photographed. Tairi met her halfway and walked her to the front of a fountain at a church in downtown Dallas where he recounted all the memories from the last stops, read scriptures about Song of Solomon and "his beloved"-- dropped on one knee and asked, 
"Will you be my wife and join me on this faith journey?"
She smiled looking down and responded, "Yes of course! Get up!" 
He slipped the ring onto her finger and hugged his future Mrs. Mobley!
I was already crushing pretty hard on Bianca's JCrew gown while it was hanging up...it looked simple but I could tell how lovely it was. Then once she put it on -- it was breath-taking. The cream color against her dark skin was dreamy and every time throughout the day that the wind  blew around her, it flowed effortlessly like water. Keep your eyes peeled for some dress flowing action later on. ;)

G e t t i n g    m a r r i e d! 

No feeling in the world quite like this one. :)
Their venue was the Alan E. Sims Recreation Center in Cedar Hill, Texas....which I had never been to but upon seeing the abundance of windows I was far more than pleased. :) Who says just because you get married inside you have to forfeit blessed natural lighting? Nooope. False ;)
Oh. After spending all morning with her -- quietly anxious, smiley, reserved, and yet surprisingly (almost hiddenly) sassy -- on one side of the hotel and him -- SO happy, blatantly rejoicing, fun-loving, ready -- on the other side, I was eagerly awaiting their first look. It was also the first time for me to witness them together....little did I know I was about to be hit with a contagious and overwhelming wave of sweetness, tenderness, excitement, delight, and just pure fun. These two are doing love right, its as simple as that. :)
This was one of the most memorable ceremonies I've ever seen...the Lord was exalted, and worshiped, and thanked, and delighted in. It was beautiful. There was a mighty sense of gratitude to Him for bringing this sweet couple together.
One of my favorite parts was the romantic poem tailored to Tairi and Bianca's love story preformed by the incredible spoken word artist, Shy Amos. It was totally brilliant, had me laughing and got my eyes to misting as she continued to speak while they washed each other's feet. (Little did I know that was the tip of the iceberg of what was to come.) 
Then their vows began. My eyes widened and my heart leapt into my throat. I held back as long as I could but as Tairi kept speaking....well, here...read for youself:

In faith, honesty and love, I choose you, Bianca, to be my wedded wife, to live out God's plan for our lives together, with you, as we are united, one in Christ with God's promises and the Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide me. In my heart I know that you are the woman to be my wife, lover, companion & best friend. You are the one I choose to spend the rest of my life with – establishing a Christ-like home, and guiding any children in our home by the grace of God.  

I promise to love you, care for you and listen to you. I promise to trust you, protect you and encourage you.  I promise to value you, to nourish, cherish and honor you, pray for you, wash you with the Word of God and be faithful to you – all the days of my life.

In our marriage I promise to be open with you, to gently communicate in honesty with you, and to choose love as we work through any conflicts.  I will always seek to show you unconditional love, gentleness, kindness, forgiveness and patience. I promise to be your servant leader.
{ And here's where the waterworks really began for me }

I accept responsibility and accountability for you and us.  I know that I’m called to love you unconditionally as Christ loved the church…so let me state:  You are beautiful, you are intelligent, you are dedicated to the Lord and you love the Word of God---but I don’t love you solely because you are beautiful, or solely because you are intelligent, or even solely because you are dedicated to the Lord and love the Word of God….if your beauty fades I will still choose to love you, if you can’t think any longer, I will still choose to love you, if your heart is prone to wander, I will still choose to love you and if you couldn’t read the Word of God any longer, I still choose to love you. I promise to still pursue you and choose to love you, each and every moment…over and over again, every moment we have until we pass from this life unto our Savior, I will choose to love you as shown through service, sacrifice, commitment and communication….this is how Christ has loved me, this is how I vow to love you as my wife!  May God, who I need for each of these moments, pour out His love on me to enable me to keep this commitment and may these many witnesses especially my brothers standing here hold me to this vow for the sake and glory of Jesus!

I know that these words and my own effort alone could never accomplish what God has set out for us in these vows….I acknowledge my need and complete dependence on the help our God to fulfill my vows to you….
Bianca Marie Larsen, I joyfully make this covenant with you as my loving wife and promise to keep it, by the grace of God, for as long as I shall live.
Needless to say...we were all crying. ;) 
I, in faith, honesty and love, choose you, Tairi, to be my loving husband. I choose to live out God's plan for our lives together, with you, as we are united, one in Christ; with God's promises & the Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide me. In my heart I know that you are the man to be my husband, lover, companion & best friend.  You are the one I choose to spend the rest of my life with – establishing a Christ-like home, and guiding any children in our home by the grace of God.  
I promise to love you, care for you and listen to you. I promise to trust you, support you and encourage you.  I promise to value you, to submit to your leadership in reverence of Christ, to  honor you, to pray for you, and to be your faithful helpmeet by the grace and power of God – all the days of my life.
In our marriage I promise to be open with you, to gently communicate in honesty with you, and to choose love as we work through any conflicts.  I will always seek to show you unconditional love, gentleness, kindness, forgiveness and patience.
Because My Redeemer lives and He is the source of my strength and the anchor of My soul, I have full confidence that He will give the grace needed to love you and support you. He has given me eyes to see Him and a heart that savors Him and has shown me that the fullness of joy is found only in His presence. And even though I have everything I need in Him, I am so overwhelmed that He would continue to show me so much grace and mercy by allowing me to serve you, and ultimately Him, as your wife. There is no one I would ever want to spend the good and the bad times with, for the rest of my days, but you. Because of you my affections for the Lord have grown. You make me better and I am honored that you would choose to love me and lay down your life for me. You are the one, and will always be the one whom my soul loves. I love you Tairi Mobley.
  May God, who I need for each of these moments, pour out His love on me to enable me to keep this commitment and may these many witnesses especially my sisters standing here hold me to this vow for the sake and glory of Jesus!
I know that these words and my own effort alone could never accomplish what God has set out for us in these vows….I acknowledge my need and complete dependence on the help of our God to fulfill my vows to you….
Tairi, I joyfully make this covenant with you as my loving husband and promise to keep it, by the grace of God, for as long as I shall live…this is my solemn vow.
MARRIED!!
Something that is so. cool. about these two is that they are BOTH twins! Twins are just awesome in general in my opinion so when two of them get together? That has to be a whole new level of extraordinary, right?! Seems legit. ;)
I was blessed to have not one but two times to get intimate portraits of just them. I can't say it enough how much I enjoy capturing the joy of two people who have just become one. It has a certain charm like nothing else I capture does. Maybe its because I can relate to how they feel and know that, even almost a year down the road, this delight and fascination and enraptured joy in your spouse only goes up from these incredible first moments. :) 
Sir J. tore it up and held it down as the D.J. And he was so kind! Really enjoyed working alongside him. :)
Easily one of the funnest bridal parties everrrrr. 
(And certainly some of the best dancers I've ever met!)
Their first dance was to one of my favorite songs, "Unfailing Love" by Jimmy Needham and if the preciousness of the song was not enough of a tear-jerker, Tairi and Bianca saaaang along to it the whole time. *right in the feels*
"You're my unfathomable precious unimaginable joy 
And you're exceedingly excited and abundantly more than I could ask for 
With your hand in mine we will pass through time and space 
And every second, every minute, every hour of every day I'll say... 
My unfailing love for you will not be moved 
And though the mountains be shaken 
And the hills be removed 
Yet my unfailing love for you...
He tells a story of a King coming in glory and He is 
And that same Man who devised that plan united ours with His 
And so hand in hand we will walk with Him as our two become as one 
And all the promises He promises to us He promises will never be undone." 
Not only was the bridal party made up of great dancers...the whole reception full of guests knew how to get down. I had to remind myself to keep snapping and not just stopping and taking notes. ;)
I was thrilled when they wanted to go out to get more portraits during golden hour/sunset. 
A couple definitely after my own heart! 
Tairi told me, 
"I love her eyes!! They kind of pull you in like a black hole or something. There is a look in her eyes sometimes that makes me feel so loved but so open and vulnerable at the same time...
Besides physical features I’ve always enjoyed her sense of humor because I love to laugh!"
They're haaaaappy and in looooove. ;) 
They have fun :)
As they prepared to leave, Tairi made a speech to express his thanks to everyone who came to share such a monumental day in their life and he also ended  by praying for everyone to have a safe trip home and just to praise God for His goodness and kindness in giving them such a wonderful day. :)
And their sparkler sendoff was a perfect picture of their bright light towards others, their exuberance in living, and the fire in their passion for one another and for Jesus. :)
Congratulations you wonderful two!! It's almost been six months since this magnificent day and I am constantly encouraged by all that I see from you guys, showing that you are daily growing in love and grace. You inspired (and continue to inspire me!) to be thankful for my own "good thing" that I have found. Love you guyssss!! I'm forever grateful that you chose me to capture these memories for you. :)

2 comments:

  1. What a beautiful couple!! Inside and out, clearly. I love all the portraits you got of them but the joy they exude in the set from right after the ceremony is just contagious!!

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