Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Worth 1,000 Words: Emily Ross of Dreamy Elk Photography & Design

Photo credit: Emily Ross of Dreamy Elk Photography and Design, capturing the "first look" between the now Mr. Daniel and Mrs Jennifer Sakaida who were married on April 25, 2015

"The photo I chose was Daniel's immediate reaction to seeing his bride Jennifer for the first time that day. Reactions are always different for every couple, but I remember tearing up at this one. Some guys laugh, a few cry. But Daniel promptly kissed Jennifer's hand with all the grace of a gentleman completely in love with his beautiful bride."~Emily Ross, wedding photographer

What love means to Emily Ross, the wedding photographer: 

Every wedding day is different. Yes, they all have a ceremony, they all have flowers, they all have some kind of cake.

But love is present in different ways at each wedding. Sometimes it's in the dedicated hard work friends and family put into the weeks leading up to the wedding day. Sometimes it's in the whispered moments in the dressing room or on the dance floor. Sometimes it’s in the quick hug goodbye before the newlyweds drive off into the sunset.

Love is always present in the smiles and tears of everyone involved. It's always in the hand holding between parents as they watch their baby wed the love of their life. It's always in the way the bride and groom's faces light up when they finally get to see each other. It’s always in the sweet words spoken by maid of honor and the best man.

I don't always get the chance to get to know the bride and groom very well before their wedding day, but it's always very easy to see how well loved they are by their friends and family. When I see that, I get overwhelmed with happiness for them. That makes my job so incredibly easy. That makes me love my job even more than I already do.

What love meant to Jennifer (the bride) on her wedding day and what it means to her now (as a wife):

Love on my wedding day abounded in so many sights and sounds. I saw the love on my husband-to-be's face during our first look—the sweet unfurling of his smile, the way his eyes lit up as they took me in. I saw the love of my family and friends when I walked down the aisle—all eyes on me, the realization that everyone came here for us wanting to share in our joy with laughter and tears. I saw the love in our pastor's beaming grin—the knowing look of someone who'd watched us “grow up" before his eyes. Above all, the love of Jesus Christ surrounded us: hearing the various Scripture readings, the special music, and our pastor's loving, tailored-to-us sermon stirred up so many emotions in my heart, many of which welled up in my eyes.

Now, on the other side of my wedding day, love reveals itself in so many new, small yet profound gestures. Love is when my husband cooks me breakfast even when I am being an emotionally dysfunctional basket case (which is more often than I would like). Love is when I open up my lunch box and find my meals already packed into individual servings (because my husband knows I need the help). Love is this commitment my husband lives out every day to have and to hold me, for better and for worse.

Without Jesus, the love between Daniel and me wouldn't be possible, and with every passing day, I learn more about what it means to love and to be loved. Married life has been filled with many firsts and ups and downs, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

What love meant to Daniel as the groom on his wedding day and what it means to him now as a husband:

When I look back to our wedding day, love for me was about the future: the excitement of anticipating. Of course, I have known from day one that I loved her, but weddings are forward-looking by their very nature. Friends and family came from all over the country to see us begin our journey together; we made promises to each other and before God; and we stored away as many memories and photos as possible. Months of planning came together to celebrate the future we were yet to have.

Now, love is here in the everyday, woven into the variations the daily grind produces. Sure, we still look forward to spending the rest of our life together…but I get more satisfaction from realizing that we are spending our lives together now. There’s something beautiful about being able to love each other day in and day out as we imperfectly imitate Christ. The commitment of marriage gives us the freedom to accept each other, mistakes and all, and to bless each other daily in little ways from meal planning to going on simple dates. Maybe it’s not as “romantic” as our wedding, but I treasure this everyday companionship.

Photographer bio:
Photo credit: Emily Ross of Dreamy Elk Photography and Design
Emily is a wedding photographer based out of Austin, Texas. She’s been in the wedding industry for seven years. She is forever grateful to clients for trusting her with their special day, to her friends and family for their love and support and to God for bringing her the sweetest couples to work with. Emily loves design, the color wheel, Dr. Pepper, musicals, fancy dresses, DIY projects, her husband and Jesus, although not necessarily in that order.

Visit Emily's website to see her beautiful wedding photography and connect with this creative and brilliant photographer,

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