Jennifer and Ray: So Much To Be Thankful For

heritage sandy springs wedding pictures

Jennifer and Ray’s Perfect Spring Wedding At Heritage Sandy Springs

This month we kick off the 2013 wedding season in earnest.  No more hanging around in the office in my pjs.  Well, that’s not true, just not as much hanging out in the office in my pjs.  (There have to be some perks to this glamorous life, after all.)

Each year we’ve been in business, we’ve had a theme, whether we realized it or not.  Stuff like, ‘I just wanna pay the mortgage on time”, or “Holy smokes, I can’t believe we’re really doing this”.  This year, however, we actually picked our theme and we’re making a conscious effort to stick with it.  Our 2013 theme is “Attitude of Gratitude”.  And this wedding, Jennifer and Ray’s wedding, really emphasized in so many ways how much we all have to be grateful for.  Let me tell you a little bit more.

pictures of wedding dress and shoes
You first met Jennifer and Ray back in December when we made their engagement photos at The Goat Farm.  They’re cool and fun and beautiful and in love, which is a lot to be grateful for already.  A few weeks ago, I met up with them to have brunch and talk over their wedding photography plan.  On the morning we hung out, Ray had just run a 5K, and they were both relaxed and mellow.  We chatted and joked around, and they politely laughed at my bad jokes and my alligator story, and noticing how perfectly they blended together, I said to them that they were so comfortable together that they obviously had been together many years, and how many years had it been anyway, six? or seven?  They replied, just over 18 months.  Wow!  Without a doubt, these two are meant to be together.
Four days before their wedding, I got a phone call from Rebekah, one of their coordinators from Sun in My Belly.  Ray was in the hospital and they weren’t sure if he would be able to make it to the wedding.  He was having an MRI, and they would know more tomorrow.  Having no more information than that, I assumed that Ray had injured himself running or biking, since he’s a pretty athletic guy.  And I waited to hear more.

The next afternoon, I got another call from the coordinator.  The wedding was back on.  Woo hoo!

Friday when I arrived at the wedding rehearsal at the gorgeous Heritage Sandy Springs, I spotted Ray across the lawn, and he was using a cane.  He explained that on Wednesday, he had suffered an aneurism in his brain, and had spent two days in ICU at the hospital.  He’d suffered some brain damage and was lucky to be alive.  He’d only been released from the hospital a few hours before the rehearsal!
Saturday was a perfect day.  Really completely perfect.  The weather was amazing, the location was gorgeous, everything went smoothly, and Jennifer and Ray were radiating joy.  There were so many things about the day that I could talk about, but there were a few certain things that stood out that really made the day one of the most special weddings I’ve ever attended.

The first thing was the elevated level of celebration.  A wedding is a celebration of a wonderful thing, the union of two people in love, but this wedding was not just celebrating one event, they were celebrating so much more than that.
bride and groom at heritage sandy springs wedding picture
The other things I noticed were how much Jen’s eyes sparkled, and how beautiful her smile was (also, her lipstick was totally the best color ever).  And after the wedding, I noticed that Ray had a really adorable giddy giggle while we made their newlywed portraits.  And he was grateful.  Gratitude came from him in waves that you could practically feel.  He was grateful to be alive, of course, but as he spoke to everyone and elaborated on his feelings, he explained how grateful he felt to have Jen by his side and how grateful he was to have her as his partner for life, in sickness and in health.
This story has so much happy in the ending.  There’s the marriage, of course. Because Jen and Ray are really meant to be together.   And there’s also the good news that, although he’ll have to have some physical therapy, Ray will recover fully.

And that brings me to the end of this chapter of Jen and Ray’s story.  I want to thank Jen and Ray for choosing to have me be a part of their extraordinarily special wedding day.  Your wedding was perfect and your joyfulness on your wedding day is something I will always remember.


And before I go, I wanted to draw your attention to the video up there.  It’s a new thing we’re trying out.  To keep the length of these posts shorter than a presidential election cycle, we’re trying out slideshows.  So if you liked the photos that you have seen so far, play the video to see a few more.  And if you like the video, share it on Facebook or Pinterest or your favorite social site with aspirations of world domination… it’s all good.  Thanks for stopping by and Happy Earth Day!

Jennifer and Ray’s Wedding Vendors:

Food, event design & coordination, flowers: Sun In My Belly;
Dress: Mikaella
Suit: Hugo Boss
Venue: Heritage Sandy Springs;
Entertainment: Bill Baily
Hair: Brock Cassidie Salon 
Cake: Cakes By Darcy;
Second Photographer:  Gabriel Doty

Amanda Summerlin

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