She was never ‘just Sara’ in middle school when I met her. Because, before Graham came along, Sara was already spoken for. She came as a pair. She was the dark-haired half of the couple everyone knew to be Sara and Stephanie. Sara and Stephanie shared everything in life… except for their mother’s womb, which, if given a choice… they may have asked to share that too. They met as very, very young girls, and were inseparable all the way up until they finally parted ways for college. So, when I met Sara in middle school, I met Stephanie too. They will both try to tell you a (ridiculous) story about me bullying them for a bite of their burrito during lunchtime in 7th grade, but don’t believe a single word they say. Sara and Stephanie joined forces with me and my best friend, Crystal, and then Ashley joined our awesomeness, and it was a match made in Berrendo Bulldog heaven.
Sara, Stephanie, Crystal, Ashley and I traipsed around Roswell, New Mexico as a perfect Party of Five, which ironically, was all the rage as we made our way through the years of high school.
The thing is though… people never tell you that you are going to meet your best friends in high school. And they also aren’t going to tell you how utterly sad you will be when your best friends are scattered around the United States, and you only get to see them once a year… if you’re lucky.
I do realize that this is Sara and Graham’s wedding blog, but there is no way that I could ever start to tell you how integral Sara has been in my life without also mentioning this entire group of gorgeous women… I chuckle to even call them women. Because the only things that I can picture when I talk about them are braces, first boyfriends, St. Ides malt liquor, and the squeal of Sara’s Mustang as she pulled out of my driveway as she picked me up each Friday and Saturday night. I also can’t help but throw a little shout out to the 1999 State Volleyball Champs… Goddard Goddard Rooooooooockets!!
It came as no surprise to us that Sara kept Graham a secret for possibly the first year of their relationship. This is what Sara has always done. She is fiercely protective of those closest to her, but also incredibly private with her feelings. She takes her time to make sure that something is perfect before she starts to share that facet of her life with others, and that is exactly what she did with Graham. She probably also wanted to keep Betty (her Mom) away from his Facebook account for a while too… ha ha ha!!
So, when Sara finally decided to start sharing Graham with us, we knew that it was already something special. He was something special.
Sara is always laughing. Laughter is the way to her heart, but she is also a little bit obsessive in her professional life… uh ummm…. type A, you might say. Graham is everything calm in her life. He is her rock. He is her home. His voice can soothe her every concern, and make the rest of the world melt away.
Graham makes Sara laugh, which speaks right into the pit of who she is as a person, but more importantly, he embodies the characteristics that she needs to be complete. And just as much as Graham is Sara’s counterpoint, she is his. They fit together as perfectly as a husband and wife should, and I was absolutely honored to have spent this very first moment with them on the day that they would be married.
The very first look that they shared with one another never faltered throughout the day. The remained engrossed in one another’s arms, locked in each other’s gaze, and completely present for every single minute of their wedding day.
I went into the weekend already knowing, and loving, Sara and her family. Betty and Gordon are like another set of parents to me, and they love my husband and children as though we are extended family. What I didn’t expect was that I was going to see another amazing side of Graham that weekend, and fall in love with his family, as well. Sara & Graham’s wedding weekend was filled with welcome parties, bridal luncheons, rehearsal dinners, after parties… and after parties to the after parties. Each and every time that I saw Graham he hugged me with genuine arms. He thanked me profusely at every turn, and truly showed me exactly what kind of an amazing husband Sara was gaining that weekend. He is so kind and comforting, yet welcoming and energetic at the same time. He can walk through a room and make every person in his line of sight feel welcome, but he can also stand to the side when his beautiful wife is the center of attention (which is often… I mean, have you seen how gorgeous and enigmatic Sara is??)
It comes as no surprise that this endearing man came from a wonderful stock. His beautiful parents doted naturally from the sidelines, along with Betty and Gordon, as they all watched on as their children joined their lives. The amount of love that was shown to me from people who were basically strangers was incredible and awe inspiring. And seeing Graham interact with his young nephew, who is fittingly named after him… reGraham, as they call him… was heartwarming.
Sara & Graham. There is no way for me to say to you how incredibly honored I was to photograph your wedding. Because the words are likely there, but I can’t find them. They escape me. Because each time that I have tried to type them, my breath escapes me too. I have never cried from nerves before a wedding as hard as I
hyperventilated… cried the morning of yours. I have never choked back tears when I sent a bride off to tap her groom’s shoulder during a first look. And I have never photographed a wedding day with so many tears behind my camera. Your wedding felt like a fairy tale, and I can not thank you enough for asking me to be the one to be by your side for the entire day. I love you both, dearly. And I wish you nothing but many years filled with Sara’s many accents… private jokes… empty wine bottles… and laughter… always laughter.