The sun was inching lower, dusting everything in golden light.
Everyone was silent, their eyes fixed on Chanel, their vision blurring as salty water welled up. My eyes, were fixed on Chanel’s mom. As she watched her oldest daughter read her vows to her very soon-to-be husband, her hand slowly moved up to her mouth, and she closed her eyes for just a moment. And I felt it. Everyone did. The presence of Chanel’s dad, who left this earth knowing his daughter would always be taken care of. We felt it in every word she spoke, in the peaceful silence around us, in the golden light. As Joey’s eyes never strayed from his beautiful bride, I could see in his face that this was one of those moments he would remember even after his hair turns grey. As her vows came to a close, the clicks of my camera’s shutter cracked through the silence like lightning. The officiant looked at Joey and joked, “This better be good cause her’s was kind of awesome…” and everyone exhaled and laughed.
It was awesome.
Everything about this day whispered genuine, undying love. From the heart that went into the centerpieces, to the support of every family member who attended. Usually, Joey is hilarious and has everyone cracking up at the smallest things. For the first look, Joey’s face exuded adoration and softness for Chanel with such clarity, and it was so rewarding to see this different side of him. Chanel and her mom share a bond that has endured every trial and celebration. As Karen walked arm in arm with her daughter down the isle, she saw Joey, and a look of relief and love washed over her face. A look that only a mother could give. Chanel’s only sister, Monica, smiled so deeply at her big sister the entire day and it seemed there was nobody more excited to be there for Chanel. The officiants happened to be Jonjay Van Es and Rich Berra from KISSFM’s Johnjay and Rich! Joey is the audio ninja for the show, so the whole crew was there, which was a recipe for a good time. They ran the ceremony with just enough light-hearted humor, and the perfect amount of genuine care. After the newlyweds walked back up the isle (Chanel grabbing her mom’s hand), we snapped our last portraits and headed into the reception. It was the definition of a party! Dave, Joey’s best man, delivered the most unforgettable speech with more tears and expletives peppered in than any speech I have ever witnessed. Blame it on the ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-alcohol or Dave’s amazing sense of humor, but everyone was roaring with laughter! It was a flawless day, and I was so blessed to be a part of it. Did I mention this was where I got married?! They even had the same DJ! Talk about memory lane. This whole wedding was so relatable it brought me back to my own, and that made this day all the sweeter. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Bradfisch, you threw the ultimate #fischfest.
To hear Chanel’s beautiful vows, listen here. The wedding coverage starts at about 5:20 into the podcast. I suggest having tissues handy!
May is National Brain Tumor Month, and the Phoenix Brain Tumor Walk will be in November 2015. If you would like to join us to walk in memory of Drew Walsh, and for more information on how to support or donate to brain tumor research, click here. #teamsuperdrew
The Wedding Team
DJ: Paul Nazzaro
Coordinators: Konsider It Done
Bride’s Ring: The Diamond House
Bride’s Gown: Suzanne’s Bridal Boutique by Maggie Sottero
Floral Design: Deb Fitzgerald
Hair and Makeup: Ideal Bridal
Officiants: Johnjay and Rich
Photographer: Karlee K Photography
Venue: The Shenandoah Mill