Oh my goodness, this was an incredibly magical, fun and emotional weekend! I met Michaela & Will at their cousin's wedding that I photographed last year. Michaela started crying of joy when she found out that I am a multicultural photographer, because she is North American and Will is Nigerian. We've been friends ever since.
The wedding celebration was a full blown weekend surrounding July 16th! We stayed at the Linden Hills Historic Mansion in Little Falls, MN. Everyone welcomed me into their family, Michaela's mom cupping my face in her hands and telling me with tears in her eyes that they all love me. I quickly realized where Michaela gets her emotional side from. Photographers love that! ;-)
This celebration was unique in that there were 7 countries, spanning 5 continents, represented among the guests: Uruguay, Spain, England, Norway, Nigeria, China, and the U.S.! People literally travelled the world because of the love that is shared for Michaela & Will. We laughed, danced, ate good food, reminisced, learned about each others' culture, played lawn games, got lost in the maze of the mansion, "ooh"ed and "aah"ed over newborn baby, dropped our bouquet in the river and had it rescued by one of the photographers, fanned each other so no one would pass out from the heat, and even played in the rain at sunset! The celebration continued into the wee hours of the morning.
One of the most beautiful aspects of this wedding was expressed by Will many hours after the ceremony. "Today, I not only gained a bride, but a mom, dad, and two sisters!" Now I was the one with tears in my eyes, because I knew that many of Will's beloved family members and friends couldn't be with us to celebrate that day.
My dear Michaela & Will, you two are seriously a blast. I love your energy, your open and loving spirit, how you humorously tease each other, and your unashamedness in being yourself no matter how goofy that is! I am cheering you on in your journey together as you continue to strengthen each other, learn from each other, and let your love hit the world in a radical way!