Scars. They come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes we are proud of them, and sometimes we are ashamed. But while each scar may look different, each one holds a unique story…a tale of a battle fought, a challenge met, a hardship faced. And while many of those tales don’t have happy endings, I’m delighted to say that this one does.
Let me take you to a beautiful summer day. Saturday, June 25, 2017. Ben & Leah’s wedding. Most couples that I have the privilege of shooting are couples that I know, either from mutual friends, or from recent engagement shoots, etc. However, this was the first time I’d met either of them, so I was excited to get to know them, and of course, hear their story. I ran into Ben shortly after arriving at the Retreat Center, and met Leah just a few moments later as she was getting ready. As I was shooting a few candid moments of her preparing for her big day, I couldn’t help but notice a small scar near the top of her right shoulder. I recognized it immediately; it was the scar of where a port had once been. I knew right away…this scar had a story. This beautiful bride had a story. This COUPLE had a story.
You see, this scar represented Leah’s recent battle with cancer. But even more than that, it represented Leah’s VICTORY over cancer. A battle won. A challenge overcome. I came to find out, after hearing more of her story, that she was diagnosed not long after they began dating, turning what should have been a carefree time in their lives, into a time full of uncertainty and sadness.
But…they walked through it. Together. And they learned how to persevere. Together. And they overcame. TOGETHER. Sure, they’ve had some pretty unexpected curveballs thrown at them (pun intended ;)), but they kept going. They kept persevering. And they made it. And that scar that sits on her shoulder doesn’t define her any longer.
A gorgeous venue, sitting atop magnificent rolling hills.
A beautiful retreat where family and friends gathered…not only to celebrate a union of two people, but to celebrate a battle WON.
The scar may be there, but the cancer is not.
And THAT is worth celebrating.
Final preparations before going to see her groom…
Seeing each other for the first time…what a sweet moment.
The ceremony took place in a beautiful clearing near the bottom of the hill. Such a gorgeous place to celebrate their union of becoming husband and wife!
Such a sweet gathering of family & friends! So excited that we got to snap a quick portrait of everyone before the reception!
And…here they are…husband and wife!!
Venue: Prairiewood Retreat & Preserve