I (Peter) just want to add a quick note before I turn the blog over to Jill and John. I'm very excited to have the first installment of our anniversary guest blog posts! I asked Jill and John to choose a few of their favorite images from their New Year's Eve wedding we photographed last year and explain why they love them! We couldn't be starting this off with any greater people. I think you'll really enjoy Jill and John's humor and their perspective on their amazing wedding day! Happy first anniversary, you two! Here goes: John: Peter asked us (John, and Jill) to guest blog for our one year anniversary (New Year's Eve). We were to pick a handful of pictures that we love and describe what we loved about it. So Jill and I decided to relive our wedding experience through the beautiful pictures that Peter and Sarah took. We decided that we'd each pick our favorite five and comment about them.
"Okay, I've got mine narrowed down to seven," I stated.
"SEVEN?! I have thirty-seven and I haven't even gotten to the day-after pictures yet."
"Jill, these are supposed to be the pictures that you would take with you to a desert island. If you only had room for 5."
"I KNOW! These are the 37...wait...38 I can't live without!"
The next hour was spent describing my favorite pictures from our wedding, to a soundtrack of a clearly exasperated Jill desperately trying to pare down pictures of her memories for the blog-o-sphere.
"Fine," she finally said, "I'm making a compilation picture."
Jill: I have to say, this was HARD. I’ve always loved all of our pictures – I mean, really, each one, and I’ve often thought that Peter and Sarah must love our pictures the best out of all the weddings they’ve done because our pictures are just SO AMAZING. And that’s challenging, because somehow naturally I make a lot of weird faces and normally they always get caught on film. Anyway, I like too many of our pictures and I always get overwhelmed when I look at them, because it’s so so hard to pick my favorites. I have sat here for the past hour trying to narrow down my choices from twenty or thirty (and THOSE were chosen under duress) to six. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible. An hour and a half later: Ok, yeah, I didn’t get it down to six. I think I did pare it down to under 20, though. Please note that John did restrain himself, but I asked him to comment on all the pictures I picked.
Jill: I love this one because it captures a moment I wasn’t there to see – John and the pastor who married us walking out. I love the black and white – John looks so classy.
John: I do look classy in this one, thanks Jill, and thanks Peter.
Jill: This is the one of the ones that I always came back to after the wedding. I love that it captures that last moment before we walk into the church – looking at it now, I can still feel that sort of strange mixture of peace and excited-ness and expectation. And my dad is so dear to me, and those moments with him were really precious.
John: So fun to see the the bride from this angle, I was busy up in front waiting!
Jill: I love all the pictures of the sanctuary and the ceremony – the ones along the side and the wide range shots are great too. Westwood Baptist Church was very familiar to both John and I, but somehow the night of the ceremony it looked so different – so special. We had a friend of my sister’s, Michelle, there to help arrange us and the church, and between her and the church coordinator, the sanctuary ended up being so glowy up front – it was so beautiful when I walked in, and I’ll never forget the impression it gave me – shadowy and filled with friends and family and special people (reminded me of the “great cloud of witnesses” verse in the bible) all around the edges, and bright and glowing up front. I think this picture captures that feeling perfectly. And our wedding party looks so beautiful.
John: Surrounded by friends, family, and the one whom I hold most dear. I really liked being up there with you, Jill.
John: Proud me with excited mom after the wedding. This was one of the super clear moments that I have from the wedding. It was right after we got married, exited our first room as man and wife. We walked up the stairs and looked at each other and laughed. We had done it. We were two happy people who just got married and didn't know how to speak the feelings that were currently overwhelming us. Then a stream of people came to join us, one of the first was my mom. She just glee'd with joy, and hugged Jill and I. This is one of those mental pictures that I took, but I am so glad that Peter snapped it too - so I can refresh my memory as time dulls the sharp edges of days gone by.
Jill: This is such a great moment to capture! Right after the wedding, the wedding party and parents filed off to join us in an upstairs room and wait for people to leave, so we could take a few pictures. It totally captures the mood that we had – the massive group hug mentality, and captures John’s mom, who is really just the soul of kindness.
Jill: I just kind of love this picture – that’s John’s mom’s hands, and Johns, and mine, and you can see my grandmother’s bracelet as well. This is right after the ceremony, and how they got this shot I have no idea – it wasn’t posed, and I don’t remember him being there. But it’s definitely an awesome moment.
John: It took me weeks to pick out the ring. I went into countless stores carrying 11x14” spreadsheets of rings printed from kinkos taking notes on all the features I liked the best. I’m glad it made it into the pics that Peter and Sarah took.
(editor's note: I'm pretty sure Sarah took the two pictures above because she usually follows the bridal party out of the ceremony!)
John: It started about 4.5 seconds after Peter and Sarah left our hotel room, after having taken photos of us the morning after the wedding. Jill got that glitter in her eye jumped up and down and asked me for the first of about a thousand times, "When do you think we'll get to see the pictures?!" Peter must've gotten this question plenty from other excited ex-brides, since a couple of days later we had a few preview pics to tide us over. This was one of them and it absolutely took my breath away. This photo did what my words couldn't, fully describe the magic of the room that evening. Magical setting, like seriously magical.
Jill: For real. I mean, the room where the reception was looked amazing, but somehow this picture captures not just how great it looked – but how we felt – glittery and sparkly and magical. (And we checked our email and Peter’s blog about 15 times at the resort during our honeymoon looking for pictures. It was SO AWESOME when we got to see some.)
Jill: How hilarious is this picture? It’s kind of perfect – it’s so John’s personality, and all the girls in my wedding party were people that were really special to me, and they look so beautiful. I have always felt blessed to have so many precious people in my life, and I felt like at my wedding, they were all there at once . It was a little overwhelming, but so special.
John: I really like how natural everyone’s smile is in this pic.
Jill: Ok, I cheated. But I loved SO MANY of our dance pictures and to pick one just was too tough. So I picked five. I love the one that has our hands in focus, and the ones that Peter took when John spun me – I love the movement in them, and the one that shows John and my back – my veil looks awesome – I love how the lace looks, and well…yeah. I couldn’t pick.
John: The song we danced to was Rascal Flatts “Bless the Broken Road.” I remember two nights before, sitting in Jill’s car trying to decide between 20 possible ones, but the moment this song came on, I just had blazing memories of Jill and I. Perfect song for a perfect dance.
John: Another mental picture of mine is standing with my beautiful bride beaming as her sister and matron of honor, Jessica, said the most touching toast. I will remember it as the exact moment that Jessie would hand me the baton to take care of her sister for the rest of my life. It's an honor I gladly accept.
Jill: I love this picture both because it was a great moment and because it has John and I and our best friends –his cousin Jeremy and my sister Jessica. It was so perfect that they were the best man and the matron of honor.
Jill: The pictures of the photo booth are so fun – and this one is a compilation that I made of Mark and Marne. Mark was the pastor that married John and I, and he and Marne are old friends of John’s family and huge pranksters. Once, we were at a wedding with them when John and I were dating (it was my first time meeting them) and Mark had missed out on the mini meatball appetizers. He teased me the whole night about eating all the meatballs, and then a few months later I got a package from a made up organization about how I ate too many meatballs. Included in the package was a pack of baby carrots – rancid, as they had obviously shipped ground. Anyway, we love their whole family and we were so glad it was Mark that was marrying us.
John: I have a photo booth picture on my desk at work. I have gotten many complements on it, and every time I am proud to tell them that it was my wife’s idea to bring in the frames. Everyone had such a great time with the frames at the photo booth.
Jill: Ok, exhibit A for Jill making weird faces. But who cares, because look at John’s sister Amanda flying through the air. The whole sequence of the flower toss pictures are AWESOME. Me preparing to toss the bouquet, the bouquet mid-air, having just left my hand, Amanda making her leap, John trying to take the bouquet away from her – I mean the whole thing is like a flip book of awesome. I’d make another compilation picture if I didn’t think John would make fun of me when he sees what I’ve done.
John: LOL, a flip book of awesome – nice Jill! My sister isn’t afraid to catch some air, go Amanda!
John: 509 - Our new years kiss. Surrounded by everyone we love, on our wedding day, on new years eve. I love that moment and this picture. Thank you Peter and Sarah.
Jill: This series of pictures – our kiss right at New Year’s – are really great. John wanted to pick 509 – our actual kiss, but I couldn’t pass up 516 – we just look so happy, and I love everyone celebrating around us.
Jill: I really tried to pick just one. I really did. But even with John’s picks (we each tried to pick 5 pictures total. He did well. I didn’t.) Anyway, one of my favorite things that we did with the whole wedding was the day after session. I didn’t want to try to stuff all our pictures into a short half hour/hour between the ceremony and the reception, and John didn’t want to see me before the wedding. Peter and Sarah were willing to work with us the day after the wedding to do a photo shoot with just the two of us, so we did it. It was so great – we got to get all dressed up back in our things, and have a really fun and relaxed time taking pictures. I was so glad Sarah was there – she and Peter made a great team and she made sure that I didn’t have funky hair, which I was so glad of. John and I got some “getting ready” shots (how cute is the “cinderella” picture bottom left?), and I love the “GQ” picture (top right), and I love the smile/kiss picture, and me at the window with things looking so bright outside. But how do you pick one?
John: The day after session was a grand idea, and one of the best parts of the wedding experience. Peter and Sarah were so accommodating. They were a blast to work with, and had such creative ideas. What a photog team! I mean, c’mon, we look great. And that’s a hard thing to do for me after a night of dancing and *gasp* sweating.
Jill: I love this shot of my dress – with the light shining through it, and the lace outlined on the front. The rooms that we got ready in were the youth group rooms in the church, and were painted in neon colors. It was really great that Peter could get shots the next day of my dress in a pretty location.
John: Jill asked Peter if he could get a shot of her dress and it turned out awesome. Great job Pete!
(editor's note: Again, I'm pretty sure that this is Sarah's photo - so Great job Sarah!)
John: This is one of the pictures I have on my desk at work. This was taken the morning after our wedding when we had our day-after session with Peter and Sarah. Peter said to us that he had seen a cool pillar in the lobby of the hotel with marble on the bottom of it. Jill and I both squatted down to the floor in our wedding dress/tuxedo on new years day in front of the marble part of a pillar. I have never seen both of us look so good.
Jill: I love this picture – we look so good in it, and having pictures where we both look good is so rare.