Mary Ann and Craig’s wedding day was a very long time in the making. That same statement is true for a lot of our clients, but especially these two. Kyle initially met Craig about 8 years ago through mutual golfing friends, and got to know him pretty well. Kyle knew when Craig met Mary Ann, and what a big impact she had made on his life. Fast-forward to about a year after Craig had met Mary Ann, and we randomly ran into them in Target. They were a few check-out rows down from us, and Mary Ann yelled across the store, “hey maybe that guy should take our wedding pictures!” This was the first time that I got to meet Mary Ann. She was, and still is, an absolute fireball, in the best way possible. At the time she was totally joking, and we all laughed about it. A few months later, Kyle got a call from Craig asking if he would be willing to photograph his proposal to Mary Ann. Of course!! We were so excited!
Kyle helped Craig pick a location, and we moved into place on the day of their proposal. Like many proposal stories we hear, Mary Ann was pretty upset that Craig had deviated from their original plans for the day because one of her best friends had just had a baby that they were supposed to go visit. She was so surprised and taken back when he dropped down to one knee and proposed. We LOVED being there for that moment, especially since Craig and Kyle are good friends. It’s not often that we get to witness/photograph proposals, but it’s always a reminder of why we do what we do.
A few months later, we scheduled Mary Ann and Craig’s engagement photos, and had so much fun with these two during their session. Mary Ann and Craig balance each other out so well: she’s sassy and outspoken, he’s a little more quiet. Just like most of our other clients, these two were in the thick of planning their wedding day. We had just sent the first draft of their engagement album their way to approve, when we received a phone call one Sunday afternoon from Craig.
Phone calls from our clients are a normal thing, but we knew immediately when we answered that something was up. Craig apologized for bothering us at home on a weekend, and then immediately broke the news: Mary Ann had been diagnosed with breast cancer in both breasts, and they were going to have to postpone their wedding date. Kyle and I couldn’t believe what Craig had just told us, and we both just felt sick. We assured him that it was no problem whatsoever, and that of course we more than understood (I’m not quite sure what kind of people we would be if we didn’t understand), and asked that they please let us know if they needed anything.
We hung up the phone with Craig that night and we both sat in stunned silence. The impact and emotion of what Craig had just told us was sinking in for both of us. We knew that we wanted to do something for both of them, but we weren’t quite sure that we would be able to do anything to help either of them. After a few days Kyle came to me and asked what I thought about him offering to document Mary Ann’s journey. I knew he had to; this was one of the few things that we could do for this sweet girl and her fiancé that might make a difference . What we didn’t know at the time was that Mary Ann and Craig and their families had also been talking about having someone there with a camera to tell her story when it all got to be too much, and the family couldn’t separate themselves enough to take the hard photos. Over the course of the next year and a half Kyle became part of Mary Ann and Craig’s families. He was there for Christmas, when Mary Ann had all of her surgeries, chemo, radiation, the day her doctor declared her cancer free, he was there. While Mary Ann has agreed that we can share her story, that’s not what today is about. That is another whole entirely different story for another day. That story is still being documented and written, and will be shared when the timing is right.
After having to change their wedding date two more times because of surgeries and recovery times, Mary Ann and Craig finally set their wedding date for December 19, 2015. Nobody and nothing was going to stop Mary Ann from finally getting to marry Craig and having one heck of a party and celebration afterwards to celebrate. When their beautiful December wedding day rolled around our whole team was full of emotions all day long. Every wedding day is emotional and meaningful, but there was just a different feeling to Mary Ann and Craig’s day. A feeling of triumph and accomplishment and determination and love like nothing you’ve ever felt before. We walked into Mary Ann’s suite that morning and instantly the gravity of the whole day fell upon us all. Mary Ann and Craig’s day wasn’t just about the dress, or the flowers, whether it was sunny or rainy or snowy. It wasn’t about each and every little detail that went into the planning. It was truly about their journey together over the last year and a half, and the love that they have for each other, and that they were finally getting to start their lives together as husband and wife after beating cancer, together. Here’s just a glimpse into their wedding day.
We can’t thank Mary Ann and Craig, and their families enough for letting us be there for them over the last few years. Not only to document your proposal, and wedding day, but for anything and everything in between. You two have taught us more than we even have the right to write about, and we can’t be more grateful. We’re so happy that you’re finally married, and we hope that you two have nothing but happy, love and joy filled years ahead of you. Love you both dearly. 🙂
Read more about Mary Ann’s journey, in her own words, here.