The night ended with the groom, bride, Landon, and I crying under the market lights. Where do we even begin? We had been looking forward to Hunter and Gabi’s wedding at the Adams Estate since spending one of the chilliest days in Florida at Honeymoon Island with them for their engagement session. And when we say looking forward to their wedding, we mean counting down the weeks, days, and hours until we could spend time with them again. I literally couldn’t sleep the night before from the excitement.
It isn’t just because they are high school sweethearts like us. From a young age, they chose each other and haven’t stopped picking each other ever since. It isn’t just who they are now together that gives us goosebumps. It’s how Gabi knew that she wanted to be with Hunter, and all of a sudden, all the things he liked, she “liked.” He liked the outdoors and an outdoor girl she became. They may not have known it then, but at a young age, they were schooling the world on how to love persistently. Selflessly. Diligently. Unapologetically.
The tears started early in the day
Our favorite moment of the day was when our bride sat in her robe, flawless, opening an unexpected gift from her soon-to-be husband. Rewind to when Hunter proposed: he had planned out the most thoughtful romantic proposal that ended with them at their favorite beach, Honeymoon Island, with a message in a bottle. The only problem was that the bottle was missing when they got to the spot. Gabi and everyone had posted on social media about the missing message in the bottle, but to this day, the bottle has yet to turn up. The bottle may have been lost, but the message that came from Hunter’s heart was still very much here. When Gabi opened it, her initial reaction was priceless. With tears in her eyes, she looked up and said:
Who did this?
Not a dry eye in the room. Hunter recreated the message in the bottle. He thought of every detail, from the sand from Honeymoon Island in the box to the aged paper with the message that could never be lost because it was seared in his heart. I know what you’re thinking as you read this. Is Hunter even real, lol? Guys, Hunter is really something out of a novel.
You may wonder when we get to the part of the four of us standing in the middle of the reception, crying together. We always tell our couples how fast the big day goes by and try to slow it down for them. At the night’s end, it felt like we couldn’t slow down time enough. We just wanted to relive the day, this entire journey with them, in slow motion.
As we hugged them goodbye, Gabi looked at us with watery eyes, which isn’t fair how she looks like a precious moment character when she cries. Literally, she is the real-life image of a Precious Moment. Gabi shared the kindest, most heartfelt words we have ever received from anyone in our twelve years of shooting weddings. She’s crying, I’m crying, Hunter’s eyes are watery, and I look over at Landon to find his eyes are watery, and his lip is doing that thing it does when he’s trying not to cry. He only does that when our daughters say something sweet to him. He melts just like butter. Anyway, here we are, all four of us sharing this bitter-sweet moment, crying and not wanting to say goodbye. We finally agreed it was not a goodbye; it was an I’ll see you later.
The emotions behind our tears
Hunter and Gabi, we couldn’t put it into words during our departure without completely falling apart at your wedding, but we will do so now where we can ugly cry in the privacy of our home as we type this, lol. Your kind words weren’t the only thing that provoked our tears. Being wedding photographers, we meet many couples and hear many wonderful love stories, but yours penetrated our hearts so deeply. Probably because when we look at you, Gabi, we see a Proverbs wife. A woman who supports, respects, and encourages her husband. From the beginning, when you chose to participate in activities you had never been interested in, like hiking ;-). You were persistently getting involved in things out of your comfort zone because you love Hunter. Love is a choice, and you have grasped that wisdom early on, and we are just in awe of your heart. Not only will you be an amazing wife, but you will also be an amazing mom one day!
We got emotional because when we see how Hunter loves you, we see God’s command to husbands fulfilled.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her Ephesians 5:25
Hunter, your love for Gabi is so pure. From mourning with her when she comes home crying because she lost a patient to the time and effort you put into making her feel seen. Those details aren’t just little details. They are evidence of how much of a priority her heart is to you, and that’s beautiful. Landon and I walked away, saying:
We hope our girls marry someone like Hunter.
Your parents did good! Continue to be thoughtful, gentle, and devoted to Gabi as you have been. Leaving no stone unturned to protect and love her. I promise you guys that if you continue to pursue each other the way you have for the last seven years, with God at the center of it all, you will never lose the fire. Life will have ups and downs, but you will not be shaken because you have set your foundation on a rock. You see, there was no way I could say all this without ugly crying at your wedding, lol.
We are so happy for you guys, and we can’t thank you enough for sharing your most intimate moments with us. Thank you for allowing us to be witnesses to your beautiful love story. We love you guys so much, and we cannot wait to see all the adventures and chapters to come! Congratulations!