A sign greeted their guest with a list of dates that marked the progression of their love story: “11/07–We Met,” “2/08–Fell in Love,” “1/03/15–Mr. & Mrs.” What’s impossible to put on any list, though, is the moments in between, the smaller but equally important milestones that are difficult to sum up in a few words: Kevin becoming a part of Shelby’s family and like a son to Shelby’s father, Shelby’s support of Kevin on his journey to become a Navy Seal, Kevin being a rock of support for Shelby through family illnesses. It’s the long road they’ve traveled together, over seven years filled with many joys and a few struggles, that brought Shelby & Kevin to their wedding day at Bates Nut Farm.
Shelby and Kevin’s journey began when they met as high school students; they shared a love of the water and the outdoors in general. He drove a lifted truck, which Shelby’s protective older sisters weren’t too keen on. But when Shelby got Kevin a job where she and her sister also worked, Kevin started to prove himself as a loyal and dedicated young man. Shelby & Kevin both came from loving families but had very different stories. Kevin’s mother Tori was a single-mom for most of Kevin’s life, while Shelby’s parents Janie & Mike had been married for decades. Shelby’s dad took Kevin under his wing. They became like family.
Not all grooms allow themselves to become emotional during their wedding ceremony. In Kevin’s line of work as a Seal, where he is regularly tasked with great challenges under extreme stress, he no doubt has to hold back his emotions. But with Shelby, there is no holding back for Kevin. There is no holding back for either of them. The intensity and depth with which they love each other is evident in every moment, every touch, each gaze. Their bond runs deep. And now officially, they are family.
Shelby & Kevin, thank you so much for allowing me to photograph the culmination of your love story, your wedding, your Best Day Ever. Shelby, it means so much to me to have been able to see you as a beautiful bride, so filled with love, excitement, and laughter. Kevin, I wish a safe deployment for you and your team. It was clear on your wedding day that that no one could treasure Shelby more than you. I know it will be a challenge for you both to be apart, but your special bond will keep your hearts connected even thousands of miles away. Best wishes to you both on a joyous and loving marriage.
Venue: Bates Nut Farm / Coordination: Tammy Coleman of Maggie Tyler Events / Hair & Makeup: King Cardoza Studio /Catering: New Life Culinary Creations / Flowers : Anna’s Flowers / Cake & Cupcakes: Jenns Cake Couture / Videographer: Garvin Ha / Assistant Photographer: Sheri Berg