The Kelley-Abercrombie Wedding & First Look | Dothan, Alabama

Swoon. That’s what Cammie and Justin made me do.

Thomas and I had not met Cammie and Justin before their wedding day. We’d only had a few telephone conversations and email correspondence prior to the big day. We always prefer some face time with our clients before their weddings…we just find that it’s much more comfortable on the wedding day if we’ve gotten to spend some time together, just hanging out, before we’re present for such personal moments in our couples’ lives. But we said a little prayer, stepped out of the car and went to find the bride and groom!

I’m sure you’re wondering when the aforementioned swooning happen. That my friends, would be during their first look. First Looks – no kidding – are what I love the very most about my job.

I never, ever get tired of watching a groom’s eyes light up when he sees his wife-to-be as a bride for the very first time. I never get tired of the moment that takes place immediately after the bride has tapped her groom on his shoulder and their eyes meet. The tender hugs and kisses, softly-whispered words and sweet tears. Nope. They never get old. They are precious and lovely and wonderful every single time. I can’t usually hear the conversations between our brides and grooms during this time, but honestly, I don’t want to. The first look is their time, and only their time. Those are their words, only for each other.  But the fact that I am blessed to be present for such special moments? Well it makes my heart go aflutter and butterflies dance in my stomach.

Justin and Cammie’s first look was certainly beautiful, but what made my heart nearly overflow with affection for them, was the story Justin shared with me right after, when we started their portraits.

Justin told me that when he and Cammie first met, they were both, individually, praying that God would send them a mate. Although they were both praying for a spouse, they had also come to the understanding that God’s will may be for them to remain single, and they both, individually, accepted that. Not long after that, Cammie and Justin met, and it was clear right away, that God had sent Cammie the mate she had prayed for in Justin, and Justin the mate he had prayed for in Cammie.

It’s not just this story that makes me swoon, though. That’s not the only reason I fell in love with these two. The pure, unadulterated love, and the open and honest way in which Justin told Thomas and me about their love story, is really what made me fall for this couple.

I am blessed every time I photograph a first look. Every. Single. Time.

But this…this was special. Learning about Cammie and Justin’s love story, right after photographing their first look….well, there was just something very special and personal about it.

These moments are why I do this job. It’s not the pretty dresses or flowers. It’s not the lovely details and amazing venues. It’s not even all of the free cake.

We do this job for LOVE.

It is capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments between a bride and her groom. It’s about giving them, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren the gift of being able to experience those moments, over and over again, through a photograph.

Why do we do this job? We do this job because of couples like Cammie and Justin Abercrombie.

Every time I photograph a first look, I am not just blessed professionally. I’m not just blessed by the beautiful reminder of how special this job, that Thomas and I do, is.

But I am also blessed personally. These moments remind me to love my husband purely, unconditionally and with my whole heart. I look at Thomas a little bit differently after moments like Cammie and Justin’s first look. I treasure him more. I remember to thank him, for being my groom and for choosing me as his bride. And I remember to thank God for giving us to each other.

Cammie and Justin, thank you for allowing us to be present for such a beautiful moment in your lives. Thank you for sharing your love story with us. And thank you for making me fall in love with my job, and my husband, even more. We pray that you continue to fall in love with each other, over and over, more and more, for years and years to come. God bless.

(We are super excited about photographing another Kelley wedding next summer! Cammie’s sister, Kayla, got engaged after she caught the bouquet and her boyfriend {now fiance} caught the garter at Cammie and Justin’s wedding.)


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