So, I thought I might bombard ya'll with photos of my sweet friend Amber's wedding. Since I was a bridesmaid, I unfortunately was unable to take as many pictures as I would have liked. Every now and then, though, I just had to pull out my iPhone and snap a few irresistible shots. The wedding took place at the Mill at Yellow River, a beautiful converted twine mill that now serves as residences and as a wedding venue. Near Atlanta, the mill sits on the edge of a thundering waterfall framed by a beautifully landscaped little garden.
Before the wedding, we bridesmaids spent several hours in the bridal suite preparing with Amber. As such, most of my photos are of the suite and the "getting ready" session. I couldn't resist capturing the industrial charm of the place. Brick walls, original windows, pine floors... be still my heart!
I loved the contrast of the delicate crystals and lace against the stark brick and weathered wood. The pale pink peonies and roses of the bride's bouquet were so fragrant-- a perfect cluster of spring flowers. Everything perfectly complimented the spring season--from the blush pink of the bridesmaid dresses, to the peony bouquets, to the breezy tulle and lace of the bride's gown.
Witnessing the bride prepare for her groom and the ceremony is a sweet, special privilege. Watching Amber apply mascara, smooth her hair, and perfect each aspect of her appearance underscored how much preparation--both inward and outward--goes into these special days. The bride isn't simply preparing for one special day or one moment of frill and fancy. No, she's preparing for an entirely new phase of life, as a new person, as someone's wife. Her identify takes on an entirely new facet. I remember the hours before my own wedding ceremony. I won't lie; I had some nervous tummy flutters. But then, calmness would settle around me, and I felt steady in my purpose. For the most part, I just kept thinking how surreal the day felt. I couldn't believe that something so monumental and important could be contained within a normal day's 24 hours.
Can I just take a moment and comment on how beautiful Amber looked? My mother and I discussed it later: how brides truly seem to glow, their natural beauty suddenly so much more apparent. Sure, the stunning, ornate gowns, makeup, and professional updos may have something to do with that-- but I think there's more to it. My mom put it so perfectly when she remarked that she thinks that God gives brides a special anointing that day. Of course, there's no way to truly know-- but I think that perhaps God bestows an extra blessing of grace and beauty on brides.
Sadly, I wasn't able to capture any photographs of the ceremony. The precious photograph below-- of the ceremony kiss- was taken by my close friend Krysten. It's bittersweet to watch a friend get married. Your heart swells with joy at their happiness but you tear up at the realization that childhood and the teenage years are officially over. Sometimes, it's easy to lament those lost days: the carefree times of hair braiding, nail painting, and flirting with boys. But time moves inexorably onward-- and we have to move with it. I'm thankful for the friends and loved ones who get to move along the pathway with us. I feel sure that there are so many wonderful days ahead, filled with new joys, new sorrows, new challenges, and new victories.
P.S. Don't you just love Mark's woolly beard? Jeez-louise, my very own mountain man! Let's just say a wife picks her battles... I have to admit, though, it is quite the beard. However, I think the Georgia heat convinced the poor man that we may have to bid the beard farewell once the weather warms up.