'and I don't know about tomorrow
right now the whole world is right
and the memory of a day like today
can get you through the rest of your life.'

it's likely if you follow me on social media, you've seen kayla + joel already about 307 times.  you may even feel like you know them by now.  like you might do that weird stare you do when you see someone at target and you feel like you know who they are and then you realize oh wait you only know them because you've seen them tagged in your friends' friends' photos on facebook.  and then it's weird and you feel kinda creepy and also that maybe you should take a break from the internet stalking for awhile.  never happened to you?  oh.  me neither.  

or maybe this is the first time you're seeing kayla + joel's beautiful faces and in that case well my friends you're in for a real treat, indeed.

brief backstory : 

kayla + i went to high school together [ GO FALCONS ] but we weren't friends at the time - just knew of each other.  smiled in the hallways-type-thing.  we went to a big school.

like most people did after graduation, we befriended everyone from EK on facebook [ including each other ] - to keep in touch with people we knew and keep tabs on people we didn't and to provide us with an excuse to never really need to hold a formal high school reunion.

ten years [ and a lot of life things later ] trusty facebook informed me that kayla cooper was engaged to this handsome dude named joel with an adorable photo of them holding his + hers wine glasses [ and some new bling ].  me, having no qualms with being awkward and forward, messaged her regarding wedding photography within a week of the announcement.  she didn't seem to mind the intrusion so a few weeks after that i nervously sat across the table from them at elk brewing, trying to convince them to choose me to capture their wedding with fast chatter and a folder of cheesy photo info.  what was i doooooing?

i survived that night and over the next year they became two of my husband's and my best friends, euchre partners and friday-night-go-tos. we group texted, tormented each other with facebook commentary and made plans to harbor them in our basement to get them into alger [ mostly kidding ].  kayla and i talked wedding plans and happenings almost daily - and the month leading up to their wedding the most nervous i had ever been for a wedding.  i wanted it to be perfect for my friends, and felt an increasing amount of responsibility to make sure that happened.

i don't know why i was worried because the planning, scheming and designing of this wedding was flawless.  kayla, along with her family and friends put together the most perfect day that i could have ever imagined.  i asked kayla to share some thoughts on it - since we both have v real withdrawals going on right meow - and a month later still talk about it daily - and this is what she shared :

"between my mom and step mom being forgotten...my ring bearer being dragged down the aisle...and the rings getting dropped on the stage, i've never laughed so hard during a wedding in my life.  and that's not even being biased.  our bridal party was out of this world, too.  seven out of eleven of them attended east kentwood high school and it was so fun and meaningful to have these life long friends standing with us - having known them all since 9th grade or before.  it felt like everyone that attended our wedding knew each other.  i loved how all of our friends and family intertwined so effortlessly by the end of the evening.  it really didn't feel like two sides."

i feel like i could ramble on about them, their wedding day, the photos, the donuts, kayla's hair...forever and ever amen.  but i won't, so you're welcome.  i'll just share with you a handful [ or so ] of my favorite images of their day - so you can relive it with me.  because this will be one i will not soon forget.  but luckily, i won't ever have to because i get to bug them and see them all the time in real life.  and i'm thinking of adding a photo of them on my family wall because that's not weird, right?  and if nothing else, we have loads of personal cell phone video footage thanks to my husband the new-found videographer extraordinaire.


blog read tunage : today, brad paisley

want to see the list of all the amazing talent that helped make this day a thing?  kayla is so nice she put together a list for us right here.