Weddings are always emotional events, typically more for the family and friends than the photographers, but let me tell you, this wedding had us in tears more times than I can count-in good ways!
Before I tell you about that, let me introduce you to the bride and groom. First of all, we know Kari and Eric as friends, we’ve watched their entire, beautiful love story unfold before our eyes. They are the type of couple you love to be around because their friendship is one of the first things you notice about them. Not every couple is best friends first but I imagine that is how they see themselves as well. When you are friends first that seems to make a huge difference in how you live out your relationship. If you have a love story like this, you know what I mean!
Kari is a 3rd grade teacher who is passionate about the kids she works with, her community, and the legacy that she leaves behind. She is the high school volleyball coach for Brewster, starting this year, and her drive and desire to make an impact is going to be amazing to watch when we finally get to be spectators again!
Eric is the Brewster High School PE teacher and coaches multiple sports. One of the first times I started to appreciate his personality was while we were watching the C squad basketball game that he was coaching. The kids were more supportive of each other than I have ever seen in any sport. At the end of the game they rushed the court and carried their teammate off because he made his first shot of the year and they were ecstatic. Eric meanwhile was regaling us with stories about the team that year and his dry sense of humor made me laugh more than I have in a long time. He’s not one to be in the spotlight but he is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met! I left that game telling Kyle that from now on I wanted to watch all the C squad games just because of how passionate they were and how much fun they were having and I know that having Eric as their coach was a primary reason for that.
During this year, weddings have looked much different than the couples originally planned, this day was supposed to be witnessed by close to 300 people and because of the virus that number was limited down to family and a few close friends. When we were talking about their wedding in March, we had no idea how different it would be in July but regardless of what happened, Kari and Eric made the best of it. Every detail was planned out and complemented each other perfectly. From the beautiful location to the way that they brought in their friends and family that couldn’t be present, nothing was forgotten.
One of the most impactful moments of the wedding came during the Father Daughter dance. Kari’s dad was an elementary teacher in Brewster and tragically lost his life on the way home from work one summer. I remember how deeply his loss was felt in the community and how many people were impacted from that loss. At the time I didn’t know Kari personally but several years later we met her for the first time (I think during open gym volleyball, which is where Eric and Kari first met!). Throughout the day, Gary was remembered in multiple ways, from the sweet note and picture that was included on Kari’s bouquet to the seat that was saved in the front right where he would have been.
During the dinner, Kari’s mom shared the special surprise that would happen with me so I could be prepared. However, nothing could have actually prepared me for what it was going to be like. Kari chose to dance with her grandfather and close family friends during the Father Daughter dance and during that time a clip of Gary’s voice came on telling Kari he loved her. I have no idea how her mom found that clip but I will tell you that everyone will remember that moment. Just writing this makes me tear up so I know it will stay with Kari for life and give her such a special moment to forever remember.
Congratulations Eric and Kari! I hope your honeymoon trip to Charleston is even better than you could have ever imagined!
I had the best time working with and photographing elements from these amazing vendors!
Florist: Ellensburg Floral and Gift
Venue: Ritter Farms
Videographer: Grant Walker
Hair & Makeup: Celina Aparicio
Cake: Glaze Bakery
Bride’s Dress: The Dress Theory
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal
Invitations and Paper Items: The Print Shop
Wedding Rings: Originals by Chad (Lynden, WA)