You know how when you meet the one you “just know it”? Well, Morgan didn’t believe that one bit. A self-described non-romantic, Morgan met Kyle at an athletic training convention in 2012. Well, that’s what Kyle says. Morgan doesn’t remember meeting him there at all. Kyle can describe where she sat, what she ate, and even what she was wearing. If that sounds creepy to you, it kind of did to Morgan too…at first.
Fast forward a few years later Morgan was a supervisor at a summer camp that Kyle got a job at. At the training, he told her that they had met before, and Morgan insisted he must mean her sister because she had no clue who this kid was. Within five days of the camp after spending endless hours together, Morgan knew. She kept saying, “How did this happen?” but the fact was, Kyle, got her in a way no one else had. From the moment he met her, he seemed to know her in a way that wasn’t creepy at all but made her feel safe and loved. He patiently knocked down every barrier she had, peeling away her onion-y layers by wooing her in ways no other guy had. Now, let’s be clear: we’re not talking wine and roses. Nope, Kyle wooed Morgan by asking her if she wanted to go lift before their first date dinner. Smart guy!
The next few years were a whirlwind of long miles logged on the road that you can only understand if you’ve been in a long-distance relationship. The miles were hard, but it didn’t matter because they were both in it for the long run. But, you can’t deny that road trips ranging from Illinois to Memphis to Savannah and Connecticut are hard on the soul, even if the heart is willing. They decided whoever got the best job would be the place they would move, but neither of them thought it would end up being that Kyle found a job in a town of fewer than ten thousand people in rural Arkansas. And even more unreal, Morgan found a job nearby within days of Kyle accepting his job. So, Arkansas it is!
Despite their newfound home together, there was no doubt that a Chicago wedding was going to be in the cards for them, and Morgan knew it would have to be in the childhood church that had a lot of special meaning to her. Before she met Kyle Morgan’s grandfather passed away, and in that church, she had spent some time in prayer asking for strength under the stained glass where her family often sat for mass. She met Kyle shortly after, and there is no doubt in her mind that’s no coincidence. We made sure to take portraits in this area of the church, which meant a lot to both of them. It’s just awesome when couples take the time to incorporate meaning into their wedding rather than thinking whatever’s hot on Pinterest is essential.
And before you think we’re big city folk hating on Arkansas, check out the DRESS that Morgan found there! She’d hit up a few fancy boutiques here in Chicago in her search but didn’t find THE ONE until she stumbled upon a warehouse in a tiny cow town in Arkansas. It had everything she loved, a hybrid combination of the right kind of sleeveless, open backed, lace, WITH POCKETS, a dress that felt like pajamas that she could do lunges in because when a brides gotta lunge, she’s gotta lunge!
Other special touches like the amazing veil that her aunt hand stitched were paired with the red Chuck Converse that was an homage to her cousin who served and passed (The moon man on these shoes has special meaning to Morgan’s whole family). Morgan surprised Kyle with socks with their dog Riggs on them which was a huge hit! (Riggs was living his best life at the doggy spa during the wedding, but sent his regards in the form of footwear)
Every single thing they chose was meaningful, and I was a blubbering mess all day…everyone was! Kyles letter to Morgan did us all in. The romantic one wrote five pages (double-sided!) typed!! Morgan at first rolled her eyes at it exclaiming “of COURSE his is five pages…I wrote mine on a piece of paper in like 16 minutes”. But that “not-romantic” girl sure cried like the rest of us as she read it…what a beautiful letter.
Most of all, Morgan and Kyle wanted their wedding to be a celebration. She made sure to include important traditions like getting a photo in the same mirror her mom and grandmother were photographed in during the getting ready. They chose vendors that understood that they wanted a PARTY and made that happen. I had photographed her bridesmaid Brittany’s wedding a year before, so I knew these were going to be people who valued not only having great photos of their day but also people who wanted to truly LIVE the day.
When we get a couple like that in front of our cameras, there’s no stopping the magic that happens.
When you know, you just know.