When it feels like the end of the world, Matt & Tali will always pick joy first.
What do I mean by that? You may have every reason in the world to stress – but not one of them will allow you to take away your happiness. In the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, a heat wave that brought 103 degree weather, & an evening thunderstorm, Matt & Tali did not complain once. Two of the most incredible people you will ever meet were there for two things: to finally marry each other & celebrate with their nearest & dearest.
Upon the first time I chatted with Matt & Tali – I knew that this was a perfect pairing. They’re goofy – not very serious and love to laugh with each other. As described by Tali, Matt is SO KIND. He has the biggest heart for Jesus and for others. He is quick to laugh at himself and to create an environment where others feel heard & validated. Tali is SO WELCOMING. She’s witty, thoughtful, and always has a smile on her face. As Tali & the bridesmaids were getting ready, I could hear the girls asking Tali’s thoughts on specific theology while they all gathered in the circle to talk about a deep topic. You could just tell – Tali is someone to look up to & everyone around her does.
Matt & Tali met as summer interns for Chick-Fil-A Corporate in Georgia, which led to their first date hiking Stone Mountain. As told by Tali, Matt totally forgot to bring water, so the whole hike up wasn’t spent with much talking. But once they reached the top, no topic was off limits. They shared their dreams, goals, things they were ashamed of, favorite books of the Bible, things they loved. A spark ignited that only grew bigger. Years later, and they’re engaged – planning a wedding at Tali’s home church.
First Church in Owasso is where Tali grew up – a place that shaped her into who she is. A touching ceremony took place in the large auditorium in front of a cross arbor. When we went out for their “just married!” portraits, Matt & Tali’s eyes were glued to each other. Every so often, I would hear Tali go “This is so fun!!,” as they posed for photos. They truly loved every moment of the wedding day.
Among a wall of large windows, a beautiful reception set-up surrounded a dance floor, where Matt & Tali had their first dance & loved ones gave some of the most endearing toasts I’ve ever heard. Cake followed (one of Tali’s most favorite things), and then everybody started getting down on the dance floor as the sun set. Dark clouds began to roll in & a thunderstorm of hail & lightning lit up the night sky while the crowd continued to dance. Matt & a group of friends from Florida went outside to experience hail for the first time, which is when I snapped a quick photo of Matt, Tali, & the rain. As it continued to pour, the lobby started to lightly flood. But, like I said, Matt & Tali choose joy first. We had to forgo their sparkler exit & make-do with everyone holding phone flashlights as the two happily walked out the front door & held their own sparklers up as the finale of the night! Their guests waved goodbye through the glass and Matt & Tali disappeared in the limo driving away.
This wedding day left me feeling incredibly grateful to be a wedding photographer. When I get the chance to photograph people like Matt & Tali, it makes me question how I even got so lucky to experience something so special. I am in awe of their grace, kindness, love for Jesus & others. Thank you, Matt & Tali, for choosing me to document your love. You are both one-of-a-kind & I will forever remember this day as one of my favorite weddings to date.