Dayton Ohio Weddings are fun for me. The more I do, the more I discover and learn about Dayton. The old buildings, the parks, the graffiti walls, the beautiful churches and some amazing people. This Dayton Ohio wedding was a bit different, but it’s uniqueness is what made it memorable and I am so happy to be able to share it with you.
My last day of 2017 started with a trip to an unknown location using Waze and meeting some new friends. The first thing I thought when I pulled up on the snow/slush filled street was that I hoped I was at the right location. I got out of my car, grabbed my gear, and stepped over the snow filled, previously grass filled, area between the sidewalk and the street and hopped onto the cleared sidewalk. I tried to catch my breath and reminded myself that just because we had never met didn’t mean there was anything to worry about.
I walked up to the door and knocked. An older gentleman opened the door and looked at me. I said, “Hi, I’m Julie, the photographer.” He then said, “Hi, I’m from Switzerland.” We both giggled almost in a nervous but generous welcoming way and he opened the door further. The inside was beautiful. Still decorated for Christmas with a tree and plenty of trimmings the complimented the wood fireplace and hard wood floors. And although the room itself would soon feel small with over 10 of us in it together, the large ceiling helped make it seem roomy and inviting.
Raul found me soon after I arrived was incredibly warm and welcoming. I could tell there was a bit of nervousness, but he was hiding it well. We introduced ourselves and then discussed the photos and the plan for the evening. First up, photos of everyone at the house with the groom…..dogs included.
Raul smiled with confidence as we shot the family portraits; introducing me to his family and then to Susanne’s. I knew there was something special about this couple. Raul had set the tone nothing short of love and joy for this bride and groom on their second marriage.
The boys weren’t really into it, but they were good sports and sat for me. Apparently my jokes weren’t as funny to them as they were to me. HA!
The dogs here with Raul and Susanne’s parents. I always love getting to include the furry family members!!!
And then we were finished. We had the bride’s parents, the groom’s parents, the boys of the family, the groom’s brother, and the four-legged furry siblings. And I was off to find the wedding venue, but just before I left, Raul whispered, “be sure to get a few photos of her getting ready too.”
Their friend, Song, hosted the wedding. Her house wasn’t far, but it is located on a rather steep hill that can be a little scary when their is snow and ice involved. Inside, her house was beautiful too. Again with the hard wood floors and decorated beautifully in silver and gold with glowing candles. It was like stepping in to a magazine.
Susanne allowed me in for a moment, but I did my best to respect her privacy as I could see how important it was to her. She wore a non-traditional silver dress that accentuated her curves.
Shortly after their 20 or so guests arrived, Susanne’s father walked her down the aisle while the grooms’ sons played piano and sang. Once they arrived to Raul, the father of the bride spoke a loving tribute in german to the couple and wished them well. Their longtime friend, a professor at the University of Dayton, officiated the ceremony. And just before the exchanging of rings, Susanne’s daughter sang a song of love.
Susanne, while shy in sharing pda, was obviously in love and even smitten with her groom. Their love is the kind of love that gives this divorced, single momma hope that second love is out there and even better because you know the choice you make. You have experienced life and know you can do it on your own and yet you choose to do life with someone again.
Thank you to Susanne and Raul for inviting me to be a part of your celebration….me, a stranger that met you just moments before you chose to vow your forevers together. Your wedding celebration is the kind that I love. It is one that was truly filled with joy, love, laughter, and hope. Congratulations!!!!