She was blindsided.
Just over a week before her wedding day, Amanda was in a terrible accident. Thankfully, she came away with just cuts, bruises, and a mangled car. Okay. The wedding could go on.
Then, just days before the wedding, her dad became very, very sick and ended up in the hospital needing emergency surgery. She told her mom that she just wanted the wedding to happen. After years of dating and engagement, Brandon and Amanda just wanted to say their “I dos” and celebrate with the wedding Amanda had been planning with her best friend, Alyssa, since she was a girl. Now, that all seemed to be falling apart.
But then—it didn’t.
On the day of their wedding, Amanda looked perfect. I didn’t even notice the bruise on her arm until she showed me (you can look…but you won’t find it either). All I could see was the radiant hope on her face, and the love for her soon-to-be husband. She looked pretty darn AMAZING in her Kleinfeld Bridal wedding gown and Betsey Johnson shoes too (wooooo girl!).
The details were starting to come together. We planned to swing by the hospital after the ceremony—on our way to the reception—so her dad could see her in her dress. I was preparing myself for all the tears (including mine) in that hospital room. First though, these two had to get married! To the church we went! The girls hiked up Amanda’s dress and tried to climb the steep hill to the back entrance of the church so no one would see her. With arms full of tulle, they made their way to the top, giggles bouncing off the walls. Her uncle met us outside the door with tears in his eyes.
“Your dad’s here.”
Immediately the bridesmaids’ laughing eyes gleamed misty. What a precious gift from a father to his daughter. We all watched silently as Amanda tearfully embraced her dad in that tiny back room, and even my focus was blurred. He was in obvious pain, but I could see relief in his eyes. After all that had happened, he had made it to his daughter’s wedding ceremony. While he couldn’t walk her down the aisle, Amanda’s uncle walked her to him, and they gave her away together in front of family and friends who had prayed—HARD—for this moment to come. They gave her to Brandon, a man whose heart for this woman is steadfast and gentle. Calm and compassionate.
Two became one amidst a flood of happy tears from every person in that little white church in Bellwood, Pennsylvania. I think the collective word felt amongst the crowd (and the couple) was: FINALLY. What God has joined together, let no man separate. And as they celebrated the day, joy filled the banquet hall at the Altoona Heritage Discovery Center. The night ended with full hearts and a smile on every face.
Congrats Brandon and Amanda! Your steadfast hope is inspiring and beautiful. Love each other with that same steadfast hope. Hard times will come, as you already know. Likely there will be even harder times than this. Keep pressing on together. As you press on, press IN—to one another and more importantly—to God. He is the answer in times of trouble and times of joy. The one and only answer. While I was thinking of our prayer for you, the word that kept coming to mind was “endure.” So that is our prayer for your life together. Endure. After all you’ve been through, even in just the past few weeks, you have each other and the God who made you one. May your marriage be filled with life, vibrance, and endurance.
Meagan and Adam 🙂
And a special thanks to our fellow creative VIPs!
Photography: The Jepsons (duh)
Dress: Kleinfeld Bridal
Shoes: Betsey Johnson
Florals: Flower Hut (Tyrone, PA)
Videography: Daniel James Photography
Entertainment: Dancing DJs
Cake: Maddie Cakes
Catering: Adler’s Market