A little over two months ago, these precious friends of mine were united in marriage and I’m SO excited to finally share their happy day with y’all 😀 :D.
I loved Michael’s unique and enchanting choice of ring for Hannah :D. And, for some reason, peonies grow EVERYWHERE in Kirksville!!! Everywherrrrrre! So, Michael and Hannah’s wedding day was easily suffused with big, glorious peonies. It was the best 😀 :D.
The morning began with the girls getting ready at +Hannah and her roommates’ house :).
The joyful bride and her dear friends 😀 :D.
Hannah is a faithful woman of God and rivals my hugging strength. Haha. Our friendship began at a Bible camp in Louisiana in 2005 I believe and I’ve always admired her thoughtfulness and joy in the Lord :). And her excited smile is just the cutest thing :D. To see her prepare to marry the man of her dreams was a privilege 🙂 <3 Love you, Hannah!
Speaking of the man of her dreams! Haha. This is Michael. I met him at the Fellowship Conference in 2011 shortly after he was saved!
Michael is also a good friend and to see him marry the woman of his dreams was a privilege as well :D.
His comrades (also good friends of mine) are hilarious by the way. Haha.
I told him to pretend his watch was a spy watch. Haha.
These guys were so fun and easy to take pictures of and they looked great!
A favorite :D. Good job, y’all.
Time to introduce who these compadres of his are. First there’s Michael’s best man +Taylor Steele. Haha.
Then there’s Hannah’s brother and friend of Michaels: Isaiah Lebron.
Then many of y’all should recognize this guy ’cause I shot his wedding almost two years ago! (Which Michael, Taylor, and Austin [who you’ll meet in a second] were groomsmen in actually) +Jase Ely 😀
Here he is. Haha.+Austin Dooley 🙂
Then there’s +Colin Skinner who whipped out his “wand”, so I asked him what it was made of. Haha
Colin: “Uh, wormwood…and phoenix feather.”
And THEN Colin wanted them all to get behind the tree like this, but only a few were brave enough to acquiesce to his request. Hahahahaha.
But then they redeemed themselves with this manly shot. Hahaha. So great.
And the posing and greatness continued. Hahaha.
These guys care about Michael so much. They’re like brothers and they are in Christ! 😀
And their humor with each other is just the best. Haha 😀
Then Michael wanted to approach the door of the abandoned building as if they were about to storm it. Haha.
Taylor’s ready. Haha.
But there was no time to actually storm the building, but there WAS time to form a band! Hahahaha.
Hahahaha, I love it.
Then I told the band to go on tour. Haha.
Then Colin’s final request was this. Haha.
Then it was back at the church building to relax until ceremony time 😀 (Mom got these shots [and many throughout this post] ’cause, like she often does, she wanted to take extra pictures for fun :D)
Not sure what’s going on here. Haha.
But I KNOW they’re praying here. Hehe :). These young men are super encouraging spiritually, by the way. Michael has got great support in his Christian walk.
Then the girls arrived at the church to do their final touches before things got rolling! 😀
I loved Hannah’s regency vibe; it suited her so well 😀 :D. (we actually had fun talking about a possible “Jane Austen” themed wedding for her in the early stages of her and Michael’s relationship ’cause they both like Jane Austen. Hehe :D. And she got her wedding dress from ArtModeStudio on Etsy!
So happily lovely 😀
Hannah and her ladies! 😀
They all looked so gorgeous :D.
And their sweet bridesmaid dresses came from Mikarose! 😀
These girls are so adorable :D.
Now to meet them! :D. First there’s Hannah’s older sister and matron of honor: Rosana Thompson :D.
Then there’s Hannah’s younger sister and maid of honor: +Preciosa Lebron :D.
And this is Michael’s sister Jennifer McGovney! 😀
And this is Katherine Feiner :D. She and Hannah have been just like sisters since childhood :).
And then there’s Hannah’s precious friend +Angela Schultz :D.
I love the contended joy on her face 😀 <3
And there’s me! Hehe :).
Love 😀 😀
And the other girl with a camera is my friend/feels-like-my-cousin +Meghan Kelly! 😀 This was her first time to video a wedding! 😀
And this is Hannah’s sweet mom Myrna :D.
Hannah made all their bouquets :).
Yeah, these girls can have fun too. Hehe 😀
These are their “Hannah’s getting married!!!” faces 😀 <3
Laughter in the parking lot. Hehe 😀
Then Michael and Hannah wanted to hold hands and talk and pray before they met at the alter :).
Oh, man. Hearing their prayers was SO so precious <3 <3 <3
Colin’s super cute wife Tori 😀
Ceremony time! 😀
There’s my Dad on the left! 😀 And my bestie +Allix
and her dad on the right :D.
He got scared when he got to the alter and his daddy wasn’t behind him anymore. Haha. So daddy came and rescued him :D.
Michael seeing his bride. Aaaaah <3 <3.
The church was maxed out with people who love Michael and Hannah 🙂 :).
Husband and wiiiiiife! 😀 😀
TOO MUCH! <3 <3
Hooray for tears and hugs of joy :D.
Aaaah, I love these two 😀 😀 <3.
Check out Michael’s “Space Invaders” socks. Hahaha :D.
Yay wedding party 😀
Then things got a little too close for comfort for Michael. Hahahaha.
And then as the rest of the company went on to the reception, we went to Truman State University‘s campus to take pictures and let Michael and Hannah relish in being married away from the crowds before they rejoined everyone :D.
And now, it’s time to learn about how God brought them together 🙂 :).
left little hints on Instagram and Twitter that there might be some
interest on his part. He had the entire week after his June visit off
work; a few days after his return home he posted a picture indicating
that he’d purchased a set of books to which I had made reference while
we were hanging out. He also replied to a mutual friend’s tweet,
mentioning ‘witty repartee with a beautiful woman.’ Did he mean me? I
dared not believe it—but he did!
Tuesday, August 18, I moved houses. I was excited enough to post
about this move on social media, and in response to this, on Friday,
August 21, I received a text:
when’s the got-a-new-place party?’
proceeded to ask me about particular times that weekend, such as
Saturday afternoon at 2:00. I was busy Saturday afternoon, and I
didn’t want to have a welcome-to-my-new-house party only five days
after moving in. Chaos still reigned, as my roommate and I were both
working and we hadn’t had time to unpack everything. But then a
thought occurred to me: maybe he’s planning a visit this weekend,
and he wants to see the new home of his friends.
I asked him what he was planning.
hours later, he responded:
sort of. I was thinking of asking a friend of mine to coffee but
their schedule is proving difficult to work around. Might not be this
weekend after all.’
I knew this Michael Ford well enough to know that he would not use ‘their’
to refer to one person unless he wanted to conceal that person’s
gender. And why would he wish to conceal a friend’s gender unless
that person were a girl? And why would a guy ask a girl to coffee but
to ask her about entering a relationship? And why would he tell me
any of this at all?
heart plummeted. The man I loved was planning to ask another girl out
for coffee this weekend. I struggled to maintain composure at work
during a busy Friday afternoon. But I turned to the Lord and
surrendered Michael and my future hopes and dreams to Him. I believe
I said something like, ‘Okay, Lord, I guess I’m never getting
married.’ If I couldn’t marry Michael, I didn’t want to marry
then I realized that if I truly loved him, I’d place his happiness
above mine. If he would be happier with someone besides me—if the
Lord willed for Michael Ford to marry someone other than Hannah
Lebrón—who was I to be upset about it?
this happened in the space of about six minutes. In full surrender,
wondering whom he liked, I responded to his message:
too bad! I hope you can work it out somehow.’
my response as encouragement, he replied:
I’m working on it. I’m running out of ideas, though. Do you have
then one entered my head: ‘Maybe it is me!’ So I asked the
following question, thinking that if he had asked his friend, it
wasn’t me; but if he hadn’t it might be me and this might prompt
him to ask me.
the best way. :)’
grab a cup of coffee with me?’
the man I loved actually
just asked me out for coffee? In the summer, it is not uncommon for
me to wear two or three sweaters when I’m at work; but now I was
warm enough to shed all three. I couldn’t believe it: was this
actually happening to me?!
to the diminutive size and correlated population of hipsters in
Kirksville there are no coffee shops open past 6:00p.m. on Friday
evenings. We decided that ice cream would work better, so our ‘coffee
date’ was frozen yogurt.
it be weird if I bought yours?’ he asked. I saw no objection to this,
so he paid and we went outside to sit in the warm summer evening and
talked all evening and well into the night, wandering around downtown
Kirksville for hours. We weren’t certain how to proceed, but we both
knew that we couldn’t continue as before—being ‘just friends’ was no
longer an option. Not wanting to date without purpose and not wanting to
proceed without the counsel and blessing of both my parents and our
pastors, we finally resolved that talking to the appropriate people was
of paramount importance (per Proverbs 11:14).
went home to Columbia that night, and so began a long weekend of
driving for him. The next day, we went to LaGrange where he talked to my
parents, and Sunday we both talked separately to one of my pastors in
Kirksville. The next few weeks were spent seeking counsel, praying that
the Lord would shut us down if it wasn’t His will for us to marry, and
spending a lot of time together on weekends. The Lord did not shut us
down—in fact, save a few wise cautions from a counselor or two, all we
had was green lights. I met his family; he visited mine with me.
one day in late September, he took me to the place where he had been
baptized. We sat on a bench and watched the waves roll in while we
talked about the future and things of God. Before I grasped what was
happening, he was off the bench, on one knee, asking me to marry him. I
was so excited that I can’t remember how many times I said, ‘Yes!’ (He
says it was 11 times.)
establishing that I would indeed marry him, he took me into town where
we grabbed some dinner and went to a park to watch the lunar eclipse.
The following “Downton Abbey” quote perfectly describes how Hannah knew she loved Michael…
“I would never be happy with anyone else so long as you walked the earth.”
Wind, love, embrace, all this <3 <3
Theirs smiles to each other!! <3 <3
The new Mr. and Mrs. Ford 😀 :D.
She has been swept. Hehe 😀
Aaaah, these two 😀 :D.
Michael told me this about his Dove (that’s what he calls her <3)…
“Hannah has the ‘gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the
sight of God’ (1 Peter 3:4). Her understated humility had me not even
not noticing her for the majority of the time that we’ve known each
other—the safest and Biblical position for a young lady—but that is a
quality of hers that now stands out to me as exceptional in character.
She clearly loves to laugh and to learn, and her desire is for the
Lord. The efficacious work of the Spirit is evident in her love for God
and man, though perhaps hidden under an adorable bit of introversion.”
Hannah did this same…
and he constantly reminds me to keep an eternal perspective, no matter
the situation. He is very intentional about why he does things,
purposefully avoiding that false sense of righteousness which comes
through legalism. He’s wonderful with children, winning their hearts by
interacting on their level. He’s highly intelligent and he uses an
extensive vocabulary which keeps me on my toes (and in my dictionary!).
With Michael around, there’s rarely a dull moment, as he’s good at
drawing out laughter from others.
is outstanding among ten thousand. ‘His mouth is full of sweetness.
And he is wholly desirable. This is my beloved, and this is my
friend…’ (Song of Songs 5:16)”
Again, just being themselves. I did not pose those. Preciousness abounds <3 <3 <3.
I asked them what they like to do together 🙂
longer-than-expected walks, and the occasional run has been great fun.
Our laughs and chats over coffee and tea have been a source of great
encouragement, enabling communication via shared favorite movie quotes
and a general sense of safe silliness.
Love this shot 🙂 <3
This is what love looks like 😀 😀
Darlingness 😀 😀
Me: “Michael, you have a wife.”
Looking gooood, y’all.
Love these intelligent, dear saints <3
And then it was reception time! :D. LOOK AT THE PEONIES. I could not get over them, still haven’t really.
Michael clapping. Hahaha.
My two favorite parts of Michael’s speech were when he said how 5 years ago, besides his family, he didn’t know anyone in that room and it’s all ’cause of what God has done. So amazing 🙂 :).
And then when he called out to someone getting food.
Mrs. Virginia Breshears, who provided most of the peonies from her yard, handed out the yellow ones to some of the ladies there 😀 :D.
So cute :D.
My parents!! 😀
Here they come! 😀
Oh, you know…
…just trying to eat the bubbles. Hahaha.
Congratulations, my friends!! 😀 😀
What an honor and joy it was to document their day <3. Love y’all!! See y’all at camp in September!! 😀 <3
With a smile,
It was great having you there! You did a wonderful job, Rachel! Thanks so much.