For those who don’t know, I was a story-teller with words long before I told them with photographs. My original career goal, before I fell in love with photography, was to be a magazine journalist, then eventually mag editor… and to write a novel some day. (I still want to do the latter!!!) Because of the written-word soil that holds fast to my roots, I tend to put too much pressure on myself when it comes to blogging or posting on FB. Showing the pics aren’t enough. I want to also convey with words how special a couple’s day was and all that corny stuff. Sometimes, if I can’t get in the groove, I hurry through it….but for this wedding, I knew I couldn’t do that–which is the reason I am just now posting this May wedding in Omaha. Matt and Taylor, along with their kind, generous and welcoming families, shall forever own a piece of Darbi G’s heart.
I got the inquiry 15 months in advance of their wedding, and Taylor confessed right out why she was contacting ME. “My mom and I are amateur wedding photographers, and we always look at your work for inspiration. As soon as I got engaged, we knew we had to contact you. But most importantly, I am incredibly inspired by the way you capture love in your photos. I love Matt more than anything and I would be honored to have you be a part of our day!”
But we had to chat on the phone first…to make sure the fit was legit. And it was. I was overly flattered and stupefied to hear that she and her mom (JAckie Polacek) had been following my work for years (I’m originally from Omaha as well). Lots of blushing happened when I heard this. And my heart might have skipped a few beats. Because let’s be real: that’s pressure. They expressed high expectations and it was up to me to fulfill them. YES, this is the case for every wedding. No matter how many weddings I photograph, even though it’s “just a job,” I have to treat it with the respect and honor it deserves because for the couple who has hired me: it’s their best day ever. But even though every wedding comes with high stakes, this felt different for some reason. I was a bit more nervous.
Until I met Taylor in person. She and her best buddy Rachael came to my home office while Taylor was in KC visiting, and I don’t even remember talking about weddings or photography specifically. Normally consultations last about 45-60 minutes. But they were here for 3.5 hours!!!! They didn’t just talk about Taylor and Matt…they also obsessed over my cats and enjoyed stories about Weston, made me laugh with their own antics that only exist because they are soul sisters through and through. When they left, I felt like I was 10 years old again, saying farewell to friends after a slumber party. Their visit made me so much more excited for the wedding day because if Taylor has that good of taste in a BFF…then by golly, I knew her groom would blow me away as well.
SPOILER ALERT: That he did.
?So about the beginning of this power couple: they are yet another example of successful high schools sweethearts. ?They joke that Matt saw how fast Taylor was and fell hard. BUT…not before he had to chase her for a bit. Despite being so young and naive…they grew together as they matured. Taylor remembers when she realized Matt was the one and only; it began with a seed that was planted in high school theology class? when the teacher had students write down their definition of being in love. ?”My teacher’s definition was that being in love was a choice, day after day to sacrifice, commit and put the other person first. I didn’t understand that at all.?” ?She ?herself had defined it as the feeling you get when you don’t think ?you can live without the other person.
?But as time is known to do….it made Taylor wiser and more in tune with her feelings. ??A year or so into the relationship, it dawned on her that she finally understood her teacher’s definition. She says, “I would do anything for this man and even though it wasn’t always easy, I was going to choose him every day I woke up. And I knew without a doubt, he’d choose me.?”
Matt’s explanation is a whole lot simpler. He said from the moment he saw her, he just knew deep down that he’d marry her. Look who was right!!
Taylor’s reasons for loving Matt were qualities I picked up within moments of meeting him. He was truly one of the sweetest, most handsome and FUNNIEST men I’ve ever gotten before my lens. Taylor is downright giddy around him still, or she rolls her eyes with love. It was like watching brand new over-the-top puppy love on steroids.
“Matt will always be able to make me laugh. He will always have my back. He will always fight for what he believes in. He makes me coffee every morning. He kisses me goodnight. He never makes me question myself or my choices. And as cliche as this sounds, he loves me for me?,” she says.
It’s clear what Matt digs in his forever-person as well. She is full of life, generous, fun and incredibly personable. “Tay is my best friend. She allows me to be the goofball that I am and calls me out on my bull. Basically she makes me a better man.,” he says.
And isn’t that the point of love? To mirror the best parts of each other? Well, they have that mastered. Plus the facts that they share dashing good looks, cool style and and ability to just look at one another and feel what the other one is feeling …. (or crack up)… make for a delectable chemistry in front of the camera.
?I really do luck out getting couples that don’t just treat me like hired help. But with Taylor & Matt’s family and friends…. my assistant Lindsay George and I truly felt at home….as if we could have been guests instead of the photographers. They were considerate of our needs and also such troopers since the humidity that day brought an epic amount of sweat to the forefront (and our foreheads….among all other body parts…) but they charged through it with a smile.
I truly could go on and on yammering about why this wedding was so awesome and why I want to be an adopted member of their families. I will post later what they sent me after they got their images as it might be the favorite thing I’ve ever gotten from clients. But for now, let’s focus on the other method of story-telling I’m known to use…. photos!
And as always, my work wouldn’t be nearly as exciting without the efforts of the other notable vendors from the day:
FLORIST::::::::: Leia Brown
HAIR & MAKEUP stylists::::::: Shannon Alexander
WEDDING GOWN::::::: Bridal Traditions–Stella York
SUITS/TUXES::::: Bridal Traditions
CHURCH/OFFICIANT::::::: Mary Our Queen/Fr. Jeff Mollner
WEDDING PLANNER/COORDINATOR::::: Scott Conference Center’s Megan Van Zant
RECEPTION VENUE::::::: Scott Conference Center
CATERER:::::: Scott Conference Center (TOP 5 wedding dinners I’ve ever had!!!)
DJ/BAND:::::: DJ EZB- Brandon Stockton
VIDEOGRAPHER:::::: Tyler Johnson