Once upon a time, Arden + Christian said “I Do” in the fairytale land of Alys Beach, FL….
But really, this was *beyond* a Disney dream + we had the honor of capturing a very special page in their love story.
We’ve been getting to know Christian over the last few months through FaceTime calls + texts, but because of the distance hadn’t had the opportunity to spend any time with her in person. We arrived in Fort Walton, FL on the Thursday before their wedding and spent time with Christian, her momma, Sonya (which we are BIG fans of, btw), her darling friend Sammie (who does it all: make-up, BFF + event planner), and Sonya’s friend, Kim (who took the best care of us!). Those extra couple of days with Christian + her family were the sweetest because we got to know her, hear their love story, and watch all the happy + excitement that surrounded this beautiful weekend! There was so much goodness packed into just a couple of days!
We witnessed the giddiness + anticipation for their wedding day all weekend, which only makes our job easier. We haven’t known these two for long, but we could see the sweet + intentional ways Arden pursued Christian, and how Christian treasures + adores him! Their love story is captivating + clearly handwritten by Jesus.
The morning of the wedding we woke up to a beautiful sunrise, right on the beach. Such a peaceful way to start a wedding day…just sayin’. We got ready so we could catch a ride with some of her bridesmaids to the STUNNING home they were getting ready in! After breakfast at Fonville Press (highly recommend if you ever visit Alys Beach!), we got started photographing the details. There isn’t a lack of Pinterest perfect spots to take photos, so it was actually harder to choose a spot than anything else! We photographed her gorgeous gown + all the sweet love letters she + Arden have sent back and forth over the past few months.
For the rest of the morning, we hung out with the girls while they finished getting ready and met up with Arden + his brother, Alec, for his treasure hunt! Christian had purchased a Bible for her future husband before she met Arden + this was the day he was going to receive it. She had four letters for him to read + the Bible was the gift at the end. *SO* sweet.
Once Christian got in her gown she did a first look with her dad. His words before he saw her come out were, “I know she is going to be beautiful, but do you want to know the best part? Her heart is way more beautiful.” & we couldn’t agree more!
After those precious moments with her dad, we got Arden set up to see his bride for the very first time. Alec was making jokes + keeping things light so Arden didn’t get too nervous. That’s what good brothers + best men do, ya know!!! And then it was time. As she walked up behind her groom, neither of them could stop smiling. You could feel the high anticipation of this moment. With a “Hey baby,” Arden turned around to see his bride. Smiling from ear to ear he couldn’t stop talking about how beautiful she was. Real life fairytales do exist, after all.
After that, it was time for lots of photos! Everyone was so patient + gracious so we could get it all knocked out before the ceremony. During this time, we got to know some of their family + friends; these are just the very best people. They were all encouraging + equally as excited for their friends. It was so much fun for us to be surrounded by a group of people that were ready to celebrate.
The ceremony was remarkable. They got married on the gorgeous Gulf Green in Aly’s Beach. The Holy Spirit was so tangible throughout the entire afternoon. Arden’s dad, John, performed the ceremony. He spoke truth + life over their marriage and encouraged their friends + family to partner with them as they as they begin their adventure together. After Arden + Christian shared their hand-written vows to one another, each guest stretched their arms toward them as they corporately prayed for their marriage. We were totally wiping away some tears ourselves… And then they stood, for the first time, as Mr. + Mrs. Arden Bevere. (A dog-eared page in the book neither of them will ever forget)
At the end of the aisle they met with friends + family who smiled, high-fived, and wrapped their arms around the new Mr. + Mrs. We stole them away for a few portraits on the beach before the sunset over the water. Boy. Can we talk about magical? We were pinching ourselves the entire time.
Then it was off to the party! They shared their first dance with each other + their parents, cut the cake, + danced with their friends. Christians sister + MOH, Brietyn, gave an amazing speech. She talked about stories growing up + how she looked up to her older sister. Then, Arden’s brother Alec got up to share. He combined two stories about Arden that prove his character + heart… and also filled the room with a little bit of laughter. The parents, John, Lisa, Marcus + Sonya all shared wisdom, memories + encouragement for Arden + Christian. It was easy to see just how proud each of them were of these two + the people they have become. After that, they turned the music up and everyone hit the dance floor for the rest of the night! They know some people with some killer moves + it was so fun to watch! Arden’s grandma, who’s 91 (!!!) even got up to share a dance with Alec + John! Everyone was cheering her on + it was definitely a highlight of the reception! At the end of the night, they did a sparkler send off. Their friends + family lined the breezeway to their car with sparklers + sent them off on their happily ever after.
Wow. What a day! Arden + Christian, we are so grateful that you trusted us to capture the story of your wedding day. We couldn’t be happier for the two of you + know that God will use you together in extraordinary ways. We pray that each photo serves as a reminder of the love you have for one another + what was tethered together on that day. We love you both + are cheering you on.
Lily + Elyse
To each + every person we met, THANK YOU. We are so grateful for every conversation + new friendship. You made us feel so welcomed + cared for while we were in FL!
Photography / Lily Elyse Photography
Videographer / Eric Savage
Venue / Gulf Green in Aly’s Beach + Trebeache