We all know that I am a photographer and that taking pictures and creating memories is a passion for me. What you might not know is that by day I am a social worker. I went to school for a *LONG* time to get my Master’s degree in Social Work and I am clinically licensed in the great State of NC. I like to joke that being a social worker is my super power because it is not an easy job. Oftentimes, I meet folks that are experiencing some type of crisis and I get to help them sort through that. Why do I tell you all of this about me? It brings us full circle friends. This is how I met Katie.
I worked for a brief period of time at ECU Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. This is a fancy way of saying that I worked with children that had cancer and bleeding disorders. This is where Katie comes in. Katie had cancer and I was her social worker. She and her mother had been through so much and to be honest they were just tired and exhausted! When you have cancer and require intense treatment you spend more time in the clinic and in the hospital then you do at home so your medical staff can become like family. It’s a beautiful relationship that arises out of such an uncertain time.
Katie and her mother, Mrs. Anna, knew that they wanted to get back to NY which is home for them so we worked together to make that happen and we have stayed in touch ever since! Mrs. Anna even makes it a point to visit me when she comes to NC to visit her other daughters and grandchildren.
When Katie got engaged to Joe and they asked me to come to NY to photograph the wedding I CRIED!!!! I seriously was so honored. I just think God always has a bigger plan for people then we are ever aware of. I don’t think any of us would have guessed that we would come back together again on Katie’s wedding day to create such incredible memories.
So enough about me and Katie!! You probably want to know about the handsome fella she married, right? In 2011, right after being discharged from the hospital Katie was told that no one was going to ever want to date her because she was just going to die anyway. This obviously left Katie feeling upset, defeated and very discouraged. I think the pressure of meeting someone while you’re so sick was too much so Katie chose to give online dating a try. The very first day that she created her account, Joe messaged her. Katie saw that he lived in Connecticut so she was a little hesitant but she also saw that he was Catholic so she hoped her mother would approve–LOL!. Katie messaged Joe back and closed her account the very same day. The rest has been history.
After a month of talking on the phone and through email, Joe came to visit Katie and really came face to face with the reality that Katie was sick. He spent his first week visiting her and taking her to and from her chemo appointments. This didn’t deter Joe a bit. A couple months after they started dating Joe moved from Connecticut to New York.
Both Katie and Joe will tell you that the first 6 months of their relationship was really challenging. Katie’s cancer had caused her many joint issues and as a result she had to have a total hip replacement but before the surgery could happen she had to finish chemo. Chemo is no joke y’all. It makes you so sick!!! Joe was so faithful. He took Katie to her appointments, he slept in hospital beds, helped with her wheelchair, and emotionally supported the girl he loved.
I asked Joe about this time period. He was a healthy guy and here he was choosing to live with a girl that was pretty sick and needed a lot of medical attention. I know Katie thought at certain points that it was all going to be too much for him and he was going to walk away but Joe told me that he never thought twice. He loved Katie and during this particular time in her life she needed to be loved through the cancer, chemo and surgery. Tears…..
Katie and Joe chose a peacock theme for their wedding because it represents good health. Fitting, right? They also chose to have a dollar dance at their wedding and donate all of the money to the Melodies Cancer Center for childhood cancer in Albany. We were so excited when they raised over $800!!!! There were so many special touches at this wedding that I could never list them all but I can tell you that it was a JOYOUS occasion and each minute detail and big moment made it a truly perfect day.
So here is their wedding day in pictures. I was honored to have been with Katie at ECU as her social worker and even more humbled to have watched her on her wedding day marry the guy of her dreams. The guy that has already loved her through more then most of us will ever have to deal with in a lifetime.
Katie and Joe, THANK YOU for allowing me to play a part. I wish you both a lifetime of good health and happiness! I know God has really big plans for the two of you and I am so excited to watch it all come to pass……
This is hilarious!! Joe gave Katie a gift to open while she was getting ready and it had a super sweet card for her to read. As you can tell it was emotional and Katie shed a couple tears……and then she busted out laughing and I mean really cracking up!! Why do you ask??
Because Joe bought a “Happy Birthday” card and gave it to Katie on their wedding day. Katie thought that it was “so Joe!” I think it made her day:-)
This is just one of the many reasons that I love having a second shooter during a wedding. It is impossible for one photographer to be everywhere. I was with Katie all morning so I would have missed these emotional shots of Joe right before the ceremony with his dad and brother. These shots are so beautiful to me! Thanks Chris! You’re the BEST.
The heart in the cement was so special for Katie to see! It represented a friend of hers that lost her battle to cancer but was clearly with Katie in spirit on her wedding day.
They did their own handshake!! I love how much fun they have together!
Katie’s grandmother led a Polish blessing to bless the newlyweds!
This wedding was such an incredible affair and incredible affairs don’t happen without a lot of incredible help!
Many thanks to:
Chris Sawicki with Sawicki Studios in New York. It was a God send that Chris was available to shoot this wedding with me. His time and talent are all over many of these images. I really can’t thank him enough. Please check out his incredible work. You will not be disappointed.
Brighter Lights Media for the video of the wedding day! These guys were awesome to work with. I can’t wait to see what they were able to capture. The website does not disappoint so please check it out for yourself.
St. John the Evangelist Church for hosting this wedding ceremony. The church is over 120 years old and has such incredible details. I was fascinated the entire time I was there by the beauty.
Mallozzi’s for the beautiful venue, delectable food, and the great Belvedere Inn! It was so great to have the hotel for the out of town guests literally right next door to the wedding venue. Their service was out of this world and the venue itself is just breathtaking and lends itself for picture perfect photographs.
Anthology Studio for the gorgeous flowers and bouquets. The peacock feathers added a sentimental touch and made the flowers a fabulous statement for this couple on their wedding day.
The ladies at Rewind Salon for their time and impeccable talent! Katie’s hair and makeup was timeless and classic. She is a beautiful young woman already and you ladies enhanced all of her best features 🙂