What do you do when you can’t fit everyone you want to invite to your wedding inside your hometown tiny church? You take the church to Strawberry Pines of course. Well, theoretically speaking anyway.
Jordan is a third-generation Bowen family member from Christine, Texas. The Bowen family has been attending this church as long as she can remember and even well before that. The Christine Baptist Church is where her parents were married. It’s where some of her aunts and uncles were married. It’s where her late grandmother attended church. This is the place Jordan always envisioned her own wedding taking place.
So when Shelby surprise proposed to Jordan and the two families began putting their guest list together, it quickly became evident that Jordan would not be able to marry here. The church simply was not large enough. Jordan was saddened that she would not be saying her wedding day vows in front of those beautiful stained glass windows she had become accustomed to seeing every Sunday her whole life. Cindy, her mom, jokingly suggested remaking the stained glass window and moving it to a venue. Well, that’s just what they did. It took a lot of research, planning and logistics and maybe a bit of hair pulling to make a replica of the church window, but they made it happen. And beautifully I might add.
One important note about this church window, actually a very significant one, is that Jordan’s great-grandmother was instrumental in having this stained glass installed in the Christine Baptist Church in the early 1980’s. Jordan wasn’t even born yet; her parents were not even married. Actually, the original window is 16+ years older than Jordan and exceeds her parents’ marriage by 13 years. I wished I could ask her great-grandmother what it meant to her to have Jordan and Cindy replicate this window for the wedding day.
Shelby & Jordan’s Strawberry Pines Wedding
But, wait. Let’s back up and tell Shelby and Jordan’s love story.
The two met on August 7, 2016. Jordan first only thought that Shelby was cute. Neither imagined that 447 days later they’d be married.
Soon after the initial meeting, the two would be forced to begin a long-distance romance. Shelby was serving in the US Army and training in Georgia. Jordan was going to school AND working. They were 944 miles apart. Shelby and Jordan went over two months without seeing each other in real life. Shelby left for basic training on December 26, 2016 and they didn’t see each other again face-to-face until March 3, 2017. It wasn’t easy being so far apart from someone you wanted to be so close to. But, they made the intrigue work to their advantage and fell deeply in love with each other.
They were able to steal away short visits during military graduations/celebrations and short leave of absences. They would plan visits back and forth and Facetime® as often as they could. They also would text, write letters and Snapchat® anytime they missed each other—though letter writing was officially (mandatorily) reserved for the time Shelby was in basic training.
Finally, on June 30th, Shelby surprised Jordan with a proposal. He “white lied” and told Jordan that he would be on a field training exercise for the weekend. Jordan was only expecting dinner with his parents who were visiting from Thailand, and her parents. When Shelby’s parents arrived for dinner, his younger brother, Jon, rang Jordan’s doorbell to let them know they were ready to leave. When she exited the house and walked down the sidewalk, Shelby was waiting in front of the garage. He immediately got down on one knee and opened a ring box. Also inside the ring box was a $20 bribe from her future brother-in-law, Ethan. The entire two families had dinner in San Antonio to celebrate the engagement.
Who can say no to a $20 bribe?
On the wedding day, Jordan decided to have first looks with both her dad and her husband-to-be. I’d say that each was very emotional.
The look on Shelby’s face was priceless when he saw his bride for the first time.
The first looks allowed us to have the creative session and family formals before the ceremony. Not only is this less stressful on everyone (bride, groom and photographer), it gave Shelby and Jordan a few minutes of complete private time to enjoy each other’s company. And, we were able to do this in better light without moving the ceremony time up to early afternoon. The added bonus is that everyone got to the reception a lot sooner!
Jordan got her dream fulfilled of kissing in front of that stained glass window.
Here are a few of my favorite image captures of the day:
If you’d like to see more images from this wedding, please enjoy this video. For the best quality, be sure to change the video player settings to 1080 HD.
The team of professionals Shelby and Jordan selected for their special day were:
Wedding & Reception Venue – Strawberry Pines, Poteet, TX
Officiant – Mike Bender
Cake Designer – Creations Cakes, Pleasanton, TX
Flowers – Lesley’s Flowers & Gifts, Jourdanton, TX
Caterer – Lunker’s Grill, Uvalde, TX
Linens/Furniture — Party Rentals, Etc., Devine, TX
DJ — Bring It Productions, San Antonio, TX
My Second Shooters – Fred Jimenez, Frederick Lopez
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I am a professional wedding and senior photographer based in South Texas near San Antonio. I pride my business in offering a premier and personal service coupled with an unforgettable photography experience. I cater to clients who appreciate quality photography and help them to create family heirlooms that will last for generations. As a full-time professional photographer, my sole purpose is to provide amazing, memorable and full-service photography.
I started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. I enjoy documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I love being a part of people’s journey and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.
When I’m not photographing a wedding, family or high school senior, I love to spend my spare time hiking, camping, cycling, reading, listening to Elvis and Prince. The most important things in life are for me to see my two daughters happy and to create a family history my grandparents would be proud of!
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