A Vivid Summer Celebration at St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center Catholic in Nebraska

A Vivid Summer Celebration at St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center Catholic Wedding in Nebraska was written & captured by Heart and Light Company

Mariah & JJ were absolutely wonderful to meet and work with! Mariah is the sister of one of our good friends, so she found us through him. When we met for the first time for their engagement photos, we immediately clicked – they were beautiful people who knew Jesus and knew how to have fun and let go of the little things. All of that was so apparent by their demeanor, how they carried themselves, how much they laughed with each other and with us, and we truly enjoyed every moment with them! We were so excited to capture their wedding because we knew it would be centered on Christ, that it would be beautiful, that there would be lots of joy and laughter, and that no small thing would bother or distract the two of them from their focus on the sacrament.

Mariah + JJ were so focused on two things the day of their wedding: Jesus, and each other. All of the months of planning and prepping and creating culminated in a day where all of those things faded away, and the two of them had the space to focus on those two relationships – what truly mattered to them. I personally loved how much time they carved out for the two of them the day of their wedding – while they didn’t have a first look, they did spend half an hour in private prayer together before their wedding, and during that time they also read the betrothal vows that they wrote to each other on their pre-Cana retreat (called Engaged Encounter here in Nebraska). When we snuck out of the reception for golden hour photos, they also had a few minutes alone, and finally, they had a private “last dance” before their sparkler exit. Especially when the wedding day flies by so fast, I loved that they cherished private time together to let all of the special moments sink in!

There were so many things that I loved about Mariah and JJ’s wedding day! The two of them were so joyful — delightful, as Father’s homily said — fun, reverent, and everything you could ask for in a couple. Their love for Christ was so evident, and they also knew how to party! It was wonderful to be able to capture both photo and video for their wedding day, because while similar, there are things that each of those mediums capture in a different way. I love that Mariah + JJ will be able to go back and listen to the prayers before their wedding, that they can hear the emotion in their voices as they read each other their betrothal vows, that they can watch Mariah gently move JJ’s hand away when he tried to help wash his own feet – these movements and sounds and emotions are things that aren’t conveyed the same way through photos, and I loved being able to weave them together through their wedding film! Mariah + JJ chose to focus on their faith throughout the wedding day in many different ways. Not only did Mariah lace a rosary around her bouquet, but she gave each bridesmaid a rosary specific to them for their own bouquet, which I thought was beautiful. During their vows, Mariah + JJ embraced a crucifix, which would later be hung in their home – a reminder that these vows aren’t easy, but they will continue to embrace every cross together. At their reception, their centerpieces held prayer cards of saints that were special to the two of them, and whom they had asked to intercede for them in their marriage. After toasts, they opted out of the traditional garter/bouquet toss and instead washed each other‘s feet. One of my favorite moments of the entire day was watching Joseph sit on a chair as Mariah washed his feet. At one point, he reached down to assist her, when Mariah gently caught his hand and moved it away – signaling for him to accept her love and her sacrifice. I have a strong feeling that these two, who would give anything for each other, will also teach each other how to receive throughout their marriage. Their love for Jesus is so evident and so clearly impacts everything that they do, and while I know that there will be crosses, I am so excited to see all of the joyful resurrections in their life, as well!

This wedding was captured by Heart and Light Company! Heart and Light Company is a Catholic film & photo team based in Nebraska, and willing to travel nationwide. For more of their work, visit their profile on the Catholic Bridal Collective. To submit a wedding, visit our submissions page!

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