Rayah and Nick’s wedding took place on Nick’s family’s property up towards Harrisonburg a couple weeks ago and I am almost at a loss for words because of how absolutely beautiful their wedding day was. But it wasn’t just beautiful because of the decor, bright yellow dresses, and colorful wildflowers — it was beautiful because Rayah and Nick’s love for the Lord translates into their love for each other and that was so evident on their wedding day.
I showed up to Nick’s family’s house and excitedly went up the stairs where Rayah and her thirteen bridesmaids were getting ready. I found Rayah getting ready in the bathroom, looking absolutely radiant and felt like I already knew her, although I had never properly met her (but I knew of her family through school and Young Life). I had been looking forward to photographing this day for a long time and finally getting to hug her that morning was one of my favorite things. Rayah teared up saying when I got there it all felt real, which left me feeling so honored to be there capturing everything as it unfolded. It was such a sweet way to start the day and I could feel the presence of the Lord in that house.
This doesn’t happen often but a couple times a year, I’ll tear up at specific moments during a wedding day and that happened multiple times during Rayah and Nick’s ceremony, specifically. First of all, it had been raining most of the morning and I was fully prepared to have to shoot everything under a covering or in the barn but thankfully the rain stopped and not only were they were able to do their ceremony outside but as soon as their ceremony began, the sun popped out. Rayah walked down the aisle beaming and Nick wiped the tears from his eyes as he saw her for the first time that day. I, along with every bridesmaid, teared up.
The next thing that happened was almost unbelievable and maybe you had to have been there to understand but Rayah recently lost her grandma who she was very close to and her not being at the wedding was tough. But the entire ceremony, there was a butterfly on Rayah, which is supposedly a sign of a lost loved one. I’m not usually one to read into signs like that but there was something powerful about it. There was no reason this butterfly should have been attached to Rayah the whole time. In fact, you’d think it would have wanted to be on the flowers that her sisters were holding beside her. So as you’re looking through these photos, take note of the butterfly in almost every shot. It was such a cool moment to witness and clear that the Lord was looking down on them.
As if the butterfly wasn’t enough to wreck me, Rayah and Nick chose to wash each other’s feet during their ceremony, which is a picture of servanthood and humility in the Bible. Foot washing in the Bible was something that took place before a meal because after walking on filthy roads all day, your feet would have been disgusting. During the Last Supper, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, setting an example that we must choose to humble ourselves in order to fully love. Marriage is the ultimate picture of serving each other and choosing to love each other through all things, good and bad, so this ceremonial foot washing was their way of showing that they intended their marriage to look like Jesus exemplified.
I know I use the word JOY a lot to describe my couples because that’s always what I want to capture but Rayah and Nick are the poster children for joyful couples. They have waited more than three years to finally commit to each other and live together and are so excited to spend the rest of their lives serving each other and I am so excited to share their story and their beautiful day with you today!! Here’s a peek into their backyard wedding!
Venue | Secrist Family Farm
Dress | Rebecca Ingram
Florals | She Blooms
Videographer | William Leaton
Whoopie Pies | Miller’s Bake Shoppe
Catering | Valley Pike BBQ
Bridesmaid Attire | Lulu’s
Invitations | Vistaprint
Rentals | CVR Rentals