As a photographer, I have the great privilege of capturing love. I have borne witness to the love a mother has for her child, the excitement and expectation of newly engaged couples, and the playfulness and fun-loving spirit of many families. But witnessing the beauty of marriage is the most humbling and rewarding honor of all.
Matt and Randy have an amazing love. It is evident in the way they look at one another, their patience and tenderness - and the respect they have for their relationship and marriage.
Marriage is not something they take lightly as a same-sex couple. Their right to marry is now legal in all 50 states, but Matt and Randy said their vows just days before the Supreme Court ruling. They had gone to Jackson County to get their license, and were then able to be wed anywhere in the state of Missouri - something that few couples were aware of. They chose Springfield, and their home church - Unity of Springfield - to host their wedding. It was the first legal same-sex marriage in our city.
The day was beautiful in so many ways. Matt and Randy love their families, and included memorials to Matt's dad and Randy's parents in every part of the ceremony - including Randy's mother's handmade ring bearer pillow, photos, and special music to honor their loved ones. There were many tears shed in the congregation, and you can tell that this couple is loved by everyone who knows them. Later, when I asked Randy if I could borrow their rings for pictures, he carefully handed them over to me. I promised I would take care of them. I found out later that they were set with his mother's diamonds. Relationships and memories are precious to this couple.
Watching the way that Matt and his mother danced, I could see and feel the bond they have. Randy and their friends blew bubbles toward them as "At Last" played, and it was a sweet and funny homage to Lawrence Welk. There was lots of conversation, laughter, and hugs to go around during their reception. It was such a joyous day.
It is apparent to me that Matt and Randy love one another, God, and their families. Their marriage is a hard-won reward to a love that needs no justification or apologies. I am so honored that I got to be there to witness their love come full circle. Love wins.
Wedding Coordinator: Kimberley Lippelman
Venue: Unity of Springfield
Cake: Kimberley Lippelman