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“A Beloved Celebration” The Wedding Story of Nichelle and Ruben – December 30th, 2011 – Bella Collina, Monteverde, FL

By looking at the series of images below from Nichelle and Ruben’s wedding, you would not believe me if I told you that this was planned in all of the course of 2 weeks.  No joke, I was blown away by how impeccable everything went in such a short period of time. It all began with a phone call one afternoon in mid-December.  As I answered my phone, I heard the sweetest little voice on the other end (Nichelle), politely inquiring about my services originally for a wedding she and Ruben were planning for sometime in late Spring 2012.  I happily spoke to her for a few minutes, answered a few standard preliminary photography questions, then hung up and emailed her my pricing info.  About a week later, while doing my routine follow up calls, I dialed Nichelle’s number and with only a couple seconds time, Nichelle promptly answered the phone and almost out of breath, began telling me me how they have learned about her Grandfather having stage 4 terminal cancer with only a few months to live.  With this grave news, Nichelle and Ruben, not being able to imagine not having her Grandfather attend their wedding, decided to move everything up to December 30th, just two short weeks away.  Ruben, being from Spain was able to fly his Sister and Father over in such short notice, while he and Nichelle additionally handled finding her dress, tuxedo, venue, me, videographer, flowers, invitations, bridesmaid dresses, hair and makeup, etc. Quite a daunting task, but all for the love and importance of having her dear Grandfather there…incredibly moving. This re-paints the reason of why we have weddings.  Yes, it’s about two people that love each other, but we fail to remember how equally important it is for the families. This is one of THE most important days in our families lives as well. To witness their daughter, son, sister, brother, cousin, friend, you name it join the lives with the person whom they are claiming that day to love and cherish forever. And to Nichelle, the love for her Grandfather and the respect she has for him paved the way for the stars to align and all of the elements perfectly fall into place to create the setting for a wedding HE can be there to remember forever. Now, I have to say, as photographers and videographers, and I can safely vouch for Mr. Jeffrey Stoner who was also documenting their day with me, that knowing the finality of her Grandfather’s terminal illness instills in us the power to observe the day differently and with a new focus. Sure, we’ll capture the pretty red roses, the gown, rings, etc., but no one can ever imagine the life, emotion, and precious moments unfolding in front of us with every moment we documented.  It was not only our job to beautifully document their day, but it was also our responsibility to document the beloved relationship between Nichelle and her sweet Grandfather. It was up to us to provide some of the last important memories of this man’s life. And in trying to wrap my head around something so meaningful and essential, I could feel the lump in my throat grow with the weight of that responsibility. But after a small amount of time and might I add, breathing, the fear quickly dissipated and I began to photograph the beauty of what was unraveling in front of me. I believe in everything happening for a reason, and I believe that Nichelle and Ruben’s wish to have this wedding immediately was granted and the day will be relived and reflected in their hearts as well as her Grandfather’s. xoxo – Abby

LOCATION:  Bella Collina – Monteverde, FL

MAKEUP:  Makeover Station

HAIR:  The Spa at Bella Collina – Monteverde, FL

VIDEOGRAPHY:  Jeffrey Stoner

PLANNER:  Vangie’s Events of Distinction

FLORAL:  Blossoms Arrangement of Distinction 



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