Today is Father’s Day and it just so happens that the perfect wedding for what’s on my heart today is due to be blogged. You see, my father (Whom was one of my best friends) passed away 16 years ago. Since then, all of you wonderful daddies out there have been over photographed at weddings. I’ve lived vicariously through you all for the last 16 years as I watched you smile proudly at your children in a way only a parent can. I didn’t get to dance with my dad at my wedding- but we knew the song we would pick- Butterfly Kisses. It was probably cliche or overplayed- that didn’t matter to my dad and I. The song had a lot of meaning for us. So much so that my final project as a senior in high school was a speech centered around the song- it was a tribute to my dad and I held true to the promises I made in that speech. That no one would take his place next to me on the aisle. That my kids would KNOW him in spite of the fact that they would never get to meet him on this earth. My Dad was one of the most proud daddies out there so when I see one of you beam with pride at your little girl… I wear my shutter out capturing that moment. I want to preserve that moment in time- because one day… she won’t see that look anymore and I take it as my personal responsibly to bring you back. For her to feel that warmth every time she sees that look I captured. It’s a look no child should ever forget.
As I shot Amy and Cole’s wedding- I kept saying this line from the song in my head almost every time I saw her dad…

“And I thank God for all of the joy in my life…”

It is said right before the chorus begins. I don’t know that this is what her dad was thinking, but it sure looked like it from behind my lens.

  

Children have been playing a MAJOR role in my weddings lately. You all are some fantastic aunts and uncles. I’ll be honest. There are many times I have said “leave the kids at home”. Something about stilettos on the dance floor and toddler feet running around scares me BUT I have to admit… seeing the love you all have for these kiddos makes me absolutely agree that kiddos should be present not just for their enjoyment but for our souls as well.

If you follow Shadow and Light on Facebook, you saw what I used to make this image! One man’s (woman’s) trash is another man’s (woman’s) treasure! 

Here he is. And the lines of the song start playing in my head:

“Theres two things I know for sure. She was sent here from Heaven and she’s Daddy’s little girl.”

“She’ll change her name today.
She’ll make a promise,
And I’ll give her away.
Standing in the bride room
Just staring at her,
She asked me what I’m thinking,
And I said “I’m not sure,
I just feel like I’m losing my baby girl.””

“Then she leaned over and gave me
Butterfly kisses, with her mama there
Sticking little white flowers all up in her hair
“Walk me down the aisle daddy, it’s just
About time”
“Does my wedding gown look pretty Daddy?”
“Daddy don’t cry”
Oh with all that I’ve done wrong,
I must have done something right…”

“She’ll change her name today.
She’ll make a promise,
And I’ll give her away.”

                    

“I couldn’t ask God for more, man, this is
What love is
I know I’ve gotta let her go, but I’ll always
Remember
Every hug in the morning, and butterfly kisses at night”

Amy and Cole, you two are beyond blessed to have the parents you do. The looks of pride were not exclusive to one parent- they were all beaming at your wedding.
I hope you love all of the images, but more than that- I hope you see the love shining through them.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the great Dads out there.
To anyone missing their Dad today, allow yourself to be thankful for others in your life while being grateful for the time you did have.

Being a Father is more than just blood.
It’s love.
So if there’s a Father Figure out there who loves you,

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION to be thankful they are in your life, allow them the opportunity to love you as a father would.

I promise, it is what your dad would want.

So with that being said,
HAPPY 1st FATHER’S DAY AS MY DAD, DAD.
You deserve the title. Not because we share DNA, but because you loved me without question.

(For those of you thinking “WHAT?!?!, CLICK HERE)