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Our First Year Wedding Anniversary

14 Oct

Gingi Jonathon Wedding-Gingi Jonathon Wedding-0432
Exactly one year ago today, on October 14, 2012, I married my best friend under the lamp posts and hanging Spanish moss of Jackson Square Park in New Orleans, Louisiana, and became Mrs. Jonathan Freeman.

And what a year it has been! I can’t even begin to count the ways our lives have changed – and all for the better! I cannot even wrap my head around where God has brought us, and how He has blessed us, let alone put it into words.

For our first year wedding anniversary, we visited New Orleans again, but this time with an infant in tow. It was surreal, walking the same streets, eating at the same restaurants, standing in the spot where we said “I Do”… but this time with a precious little munchkin looking around bright eyed and curious at the sights and sounds and smells.

Last year we had strangers congratulating us on our wedding, this year we had strangers congratulating us on the beautiful baby. I didn’t see that one coming.

Jonathan and I agreed months ago that we would like to incorporate the Victorian Era custom of gifting one another according to the traditional yearly “themes”, and giving the traditional anniversary flowers for our future wedding anniversary celebrations.

The tradition of giving specific anniversary gifts based on the number of years a couple has been married dates back to the Middle Ages, but the Victorian Era (1837-1901) was especially focused on creating traditions. Although no one is certain how the traditional list of symbolic anniversary gifts originated, the gifts according to year are pretty well established.

The traditional first year anniversary flower is the carnation, and the first anniversary gift theme is paper.


In the language of flowers, carnations are associated with love, distinction and fascination.

Specifically, white carnations suggest pure love and good luck. Light red symbolizes admiration. Dark red represents deep love and affection. Purple represents fascination. And pink carnations carry the greatest significance, beginning with the belief that they first appeared on earth from the Virgin Mary’s tears – making them the symbol of a mother’s undying love.

Jonathan got me a bouquet with each of these colors, and while I picked out the bouquet with him on more of an “oooh shiny” factor, rather than thinking of the symbolism behind the petals, it all seems rather fitting now that the stems are sitting in my coffee thermos vase in the kitchen. I’d say each of the meanings apply to our relationship this first anniversary.

And as for the paper theme: Jonathan and I bought each other, as a mutual gift, a large hand-bound linen photo book with all of our wedding photos. The book is gorgeous and the craftsmanship of the book itself is a work of art – not to mention the photos inside, which feature a mix of the photos our wedding photographer took, and photos that Jonathan and I took on the weekend and day of our wedding.

I am still so desperately and hopelessly in love with my husband. We’re still starry-eyed kids at heart, daydreaming about how we’ll fulfill the rest of the 75 traditional wedding anniversary gift themes. And there is no doubt in my mind that we will.

“Once in a awhile, in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale.”


Martha + Eric Wedding in Tulare, California

13 Jun

This was one of the last few weddings we shot before we had to wrap up business and prepare for whatever the Navy has in store for us! While Jonathan entered the DEP (Delayed Entry Program) with the Navy and had a shipping out date of June, we were trying to leave earlier if possible, which made advertising and booking weddings over the summer pretty much impossible. I didn’t think I’d miss photographing weddings so much! But I really do. I can’t wait till we’re settled again and business can resume as normal.

Anyhow, the ceremony took place at Martha and Erics church, and the reception was held at the Heritage Center in Tulare. We stopped by a tiny park in Visalia that had a cottage like building to do some portrait shots – it had a very fairy tale quality to it! The wedding took place at the beginning of the year and I really like the crisp, cool, wintry blue undertones the permeated the entire event. Also! This was the weekend that I found out I was expecting baby Tessa. ^_^

Brittany + Shad Wedding in New Orleans, Louisiana

11 Jun

Jonathan and I shot this beautiful destination wedding in New Orleans, Louisiana just ONE DAY before our own wedding! Brittany and Shad had their ceremony at Jackson Square Park and the had a Second Line parade that meandered through the gorgeous French Quarter to their reception at the House of Blues. Maybe it was the festive N’awlins air, or maybe this group is just exceptionally friendly and awesome, but these guys made us feel like family while we photographed their wedding.

While I never really saw spending the day before my wedding working as a chore (I saw it as a welcome distraction to keep my mind off of the madness soon to ensue with our wedding!) it ended up being one of the coolest things we could have done. We didn’t have a big enough group (or budget) to validate a second line, but we desperately wanted to take part in one.. and we got to sing at the top of our lungs, wave our arms and snap some gorgeous pictures for Brittany and Shad in their second line! It was a blast!

And the reception? Absolutely stunning. The atmosphere, the lighting, the live music, the food, the booze… it was the epitome of a New Orleans wedding, which (and we may be biased since we chose it as our wedding location) is one of the coolest weddings you can have. 😉

Victoria + Derek Wedding in Shaver Lake, California

10 Jun

I photographed this wedding right before Jonathan and I had our wedding, so I was in ultra romance mode for these shots! I loved the soft yellow and orange autumn theme of this cultured country wedding. The ceremony took place at a tiny rustic church in the middle of the mountains by a stream, and the reception was at the church hall across the street. It was secluded and nestled back off of the road. It was a classic American wedding, exactly what you’d picture when you think of when you hear “Here Comes The Bride”.

Krista + Evan Wedding at Royal Oaks Club in Kingsburg, California

9 Jun